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ABB to power Iceland’s first electrified ferry

Technology leader ABB is to supply drive and energy storage technology for Iceland’s first electrified ferry, a 70m vessel that will be equipped with a 3,000kWh battery pack.

The vessel will run primarily in fully electric mode, meaning that the onboard diesel generator will serve only as a backup for when weather conditions are especially bad. According to ABB, the new ferry is to operate on an Icelandic route known for its stormy seas.

The ferry will have a capacity of 550 passengers and 75 cars, and is due to be delivered later this year. It was ordered by the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration, which expects the vessel to take 3,600 annual trips in the rough waters between Landeyjahöfn on the mainland, and Westman Island, covering 13km (8 miles) in about 45 minutes.

“Selection of ABB’s technologies for a vessel operating on such a tough route, where the water depth is sometimes limited to 4.5m, but wave heights can reach 3.5m, sets a new benchmark for battery power on board a ship,” says Juha Koskela, managing director of ABB Marine & Ports.

In addition to the backup generator, the ABB’s Onboard DC Grid system enables the batteries to connect directly to the DC link on shore, for efficient charging and discharging. Crucial to the supporting infrastructure is the shore power connection, which recharges the battery while the ferry is in the dock, taking an average of 30 minutes, according to ABB.

The order also includes generators, transformers, switchboards, the power and energy management system (PEMS) and the energy storage control system (ESCS). In addition, the ferry will access the ABB network that enables remote equipment monitoring and data analytics to facilitate remote technical support, as well as predictive maintenance and planned interventions.

- February 2019

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