ABB technology to power hybrid-electric ferries

2022-04-13T19:28:39+00:00 April 13th, 2022|Technology|

ABB has secured an order from Polish shipbuilder Remontowa Shiprepair Yard to supply integrated power, automation and propulsion solutions for three ropaxes.

At 195 m long, the ferries will each have capacity for up to 400 passengers and 200 trucks and will be delivered to the Polish ferry company, Polskie Promy, in 2025, 2026 and 2027, respectively, for Baltic Sea operation.

The order was booked in the first quarter of 2022. However, financial details of the contract were not disclosed.

Increased electrification and energy efficiency will play an important role in helping de-carbonise maritime transport, ABB claimed. Electric propulsion will allow the full integration of power systems and equipment on board, offering significant gains in safety, efficiency and sustainability for the new ferries.

Each of the ferries will be equipped with two 7.5 MW patented Azipod electric propulsion units that will help achieve a high degree of manoeuvrability and efficiency within harbour operations.

This technology has a proven ability to cut fuel consumption by up to 20%, compared to traditional propulsion. Independent research indicated that Azipod propulsion offers fuel and emissions savings for ferries, which could amount to nearly $1.7 mill and 10,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per ship per year.

By integrating multi-fuel engines with battery power, ABB’s Power and Energy Management System (PEMS) balances the use of the different energy sources on board, enabling further gains in operational efficiency and reducing emissions as a result, ABB claimed.

A conventional ferry approaching a port uses an extra engine as a fail safe back-up, which is sub-optimal in terms of fuel efficiency. The hybrid solution uses batteries to provide this redundancy.

Integrated power is so responsive that larger ferries can achieve equivalent performance using lower installed power than that required by comparable ships, ensuring reduced emissions in any circumstances, the company further claimed.

The three ferries will also be fitted with ABB’s ship-to-shore connection to access plug-in shore power, enabling further emission reductions, as well as benefit from remote equipment monitoring and diagnostics for enhanced passenger and ship safety.

“With ABB, we have full confidence that all systems will be seamlessly integrated for maximum operational efficiency and sustainability,” said Bartosz Znyk, Project Director, Remontowa Shiprepair Yard. “In addition, the ease of installing Azipod units significantly increases build efficiency and flexibility in project scheduling, supporting our shipbuilding process.”

“We take great pride in our collaboration with Remontowa and are delighted to support them in their strategy for environmentally friendly ferries,” said Juha Koskela, Division President, ABB Marine & Ports. “This project presented us with an excellent opportunity to showcase our abilities as a single system, bridge-to-propeller integration provider.”

Demand for Azipod propulsion continues to grow in the global ferry industry. Shipowners and operators are increasingly choosing Azipod technology that offers 360 deg rotation of podded propulsors, increased reliability, reduced vibrations and more lane meters for vehicles on board, due to the location of the system outside the hull, ABB said.