In the strait between Denmark and Sweden, two ferries are leading the way to tomorrow’s marine transportation.
In a major project co-financed by the European Union, the M/F Tycho Brahe and M/F Aurora are still equipped with their original diesel-powered engines, but four containers on each top deck hold the equivalent of about 4160 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electrical power: 640 lithium batteries, with 11 megawatt (MW) total. Charging is done with up to 11 MW.
The ships can run on full battery, full diesel or a combined, hybrid set-up. They are two out of four ferries running the busy route between Elsinore (Helsingør), Denmark, and Helsingborg, Sweden, a yearly total of 50,000 times – and with 7.2 million passengers. The ships’ owner, ForSea, thus saves 65% CO2 emissions on its battery-sailed initiative.
“We would really like to be a green shipping company, and we want to do something for the environment,” says Henrik Fald Hansen, Senior Chief Engineer on the M/F Tycho Brahe. “This is our contribution.”
The ferries charge the batteries with electricity coming from renewable-generation in Denmark and Sweden – such as wind, hydro and solar. Thus, when the ferries run on battery power alone, they are nearly 100% CO2-free, says Henrik Fald Hansen. They both use DEIF Delomatic 4 systems for power management.
“These are the ferries of the future,” he says.