Hybrid Power System Makeover for Baltic Sea Ferry

By George Backwell at May 18, 2013 04:32
Filed Under: Ferries, Hybrid system, Marine Diesel Engines

A massive 2.7 megawatt-hour lithium polymer battery system from Canada's Richmond BC-based Corvus Energy is capable of powering the 14,500-tonne Scandlines ferry Prinsesse Benedikte, with its 300 cars and 900 passengers for up to half-an-hour on its 20 km run between Rodbyhavn, Denmark and Puttgarden, Germany; but that’s not the main reason for the retrofit installation announced by the companies at the recent commissioning.

Ferry 'Prinsesse Benedikte': Photo credit Scandlines

A best of both worlds kind of solution, Fini Hansen, Technical Superintendent, Fleet Management, Scandlines Danmark A/S explained: “Scandlines is making a significant investment in new green technology that will benefit the people in the areas adjacent to the harbour and beyond in terms of reduced pollution. Corvus batteries are used primarily to minimize diesel engines running at non-optimal load. Further, this means load-leveling function in order to keep a high level of fuel efficiency and reduced number of generating sets in service.”

Lithium Polymer Battery Bank: Photo credit Corvus Energy

Research quoted by Corvus reveals that this type of specialised ferry in service throughout the day, has heavy power requirements on passage, and then idles at the dock for the entire time it is loading and off-loading at the ferry berth. In one example it came out that load and unload time, spent idling at very low genset efficiency equated to 38.5% of daily operational time. On top of that, a typical ferry might spend up to 10% of the time executing low-speed manoeuvres when docking and undocking, also at low diesel engine efficiency.

Puttgarden Ferry Terminal Berth: Photo courtesy of Scandlines

The Prinsesse Benedikte ferry refit involved the conversion of the former diesel electric ferry to a hybrid vessel with Corvus’ AT6500 power modules, using a systems integration system from Siemens, which is designed to estimate the vessel’s power needs and to consider the battery-bank as a source before starting up an additional generator and bringing it online. By such means the hybrid system is claimed to:

• provide enhanced technical reliability and efficiency
• improve maintenance costs
• consume less fuel
• deliver significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions
• be noise-free
• charge in 30 minutes by renewable, shore or generator power

Corvus Energy’s CEO Brent Perry attended the commissioning together with Scandlines executives and staff and has the last word: "This commissioning is a significant milestone for Corvus because it represents the world’s largest ever hybrid propulsion marine battery pack and an important early success in the marine version of sustainable capitalism. We are honoured to participate and look forward to using this conversion as a template to develop future customer-based solutions for more ferry fleets around the world.”





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