Fathom World

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Design, Engineering & Safety

ABB Powers Futuristic Hybrid Ferry

ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, is to supply a compact and lightweight Onboard DC Grid system to allow a ferry to run silently on batteries along the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) listed Nærøyfjord, lying between Flåm and Gudvangen.

The ship, Seasight, is built by shipbuilder Brødrene Aa and is thought to be one of the most innovative ship designs ever seen on the Norwegian fjords. It is constructed from carbon fibre, which makes it lighter than conventional ships, thereby producing less emissions and reducing fuel consumption. The ship will feature ABB’s Onboard DC Grid System that enables complete management and control of the energy flow between the diesel engine propeller and charging station.

The Onboard DC Grid enables integration of energy storage into modern marine powered systems via DC infrastructure and an integrated power and energy management concept. The Grid solution will work by transferring energy to the battery of theSeasight during charging, which will happen at both ends of the voyage and whilst the diesel engines are running.

ABB had previously engineered the technology in order to allow larger passenger ferries to run on hybrid or pure battery power for significant carbon dioxide (CO2) savings. The Seasight ferry will carry up to 400 tourists between Flåm and Gudvangen, switching to battery power and speeds of 10 knots near to the fjord.

Anstein Aa from Brødrene Aa AS commented:“The construction of the carbon fibre vessel is already underway at Brødrene Aa AS, which also came up with the concept.  This is one of the most exciting vessels we have ever constructed in terms of both aesthetics and technology.  With ABB’s established reputation in the passenger maritime sector, we are extremely happy to have such an experienced partner in such an innovative project.”

Seasight will complete around 700 journeys a year from May 2016.

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