Shore power solutions from Wärtsilä reduce fuel consumption and emissions by enabling vessels to plug in to the onshore electricity grid when in port instead of using auxiliary engines to generate power. With vessel owners seeking new ways to decarbonise and achieve compliance, a ship shore power system is quickly becoming standard in new build vessels and a popular retrofit option for existing vessels too.
Alternative Marine Power (AMP) while in port allows the vessel to turn off the genset and take power from shore, which reduces emissions and fuel consumption in port.
The AMP solution is most common in container and cruise vessels, but also used for RoRo, LNGC, tankers, ferries and mega yachts.
Charging of an on board energy storage system, usually batteries either as a fully electric or hybrid vessel. This option can be applied either with a wireless inductive charging system or automated/manual plug in system. Both options allow a vessel to operate on batteries only - enabling zero emission sailing.
This solution is often used for shorter journey lengths such as tugs or ferries or on defined routes with fixed ports where the charging terminal can be installed.
The technology group Wärtsilä has successfully tested its automatic wireless induction charging system on a hybrid powered coastal ferry. This is the first commercial ferry in the world operating with high power wireless charging capability for its batteries, and the successful project represents a notable breakthrough in the evolution of plug-in electrically operated vessels. The tests were carried out on the 85 metre long ‘MF Folgefonn’ in Norwegian waters during the end of August / early September of this year. The ferry is owned by Norled, one of Norway’s largest ferry operators.
Wireless charging eliminates the cable connection between the vessel and shore, thereby securing and facilitating safe connections and disconnections. It also reduces maintenance since wear and tear to physical connection lines is eliminated. The integrated Wärtsilä system is based on inductive power transfer and is capable of transferring more than a MW of electrical energy.
The Wärtsilä system is designed to maintain efficient power transfer at distances of 50 centimetres between the two charging plates built into the side of the vessel and the quay. No other wireless charging system is as powerful, or capable of maintaining the transfer of energy at such a distance.
“During recent years, wireless charging has been introduced for cars, busses and trains. We have now made this possible for marine vessels. The main benefits for customers are up to 20 percent more utilisation of the available charging time, increased operational safety, and greater system reliability. There is an ongoing trend to equip coastal ferries with battery powered and hybrid propulsion since they are particularly affected by environmental regulatory demands. Wireless charging will, therefore, create considerable value for operators of hybrid ferries,” says Ingve Sørfonn, Senior Technical Officer E&A, Wärtsilä Marine Solutions.
“For Wärtsilä, this wireless charging revolution focuses on coastal ferries, a segment of the transportation industry that is well-suited to the technology because of short stop-and-go schedules. The wireless charger is an innovative and value adding new part of our hybrid solutions offering, which we shall continue to develop further in line with the needs of our customers,” says Cato Esperø, Sales Director, Wärtsilä Norway.
The project has been partly funded by Innovation Norway, a Norwegian funding institution.
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Caption: Wärtsilä’s wireless charging system is the first in the world to operate successfully with a coastal ferry.
Mr Ingve Sørfonn
Senior Technical Officer, Electrical & Automation
Wärtsilä Marine Solutions
Tel: +47 9573 2581
Ms Marit Holmlund-Sund
Senior Manager Marketing, Communications, Marine Solutions
Tel: +358 10 709 1439
Wärtsilä in brief:
Wärtsilä is a global leader in advanced technologies and complete lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets. By emphasising sustainable innovation and total efficiency, Wärtsilä maximises the environmental and economic performance of the vessels and power plants of its customers. In 2016, Wärtsilä's net sales totalled EUR 4.8 billion with approximately 18,000 employees. The company has operations in over 200 locations in more than 70 countries around the world. Wärtsilä is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki.
Using renewable power via a shore connection is a great way to reduce your emissions. You will find 49 more ways in a fascinating eBook “50 great ways the maritime industry could cut its greenhouse gas emissions”. Learn more: