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    Plug-in and sail: Meet the electric ferry pioneers
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    Battery-powered ferries are getting bigger and bigger and continue sailing, but they are still expensive.
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  • 2020-02-16
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    Thomas Larsen captains Ellen , The World 's largest electric ferry

    "you Have a pleasant journey," bursting the tannoy, as the drive to work, and we pull away from the port in Fynshav, South Denmark.

    I'm on Board the Ellen , an electrically powered ferry, sail to The Island of Ærø, in The West of the Baltic Sea .

    On The Ship 's bridge, captain Thomas Larsen stands behind a control panel with controls and electronic charts. "What I can see, on these Two screens, a power-management system is," he says. "It shows me all of my batteries. And as far as I can go. "

    "The main difference is that I don't with a full tank. I need to think a lot about, as I am, with my power. "

    As we are talking, an alarm starts to beep. "Oh, that tells me I have no strength for a new journey back without any charge," captain Larsen, you quiet.

    Powered exclusively by batteries, Ellen is something of a Tesla under the ferries. Fully Charged , of 60 m can operate The Ship , the sailing 22 nautical miles with up to 200 passengers and 30 cars on Board.

    Ellen ferries with a range of 22 nautical miles

    This is a roughly 40-km (25-mile) round-trip, and seven times More Than other electric.

    Ellen replaces an older Diesel -ship, and in the on-Board cafe, passengers welcome The Change .

    "It makes so much noise. And no smoke from the Diesel - it is good," a traveler told me.

    "It is very quiet. You won't feel a thing. It is a great idea for The Environment ," says the other.

    "Ferry shipping in General is a very dirty business," says Halfdan Abrahamsen, an information officer of Ærø EnergyLab, as he shows me.

    ships in General, ship use Diesel or heavy oil", which is just above the bottom of the Food Chain when It Comes to getting product to refineries," says Mr Abrahamsen.

    is The only oil to brothels for the gearbox and in The Kitchen for the preparation of French Fries , he says.

    The zero-emission ferry is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 2,000 tons per year. It is part of an EU-funded project for the development of green ferries for longer journeys.

    in Addition, a series of Heavy Metal doors, the Motor and the Two battery rooms, where 840 lithium-ion batteries, supplied by the Swiss company Leclanché, stacked from floor to Ceiling .

    Two battery-room house 840 lithium-ion batteries

    a Total of 4. 3MWh, it has the largest battery capacity of a ship on the sea and corresponds to the average amount of electricity consumed by a UK household each year.

    And that means it sails More Than any other electric ferry operating at the moment, according to Kimmo Rauma, Vice-President of Danfoss Editron, the Finland-based company behind the electric drive and charging technology.

    After a 70-minute journey, Ellen station in the port of Søby and Moors next to the load.

    A mechanical arm connector and recharges the batteries in less than 25 minutes with clean energy powered by Wind Turbines .

    Ellen sailing is not fully functional just yet, and it is so smooth. Building a boat with so many batteries is complex, and since the Start, some battery cells have been replaced.

    Trine Heinemann, says the running costs are a quarter that of a Diesel ferry

    "you will always be lighter and more energy dense, but they are still hard," Trine Heinemann, the E-ferry coordinator of the project, explains, as we stand on the dock.

    "need the more energy you have, the more batteries you have, the more weight you add. You will then need to start thinking about how we take other weight away from The Ship ? How to build The Most energy-efficient ship?"

    A low resistance design and lighter materials were used, contributing to ensuring low running costs.

    "We pay maybe 25% of what you would pay for a similar Diesel -ship.", Mrs. Heinemann says. "So this is a considerable saving. "

    the maintenance costs are much lower. A Diesel Engine has about 30,000 Moving Parts in an Electric Motor , it is just the bearings that need maintenance, says Dr Rauma.

    The Green box on The Right side invites Ellen batteries

    The ferry costs €21. 3m (US$23. 6m; £18. 3m), with the EU-program "horizon 2020" funding of 15 million euros.

    "maybe It is 40% more expensive than a conventional Diesel ship" Ms Heinemann says.

    "Then you still have the transformer and the electrical infrastructure. So in relation to the establishment of an electrical ship, we are looking at a significantly higher Cost . "

    So, while The Battery is certainly green, it is commercially? The Team believes so.

    "Some say, within 14 months of Break Even And Then save. We are more conservative a little bit and say, maybe four or five years," said Mrs. Heinemann.

    In Søby shipyard, where Ellen was built, chief executive Roar Falkenberg thinks costs.

    "Ellen was a prototype. I think that if we Cost the construction of the next Ellen , it's just a bit More Than a normal ferry. And if you look three to five years ahead, I think The Price will be the Same . "

    electric motors require less maintenance

    batteries are becoming more Cost -competitive, says Dr. Tristan Smith, a shipping and energy expert from University College in London, thanks mainly to better technology and stricter emissions rules.

    "If you have strong air-quality regulation then you are to burn in the location of the worst quality marine fuels," he says, "what makes The Battery more competitive, because there are fabrics now in competition against the more expensive fossil fuels. "

    The shipping industry is responsible for around 3% of global CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions. In April 2018, The International Maritime organization, the new objectives for the reduction of these emissions by "at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008 levels".

    This is the incentive for industry players to explore new emission-reducing measures, including alternative fuels such as LNG, biofuels, hydrogen, and ammonia, which Dr. Smith says, show The Most Promise .

    Norled is part of a hydrogen-powered ferry project

    Nordic Countries , a shift towards hybrid and electric power. The First fully-electric car ferry has been started in Norway a few years ago, and The Operator Norled now the development of what it claims is The World 's first hydrogen-powered ferry.

    "The technology is ready," says Danfoss Editron is Kimmo Rauma. "The issue is that the maritime industry is not going to change the fastest. "

    His company supplied electro-technology for patrol boats, icebreakers and fish farm service boats.

    It also developed Asia's first e-ferry in Taiwan. He says that the retrofitting of older Diesel vessels with electric motors, especially in the city-port areas, is a "great opportunity" to reduce the environmental pollution.

    However, experts say that a scaling-up battery for large ships has significant limitations.

    "The common denominator for the successful use of rechargeable batteries is that the ships operate close to the coast," says Mary Skipper Schwenn, Director of the Association, Danish shipping.

    "is The operational range is limited, simply because the capacity of The Battery itself. It is simply not possible if you sail today, More Than 10 or 20 days at sea. In addition, you have an enormous loading capacity in the port. "

    "With the technology we have now... it seems like a workable solution for the deep-sea shipping. But for ferries, supply vessels and tugs, it is an excellent solution. "

    Back in Søby shipyard, Roar Falkenberg agreed. "The Key is how much energy you can store in The Battery . If you are driving from England to the United States , you need a lot! And Then you can ' T have no charge, you can use batteries only. Maybe in 10 years, 15 years, there will be other opportunities for more ship routes. "

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