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  • 2022 October 9 15:03

    A battery-driven ferry that promises to clean up the market in more ways than one

    Elektra is the 1MW PBES energy storage system, split into two banks, powering a pair of 900kW, Z-drive, azimuthing thrusters from Rolls-Royce

    New tech comes with a price, but there’s a lot resting on it – all the more so when it concerns a commercial, battery-driven ro-ro that promises to clean up the market in more ways than one.

    The power for Finland’s new battery ro-ro, Elektra is the 1MW PBES energy storage system, split into two banks, powering a pair of 900kW, Z-drive, azimuthing thrusters from Rolls-Royce: “These mean Elektra can actually move sideways, so it’s easy to manoeuvre,” said Mats Rosin, FinFerries’ CEO. The 97.92m Elektra needs to be a 24/7 workhorse as it’s expected to run four times an hour during peak hours and once an hour overnight. The 1.6km ‘gateway’ between Parainen and Nauvo has between 600,000 and 800,000 vehicles crossing a year including heavy goods trucks but a sharp summer spike means over 100,000 vehicles in July alone.

    There are recharging points at both the Parainen and Nauvo turnarounds; a Cavotec vacuum mooring system and recharging tower combo holds Elektra in place while allowing a plug to descend from above to mate with Elektra. The 20kV of power is delivered to a transformer some 150m from the charging tower which reduces it to 690V AC for transfer to the ship. The grid had been recently strengthened nearby, and so it was able to deliver the necessary charge.

    The 160 6.5kWh PBES Power batteries have been lined up for an installed total of 1,040kWh at 1,000V on the DC bus. Elektra uses roughly 125kWh from shore every 30 minutes.  However, the batteries could absorb power at quite a rate as the banks can comfortably charge at 3C, so they could, theoretically, fully charge from empty in 20 minutes. This is partly because the batteries are liquid cooled; after all, putting a bolt of energy through even capacious batteries can shorten the cell’s lifetime.

    It’s not seawater from outside but rather a closed loop of tightly temperature-controlled tap water (the region’s domestic supply being incredibly pure and uncontaminated).

    More, as depth of discharge also affects the cells’ lifetime, these too are being rigorously bracketed, with the top rising to no more than 80% and the bottom sinking no lower than 60% of the total capacity. Of course, Siemens’ will be watching, monitoring all this and more via a Cloud link.

    It’s nice that while Siemens ties battery information together on the touchscreens mounted in both the bridge and power control room, PBES has also installed easy-to-read data displays on each case, showing heat, loading rate, state of charge, state of health and so on, not just for that battery alone but for the whole bank.

    The new ro-ro also is fairly comfortable to operate, just as well since the shifts are 12 hours long, with just a captain, engineer and deckhand onboard. It’s quiet: even in the so-called ‘engine room’, there’s normally no need to raise your voice, the only residual vibration comes from the 900kW Rolls-Royce Z-drive thrusters although there are three auxiliary gensets for redundant power for charging failures or ice conditions.

    Despite the investment, pegged at around 20m Euro for the total project including infrastructure, Elektra’s very cheap to run – based on Ampere’s figures it probably costs no more than a handful of Euros for each recharge. The most important thing about ‘Elektra’, Finland’s new, double-ended ferry is that it paves the way for a new breed of vessel.

2023 March 29

19:28 The problem of excess stock in Russia’s Far Eastern ports is settled – Vladimir Putin
18:37 ABP and Sizewell C plan to develop Direct Air Capture facility at Port of Lowestoft
18:06 Port of Savannah adds 55 hybrid yard cranes
17:46 ADNOC LS unveils Integrated Logistics Services Platform
17:30 Roundtable meeting “Working professions in seaports” to be held in online format on 25 April 2023
17:16 Inland ports welcome a a deal on the requirements for Alternative Fuel Infrastructure
17:03 Rosneft Oil Company and Indian Oil Company sign agreement to substantially increase oil supplies
16:49 IMO CARES project receives a further round of funding from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
16:31 Poseidon Acquisition acquires all of the outstanding common shares of Atlas
16:26 DP World expands offering at the Port of Berbera in Somaliland with new edible oil terminal
16:14 Fuel oil and VGO shipments from Russian ports to Singapore and Malaysia could exceed 1.1 million metric tonnes in March
15:43 Moín Container Terminal receives its third largest vessel
15:27 Russian Railways to increase Eastern Polygon capacity by 9.5% this year
15:13 Syria port authority shuts all ports due to bad weather - Reuters
14:59 USC General Director named flammability and price of composite materials as key factors hindering their use in shipbuilding
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11:00 DP World opens one-stop refrigerated container facility in Sydney
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10:45 Greek fleet shrinks for the first time since 2018
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10:07 Russia and India to consider joint use of Northern Sea Route for cargo transportation to Europe
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2023 March 28

18:00 Rosatom suggests replacement of floating power unit Akademik Lomonosov with more powerful one — Yury Trutnev
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16:05 MEYER RE and Damen Shiprepair sign cooperation agreement
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15:24 Equinor announces two rig contracts and a collaboration agreement with Transocean
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14:51 IMO GHG working group progresses work on revision of IMO climate strategy
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2023 March 27

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