HH Ferries Group is rebuilding two ferries, the Tycho Brahe and the Aurora, for the Helsingborg – Helsingör route from Sweden to Denmark.
By the end of 2017, the company will install the batteries needed for the forward propulsion of the two ferries and upgrade the ports on both sides of the strait – so the trip on the region’s floating bridge will be an even greener experience.
The two ferries will be among the first in the world to run on pure battery power on such a high-frequency ferry route as Helsingborg – Helsingör. This is good news for fish, birds and people in the region and it will not affect existing timetables. The ferries will not spend more time in port or on the crossing. The only difference is that the ships cut off the diesel engines and are instead charged with electricity from the newly built charging stations at each port.
It takes more than a pair of AA batteries to operate 8414 tonnes of ferry across the Sound. 640 batteries of 6.5 kWh are installed on top of each ferry along with two deckhouses for transformers, converters and cooling of the batteries. Cables run from the deckhouses to connecting points at each end of the ship, so that the batteries can be quick-charged – to provide the power of 70 electric cars.
A fully automatic laser-guided robotic arm connects the batteries to the grid every time the ferries are in port. It typically takes only 5-9 minutes each time, so no time is wasted.
The robotic arms and related technology are mounted at the docks in Helsingborg and Helsingør in towers more than 10 meters high, providing shelter from wind and weather between charging of the ferries’ batteries. Towers, technology and robotic arms are manufactured by ABB, which is HH Ferries Group’s main supplier in connection with the battery project.