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Another first for Wartsila as wireless charging for hybrid coastal ferry is 'successfully' tested

22 Sep 2017 13:05 GMT

MF Folgefonn is the first commercial ferry to operate with high-power wireless charging capability for its batteries.



Wartsila says it has successfully tested its automatic wireless induction charging system on a hybrid powered coastal ferry in a development that the Finnish firm describes as "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 between the end of August and beginning of September of this year.

The ferry, which is owned by Norwegian ferry operator Norled, is the first commercial ferry in the world operating with high-power wireless charging capability for its batteries.

Commenting on the benefits of wireless charging, Wartsila explained that by eliminating the cable connection between the vessel and shore, it facilitates safe connections and disconnections, and also reduces maintenance since wear and tear to physical connection lines is eliminated.

The integrated Wartsila system is based on inductive power transfer and is capable of transferring more than a megawatt of electrical energy.

The Wartsila 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," Wartsila claims.

"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," said Ingve Sorfonn, Senior Technical Officer E&A, Wartsila Marine Solutions.

"For Wartsila, 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," remarked Cato Espero, Sales Director, Wartsila Norway.

The project has been partly funded by Innovation Norway, a Norwegian funding institution.

Image: Wartsila's wireless charging system is the first in the world to operate successfully with a coastal ferry.






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