Wartsila has successfully tested an automatic wireless induction charging system on a hybrid powered coastal ferry.
The tests were carried out earlier this month in Norwegian waters on the 85m MF Folgefonn, which 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 as wear and tear to physical connection lines is eliminated. Wartsila’s integrated system is based on inductive power transfer and is capable of transferring more than 1MW of electrical energy.
The 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.
"Over recent years, wireless charging has been introduced for cars, busses and trains – and we have now made this possible for marine vessels.” says Ingve Sørfonn, senior technical officer E&A at Wartsila Marine Solutions.
“The main benefits for customers are up to 20 per cent more utilisation of the available charging time, increased operational safety, and greater system reliability.
“There is a trend to equip coastal ferries with battery powered and hybrid propulsion as they are particularly affected by environmental regulatory demands.
“Wireless charging will, therefore, create considerable value for operators of hybrid ferries,"
"Wartsila’s, wireless charging revolution will focus on coastal ferries – a sector 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," adds Cato Esperø, Sales Director, Wärtsilä Norway.
The project has been partly funded by Innovation Norway, a Norwegian funding institution.