Taking a step towards zero emissions in Copenhagen

 Damen Shipyards Group has helped to achieve a more sustainable public ferry service

Taking a step towards zero emissions in Copenhagen
The new ferries derive 60 per cent of their electricity from sustainable sources

By Rebecca Gibson |

When Denmark’s public transport agency Movia decided to upgrade Copenhagen’s public ferry service, it set a goal to build clean vessels that derived 60 per cent of their power from green energy. To achieve this aim, Movia and service operator Arriva Denmark sought the expert help of Netherlands-based Damen Shipyards Group, which has been building electric ferries as part of its E-Cross Ferries programme since 2015.

Damen was appointed as the complete solution provider for the project and contracted to build seven electric battery-powered ferries.

“Our involvement is not limited to the shipbuilding scope; we take responsibility for the entirety of the project,” says Martin Verstraaten, sales manager at Damen. “We provide a focal point where all partners involved in the project come together to fulfil their individual roles in alignment with one another. This gives a cohesive, centralised direction for maximum efficiency.”

Damen used computational fluid dynamics to design ferries with a low superstructure and an optimal hull shape to reduce wind and wave resistance, and thereby minimise fuel consumption. In addition, it used advanced software to design a battery pack that would help to reduce the weight, energy consumption and operational costs of the ferries.

To meet Movia’s stipulation for 60 per cent of ferries’ electricity to come from a sustainable source, Damen investigated various shore power solutions. Working in collaboration with engineering consultancy firm Echandia Marine, charging solutions manufacturer Heliox and mechatronics company Stäubli, Damen developed a solution that enables the ferries to recharge their batteries in just seven minutes at the end of each trip. The ferries dock bow-first at the jetties, using Damen’s bespoke auto-mooring system to control their motion and ensure they connect securely.

Powering the ferries with green energy has cut nitrogen oxide emissions by 2.5 per cent, carbon dioxide emissions by 10 per cent and particulate emissions by 66 per cent. All the vessels are equipped with sensors to enable Damen’s remote monitoring department to track sailing patterns, battery lifecycle and swell dynamics, so it can fine-tune operations to further boost efficiency in future.

“Damen was proud to deliver the first five ferries in July 2020 and help Movia and Arriva take a significant stride towards a zero-emission service,” says Verstraaten.

This article was first published in the Autumn/Winter 2020 issue of Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.

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