Apr 26, 2023 | Marine propulsion & machinery news

Danfoss Power Solutions’ Editron division has been commissioned by Cheoy Lee Shipyard to deliver hybrid-electric marine drivetrain systems for two new hybrid electric ferries.

Hong Kong is one of the world’s busiest harbour cities, with ferries accounting for about 18 million passenger movements annually. To achieve net zero by 2050, Hong Kong plans to decarbonise its transport sector by electrifying vehicles and ferries.

To help reach this target, the Hong Kong government has earmarked funding to replace existing diesel-powered ferries with hybrid and electric alternatives from 2025 onward. Part of this budget will be used for Cheoy Lee Shipyard’s new 35m and 40m catamarans. Each vessel will be capable of carrying up to 450 passengers at a speed of 23 knots. Two of these new ferries will be hybrid-electric and powered by an integrated marine solution supplied by Danfoss’ Editron division.

A parallel hybrid DC-link grid system will power each hybrid electric ferry. The power system consists of two Editron permanent magnet motors, two Cummins QSK50 main engines, four sets of power batteries totalling 311.2kW, and multiple frequency converters. Danfoss’ Editron motors can switch between the two operating modes of power generation. When sailing in the emission control area, the ferries will run on zero-emission electric propulsion, switching to diesel power outside the emission control area. The excess power from the main diesel engine will generate electricity to charge the battery and supply hotel loads. The ferries will be able to operate in zero-emission mode during manoeuvring and berthing.

Chao Wang, head of Editron China, Danfoss Power Solutions, said: “We’re thrilled to support Hong Kong’s decarbonisation mission. These ferries will be the first in Hong Kong to feature our DC-link grid system, and we’re looking forward to demonstrating the full potential of the technology. Our compact and lightweight marine system can achieve maximum efficiencies of up to 98% while reducing operation and maintenance costs and saving space in a vessel’s engine room. Additionally, the advanced software behind the system controls and optimizes the powertrain’s individual components, enabling more efficient management of power distribution and better handling of a vessel.”

Martin Lo, director Cheoy Lee Shipyard, added: “As a shipyard with a long history, we’re pleased to see that the energy saving and emission reduction potential offered by electric propulsion will have a huge impact on the future of Hong Kong’s marine industry. We will work closely with Danfoss’ Editron division to develop the local electrification market and provide excellent quality ships to our customers.”

The two ferries are expected to be delivered to their owner by mid-2024.

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