Danfoss’ AC drives from Finland boost reliability onboard Wasaline’s new ferry

Wasaline’s new RoPax passenger ferry Aurora Botnia, cruising between Vaasa, Finland and Umeå, Sweden, uses Danfoss’ AC drive technology almost everywhere onboard.

The vessel’s propulsion control systems, as well as the air-conditioning, cooling and pumping systems, use the state-of-the-art next-generation AC drives designed and manufactured by the Danfoss plant in Vaasa, Finland. The AC drives onboard the vessel will control the electric motors and grid-related functionality. This provides the best energy efficiency and lowest emissions possible.

The electric main propulsion system onboard uses low-emission hybrid technology, together with four large lithium battery storage supporting power generation. The main propellers are controlled by Danfoss’ AC drives. The connection of the batteries to the propeller system is also done by the AC drives via a DC-DC conversion.

“This vessel has two main propellers powered by two 6-MW electric motors and two 1.5-MW bow thrusters. The vessel’s propulsion system is connected to the main power grid with AC drives. This utilizes the power grid technology developed by Danfoss to feed the energy from the vessel’s four generators to the propulsion system and equally to the four battery systems with a power of 1.5 MW each in both directions,” says Martti Alatalo, Director, Danfoss Drives Marine & Offshore.

“We are proud that Aurora Botnia will mostly be equipped with Finnish technology and that the vessel is being built in Finland,” says Peter Ståhlberg, CEO, Wasaline.

When all the main motors and generators of the vessel are stopped, the vessel is able to continue its journey with electricity supplied by the batteries. In fact, the vessel is purely powered by electricity from the battery system whenever it is in the immediate vicinity of the harbor area. At that time, the cruise will be pleasant and peaceful, as the noise, vibration and emissions of the vessel will be substantially reduced. The same function also prevents the vessel from a complete black-out in the event of a failure, since the vessel’s power generation and propulsion system have been secured in multiple ways. This ensures that the vessel’s operation capabilities are of the highest standard in the event of a fault and that the vessel’s access to the harbor and back to the sea is secured.

In addition, the Danfoss AC drives are connected to a comprehensive remote monitoring system for increased operational reliability. With this system, maintenance of the equipment can be anticipated in advance, and immediate response can be provided if any malfunction occurs.

In the harbor, the vessel is connected to the harbor’s electric power grid, i.e. the shore supply. This allows the batteries to be recharged, and the vessel’s power grid will get its energy directly from the shore, eliminating the need for the vessel’s generators to generate electricity and thus minimizing emissions to air and water. In this case, too, the Danfoss AC drives ensure that the vessel’s power grid can be seamlessly matched to the harbor’s shore supply in terms of voltage and frequency.

Wasaline in brief

Owned by Kvarken Link Oy, Wasaline is the northernmost shipping company that transports passengers and cargo daily between Vaasa, Finland and Umeå, Sweden. Wasaline’s new vessel, under construction in Rauma, will be delivered in May 2021. For more information: www.wasaline.com. More about the new vessel: www.kvarkenlink.com.

Press contact: Catarina Fant, Head of Marketing, Kvarken Link, email catarina.fant@wasaline.com

Danfoss in brief

Danfoss develops technologies that can do more with less, smarter and more efficiently in the future. Vaasa is one of the most important R&D and manufacturing sites for the Danfoss Drives business. In the marine and offshore business, Danfoss is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of AC drives, especially for electric propulsion and hybrid propeller systems.

The Danfoss Group employs nearly 28,000 people worldwide and serves customers in over 100 countries. In 2018, the company had net sales of EUR 6.1 billion. Danfoss is headquartered in Nordborg, Denmark, with Finland offices in Helsinki, Espoo, Lappeenranta, Tampere, Vaasa and Vantaa.

Press contact: Martti Alatalo, Director, Danfoss Drives Marine & Offshore, phone +358 40 83 71 071, email martti.alatalo@danfoss.com