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Maritime Propulsion

August 17, 2022

Danish Electric Ferry Completes World-record 90km Voyage on a Single Charge

(Photo: Danfoss Editron)

A fully-electric ferry in Denmark has set a new world record for the longest voyage on a single battery charge.

The vessel, Ellen, which usually connects the islands of Ærø and Als in Southern Denmark, broke the distance record on June 9 in Sønderborg, Denmark, where leaders from industry, government, and civil society joined the International Energy Agency (IEA) for the 7th Annual Global Conference on Energy Efficiency. On her return from the conference, where participants explored how international ambition on energy efficiency can be translated into faster and stronger real-world progress, Ellen sailed 50 nautical miles – 92 kilometers – on a single battery charge.

Senior Lecturer, Marstal Naval Academy, Denmark, Henrik Hagbarth Mikkelsen, who helped specify the technical solutions for the ferry during its design phase, was on-board for the trip. "The 92-kilometer trip on a single battery charge is the longest planned distance for an electric ferry able to carry both passengers and vehicles to date, anywhere on the globe. We are talking about a clear record. On normal daily trips, the ferry sails 22 nautical miles, or 40 kilometers, from harbor to harbor before recharging." he said.

Built by Ridzon in Poland and Søby Værft in Denmark, the 59.4-meter-long Ellen started sailing in 2019. Fully electric powered, it does not emit carbon and is said to operate at a 24% lower cost compared to a new diesel ferry.

Switzerland-based battery system provider Leclanché SA has powered the vessel, capable of carrying approximately 30 vehicles and 200 passengers, with a capacity of 4.3MWh. The battery system uses high-energy G-NMC lithium-ion cells with safety features, including a bi-cellular laminated design and ceramic separators. Danfoss' Editron division supplied the electric Editron drivetrains and propulsion motors powering the ferry.

In addition to being powered by a Danfoss 4,3MWh battery power and drivelines and drive motors, the ferry is equipped with two ZF W7640 NC marine transmissions. The reduction gears without shift clutch drive the fixed propellers. The electric motors can reverse to change the rotation direction of the propeller, and thus the direction of the ferry.

Kimmo Rauma, Vice President of Danfoss' Editron division, said, "Ellen is an excellent example of the future for electric transport. It's cleaner, greener, and more efficient than her fossil fuel competitors. Electrifying maritime transport is a clear-cut way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And Danfoss has the solutions to build new electric ferries and retrofit existing ones to electrify them with the potential to reduce carbon emissions worldwide."

Danfoss Editron said it plans to submit the world record to Guinness World of Records.