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Norwegian Electric Systems enables electric, zero-emission car ferries

Published 7 Jul 2022 (updated 29 Apr 2024) · 2 min read

Digital drawing off zero emission ferry

Quick information

At a glance

  • Integrated power and control systems for electric car ferries
  • Enables the ferries to operate emission free
  • Systems can be optimised and integrated for each vessel

Norwegian Electric Systems delivers power and control systems for electric, short-route car ferries.

Maritime transport emits around 940 million metric tons of CO₂ annually and is responsible for about 2.5 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. In response, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has set a target for a 50 per cent reduction in global shipping emissions by 2050.

While most of these emissions come from sea freight, passenger transport by sea also generates its share of emissions. Many people living in coastal or island communities are entirely dependent on ferries.

However, fossil fuel-powered ferries are highly polluting – emitting CO₂, SO₂, NOₓ and particulate matter. Electric ferries are a solution to this, but battery capacity, energy storage and onshore charging are all challenges that must be dealt with.

Enabling zero-emission ferries

Norwegian Electric Systems’ (NES) power and control systems for electric car ferries incorporate a number of products and systems developed by NES itself. To ensure optimal use of battery capacity, the systems include the QuadroMaster® DC switchboard and Odin’s Eye® DC grid solution.

The Raven INS® integrated navigation system ensures consistent, safe and ergonomic operations on the bridge, and also allows for semi-autonomous ferry crossing operations. The Raven® integrated operator chair makes operations better and safer for the captain.

NES’s integrated automation system features an automatic charging mode that enables effective and consistent charging. The company’s onshore facilities have battery boost banks that provide sufficient power for charging also in areas with limited access to high-capacity power grids.

All systems are optimised and integrated for the individual vessel type.

The Raven® integrated operator chair.
The Raven® integrated operator chair.

Concrete benefits

By installing a power and control system from NES, electric car ferries can eliminate greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to delivering the systems themselves, NES is a system integrator, delivering control functions and ensuring good interaction between every system on board, from bridge to propeller. The company also offers onshore systems, such as charging facilities.

The QuadroMaster® DC switchboard.
The QuadroMaster® DC switchboard.

Market potential

In Norway, requirements for energy efficiency and emissions are now weighted in all public procurement tenders for passenger ferries.

Currently, ferries with a maximum route distance of 35 minutes can benefit from NES’s systems.

The company has already delivered the system to eight sailing ferries, and has another nine ferries on order, including the recent major order for the electrification of the ferry, MF Norangsfjord, and the charging station at the Hollingsholmen ferry quay.

NES has over 35 years’ experience in the electric marine market and has developed 4 000 small and large electric systems for a wide range of vessel types.

Svein Ove Farstad

General Manager Sales & Marketing

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Janaflaten 10, 5179 GODVIK, Norway