The Ellen E-ferry, which contains the largest battery pack ever installed in a seafaring vessel, is close to entering passenger operations. Covering a 22-nautical mile crossing between the Danish islands of Ærø and Fynshav, the vessel will travel seven times further than any electric ferry currently in operation worldwide.
Ellen is just under 60 m long, has a breadth of approximately 13 m and will travel at speeds between 13-15.5 knots. It is capable of carrying 198 passengers in summer months, with this capacity dropping to 147 during the winter. The ferry can also carry 31 cars or five trucks on its open deck. As well as having a capacity of 4.3 Mwh, the largest battery pack currently installed for maritime use, it is also the first electric ferry to have no emergency back-up generator on board.
Danfoss Editron supplied the full-electric drivetrain powering the ferry to operator Ærø Kommune. The company’s Editron system comprises two 750-kW propulsion motors and two 250-kW thruster motors, both of which run off synchronous reluctance assisted permanent magnet technology and are controlled by DC/AC inverters.
The vessel’s power management system for onboard automated power and load control was also supplied by Danfoss Editron. Additionally, the company delivered the onshore charging station and charging arm for the ferry’s 4.3-MW battery.
Ærø Kommune Mayor Ole Wej Petersen said “The E-ferry project is a very good and concrete example of what a climate-friendly future can look like – a ferry that runs on green electricity without discharging any environmentally harmful substances. I hope people will come to Ærø to experience Ellen and see how the standard for ferry transport can be in the future, not only in Denmark but all over the world.”
Danfoss chief executive Kim Fausing commented "Ellen is an excellent example of the future for electric transport: cleaner, greener and more efficient. It is a great project which demonstrates the potential for electric ferries to end users and the industry itself. It is an EU project and will be an exemplar for electric transport for many years to come. Electrification is key for Danfoss’ success in the future. We will electrify complex machinery, achieving not only reductions in CO2 and other emissions but also improving the productivity and efficiency of such machines.”
Danfoss Editron vice president Kimmo Rauma said “It is anticipated that the ferry will save 2,000 tonnes of CO2 every year once operational.”