Amsterdam’s waterfront, the IJ River, is one the busiest Dutch waterways connecting the Port of Amsterdam with the North Sea. Every day many passengers cross the IJ River with bicycles, mopeds or on foot, on the 6 free ferry routes which are operated by GVB – the public transport company of Amsterdam. GVB has a policy of reducing the emissions and environmental impact from its ferries, trams, buses and cars to an absolute minimum. So when GVB ordered 2 new ferries from Holland Shipyard they decided to use battery hybrid technology to improve fuel efficiency and reduce pollution. Peak shaving reduces generator size The ferries operate 24 hours 365 days per year. It takes about 4 minutes to cross the IJ River and the ferries are docked for only about 2 minutes before departing on the next trip. A 100% battery-powered electric ferry was not possible as the time spent docked in port was too short to charge the batteries from a shore power connection. Instead, GVB decided to use electric propulsion with dieselpowered generators and Lithium-Ion batteries to shave the power peaks. This allowed them to downsize the generators, as these batteries enable the generators to run very efficiently with an almost constant load. Left: Mr. Casper van der Werf, Project manager, GVB (Public Transport Company of Amsterdam). Right: Mr. Kees Bark, Electric ship design consultant Project manager at GVB, Casper van der Werf explains: „We selected a hybrid solution from Holland Shipyard and their electrical propulsion partner, Holland Ship Electric which has very good experience using VACON® NXP drives for their electric propulsion systems”. 2 Danfoss Drives · DKDD.PC.939.A4.02 Hybrid improves air quality … To reduce the remaining air pollution the diesel engines are fitted with efficient exhaust gas cleaning systems, also known as SCR (selective catalytic reactor), which remove toxic gases and particles. The IJ Ferries 60 and 61 already fulfil the new stricter air pollution rules, which will apply from 2019/2020. This contributes to improving the air quality and reduces noise for the citizens of Amsterdam and for the millions of tourists using the ferries. … and maneuverability The skippers are very happy with the new ferries: The ferries are just as easy to handle as the conventional diesel-powered sister ships, but they are much quieter. The low noise level makes the ride a pleasure for both passengers and crew. In normal weather conditions, there are 2 generators operating at constant load. The batteries are charged when the ferries are at standstill or running at low speed. When the ships accelerate, the peak power is drawn from the batteries. In battery mode, with generators turned off, the ferries can run 10-11 round trips which corresponds to approximately 1 hour’s operation. Under normal conditions with the generators running, the stateof-charge of the batteries rises and falls by only a few percentages during a round trip.
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