Wartsila has announced that its technology group has successfully tested an automatic wireless induction charging system on a hybrid powered coastal ferry.
The 85-meter long Folgefonn, sailing in Norway, is the first commercial ferry operating with high-power wireless charging capability for its batteries, which is said to represents a breakthrough in the evolution of plug-in electrically operated vessels.
Wireless charging eliminates the cable connection between the vessel and shore, thereby securing and facilitating safe connections and disconnections, according to Wartsila. It also reduces maintenance since wear and tear to physical connection lines is eliminated. The integrated system is based on inductive power transfer and is capable of transferring more than a MW of electrical energy.
Wartsila said the system is designed to maintain efficient power transfer at distances of 50 centimeters between the two charging plates built into the side of the vessel and the quay. The company also claimed that no other wireless charging system is as powerful, or capable of maintaining the transfer of energy at such a distance.
"During recent years, wireless charging has been introduced for cars, busses and trains. We have now made this possible for marine vessels. The main benefits for customers are up to 20 percent more utilization of the available charging time, increased operational safety, and greater system reliability,” commented Ingve Soerfonn, senior technical officer Electrical & Automation, Wartsila Marine Solutions.