We aim for sustainable and automated shipping

At Europort 2019, we will demonstrate the latest maritime developments of ABB. The digital part of our portfolio forms a part of that.

Our digital solutions make a significant contribution to the greening of the shipping industry.  ABB has combined its digital solutions within the ABB Ability™ multidisciplinary platform. That means that all knowledge and benefits from various sectors are combined. This way, one sector will also benefit from the experience and knowledge gained in a different field.

At the trade fair, we will be demonstrating demo versions of our OCTOPUS software. Based on the weather, wave current, the number of sea miles to be covered and numerous other indicators, our software determines the power to be delivered and the diesel engines that need to deliver that power. Whereas OCTOPUS offers navigation advice, Marine Pilot Vision is a controlling system that regulates mooring maneuvers, for instance. Marine Pilot Vision also forms a part of the ABB Ability™ Platform. In difficult weather conditions, such as rough water or thick fog, Marine Pilot Vision steers the ship on the basis of measuring data and observations. When the human eye fails, Pilot Vision constantly ensures the best possible power and maximum safety! In the port of Helsinki, we’ve already carried out a test with a fully remote-controlled ferry. ABB Ability™ Marine Pilot Vision really is a major step forward in the field of remote-controlled and autonomously regulated shipping. We look forward to demonstrating this at Europort 2019.

Our software solutions contribute to the greening process of the shipping industry, but there are other ways of doing so. Our efficient quayside power supply, for instance. In Hook of Holland, we simply connect Stena Line ferries with our fast plug & play solutions to the medium-voltage network. This way, we prevent emissions and we reduce any noise whilst a ship is moored.  Electric energy can be used from the power network cleanly, there is no need to generate it onboard. And there are more benefits. When diesel engines idle with a low load, moving parts such as pistons and valves suffer from wear and tear. Our quayside power supply not only reduces CO2emissions but it also contributes to a lower service life and less maintenance of the diesel generator sets. Several ports have already banned ferries from idling machines. More and more shipping companies are convinced of the benefits of a quayside power supply. Together with our French ABB colleagues, for instance, we are realizing the quayside power supply in the port of Marseilles. The Corsica Linea ferries to ports on the island of Corsica will soon be using our clean power supply.

We also offer efficient and environmentally-friendly solutions for inland shipping, smaller ferry services and luxury yachts. One of the new developments ABB is anticipating is hybrid solutions. Examples include a diesel-electric drive, combined with batteries or fuel cells. Peak shaving is realized by means of batteries. The battery in a DC system immediately supplies energy when more power is required. This will prevent any overloading and adverse consumption. Such a solution also makes it possible to enter electric ports where yachts with a combustion engine are now banned. This is already the case in various marinas on the French Côte d’Azurand our hybrid propulsion systems offer a green and efficient solution for that!These hybrid solutions already offer major gains, particularly for short-distance applications such as short-distance ferry services. We recently completely revamped a ferry from 1965 that sails on Lagio Maggiore in Italy by installing a micro-grid, a DC network and hybrid drive. It’s a fantastic solution for such a shipping-intensive area, combined with a vulnerable environment. One future-oriented example of hydrogen cells is a new push boat that will be used on the Rhone in France. It is expected to be taken into use in 2021. Thanks to ABB’s technology, it will be a CO2-free application. These are the types of promising projects I get very enthusiastic about!

If you want to know all about automation about the shipping industry, new propulsion technologies and the latest state of maritime art, you really have to visit the ABB stand at the Europort 2019 trade fair. We’ll be devoting a lot of attention to new developments but above all, ABB is a service-oriented organization, of course. We are the perfect partner not only for new-build but also for maintenance, upgrades and lifetime extension and are happy to tell you all about it!

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About the author

Maurice Seijkens

Benelux Sales Manager ABB Marine & Ports. Commercial responsibility for the activities of ABB Marine & Ports in the Benelux. With ABB since 2015, more than 25 years of experience in the maritime industry.
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