Amsterdam aims for carbon-free public transport with battery-powered ferries
The ‘IJveer’ ferries provide daily public transport on the river IJ in Amsterdam. These ferries were built by Holland Shipyards in Hardinxveld-Giessendam, the Netherlands, and are powered with EST-Floattech Lithium-Ion Polymer technology (273kWh). The electrification of the vessels is driven by the city’s ambition to provide sustainable public transport; transport that benefits the crew, the passengers and citizens living nearby.
Partially powered by 26 Green Orca 1050 modules, producing 273 kWh in total, the new ferries are larger and cleaner than the old diesel-fuelled ferries. Each ferry is able to transport 70 more passengers on each crossing of the increasingly busy IJ waterway, while making less noise and producing lower emissions.
Although the first IJveer, IJveer 60, was the blueprint for developing the complete ‘IJveren 60-series’, the design of the vessels evolved during the process. A few adjustments have been made, amongst which a larger installed battery-base, a different type of thrusters and cleaner engines.
Amsterdam’s transport company GVB has adopted its hybrid approach for environmental and practical reasons. The city’s rapid growth includes a significant growth of passenger journeys between Amsterdam city centre and its increasingly populous northern area across the river. The number of residents is set to increase to 106,000 people at a fast pace. Hence, efficient and environmentally friendly public transport is needed.
The ferries operate 24/7 and 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 trip of 450 meters, which the ship can travel back and forth 10 times without starting the generator.
The energy storage system (ESS) delivered by EST-Floattech has a raft of integrated safety features. Its unique active balancing and passive safety system is applied at the module and string level. Heat is dissipated by a simple off-the-shelf aircon unit. The battery racks are a favourable option as they can easily be installed in a modular fashion.
This IJ-veer series complies with the Stage V standard in terms of emissions. The EU has adopted a series of seven directives over the past two decades to address emissions from non-road engines. EST-Floattech’s batteries and the exhaust filtering system reduce emissions to a level even lower than the Stage V guidelines.
The jury of the ‘Ship of the Year 2017’ award, the prestigious Dutch annual maritime award, nominated the battery powered IJveer 60 and IJveer 61 Hybrid Ferries for this innovation-focused award. This prize is awarded each year to a ship that has been designed and built (or finished) either in the Netherlands, or at a foreign subsidiary of a Dutch company. Decisive criteria include pioneering characteristics, environment, safety and economics.
Switching to hybrid power has been proven to save up to 30% in energy costs and to reduce CO2 and particle emissions by up to 40%. Passengers and millions of local residents will therefore benefit from a quieter, cleaner crossing.
We wish GVB and all passangers safe and comfortable trips!
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