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ABB technology used onboard LNG passenger ferry

LNG Industry,

ABB drive technology is used onboard the Viking Grace, the world’s first LNG powered large passenger ferry, that journeys between Turku, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden.

The Viking Grace's winches use ABB drives to help make port calls more efficient.

The winch system, which uses ABB drives, allows the 218 m ship owned by Viking Line to complete port calls quickly and seamlessly, so it can begin the next leg of its journey without delay.

Accurate and constant tension control on ropes securing the vessel are critical elements to ensure the Viking Grace can quickly unload up to 2800 passengers and as many as 500 automobiles on board.

Industrial drive technology

ABB’s ACS 800 industrial drive technology allowed winch supplier Norwegian Deck Machinery of Bergen, Norway, to avoid using the hydraulic systems of the past that, among other things, could leak oil. Instead, the Viking Grace’s winches rely on ABB frequency converters, to control the speed of the motors, making sure the ship can complete its port calls on schedule.

Jarle Sorstronen, Managing Director of Norwegian Deck Machinery, commented: “We are using ABB all the time. And sometimes, it’s a customer request to have ABB frequency converters.”

LNG-powered ferry

Viking Line chose ABB to supply the vessel’s complete electrical power plant and propulsion system together with the EMMA energy management system, part of ABB’s vessel advisory suite, to make the LNG-powered ferry one of the world’s most environmentally friendly vessels of its kind.

The ferry needed an equally efficient system to make sure it could speed visits in and out of Stockholm and Turku, a challenge that demands precise operation of maritime winches operating at low-speeds with high torque.

ABB, whose drive technology was initially developed for anchor winches before being expanded, has created a new solution that has made electrical control much more precise and reliable.

One of ABB's ACS800 drives for marine applications.

Benefits of ABB winch software

Using the ABB solution, electrical force control has advanced to the point where it is now as good, or even better, than the hydraulic systems it is replacing.

“NDM saw several benefits of using ABB drives and ABB winch software. So they adapted our solution, and put it into their winches,” said Frank-Robert Fauskanger, ABB’s drives sales manager in Fyllingsdalen, Norway.

Offshore applications

Norwegian Deck Machinery and ABB are working together to develop even more sophisticated winching solutions, both for offshore applications and expanding ferry businesses.

“We can together further develop even more complex winches. Using our market knowledge and contacts, combined with ABB’s expertise in frequency converters, we are doing continuous technical development together,” added Sorstronen.

Additional drive solutions

Before outfitting the Viking Grace prior to its 2013 commissioning, ABB supplied Viking Line with additional drive solutions. For example, ABB outfitted the ferry operator’s Mariella with an ACS 800 industrial drive after its previous three-speed mooring control system was blamed for damaging motors. The result has been lower costs, reduced maintenance and improved reliability for the ship and its 2500 passengers.

“The best thing is that we don’t have to touch it anymore. It’s easier, winch operators can just put the auto-mooring control on and leave the winch. With the old system, they had to constantly see if the rope was tight,” concluded Jonas Rautelius, the Mariella’s electrician.

Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

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