US-based Wabtec has joined the hyper-powered vessel battery charging system (HYPOBATT) project to support the electrification of vessels.

Part of the EU-wide Horizon initiative, the HYPOBATT project is engaged in the development of a megawatt-charging standard and infrastructure for ferries in European ports.

Wabtec is now part of a consortium of 18 members that are working on a 42-month project to pick out maritime charging solutions that lower contact time, wait time and maintenance expenses.

The main aim of the project is to develop a modular, quick and simple multi-megawatt charging system.

The project will also involve the development of a fully automatic and safe electric ship connection system, which will be able to fully charge a vessel’s battery while it is at the dock.

The consortium aims to cut down connection time to less than 30 seconds, charging time by 10%, and dockside space for the system by 20%.

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Furthermore, the project intends to bring about a 95% enhancement in charger availability and 10% in battery life.

The technology will be demonstrated at the ports of Norddeich and Norderney, Germany.  

Shipping company Reederei Norden-Frisia’s vessel will be used to test the technology.

Wabtec industry product line vice-president Olivier Kompaore said: “Europe has aggressive sustainability targets to reduce CO₂ emissions by at least 40% until 2030.

“This project will help to standardise a modular, fast and easy multi-megawatt charging system, paving the way for clean, zero-emission and competitive solutions for maritime transportation.

“Wabtec’s state-of-the-art charging solutions, like FerryCHARGER, will serve as the blueprint for the project.”