Sustainable E-Ferry Service on the North Sea Coast: Heliox Is Awarded for European HYPOBATT Project

January 28, 2022

The fast charging system provider is part of the HYPOBATT (Hyper powered vessel battery charging system) pilot project, providing marine traffic with a modular multi-MW charger.

New year, new charging projects for the leading provider of fast charging systems. Heliox today announces its participation in the European maritime project HYPOBATT. An opportunity to leverage automotive know-how and contribute to making the maritime industry more eco-friendly. The EU Commission has launched the project as part of the "Clean and competitive solutions for all transport modes" initiative to demonstrate that the electrification of ferries is feasible. As one of the 19 European partners, Heliox will develop a charging system for ferries with a capacity of 2 MW for operations between Norddeich and Norderney. The charging infrastructure will also be used by port vehicles. The project aims to standardize the charging system for e-ferries, develop new business models for battery-powered boats, and make ferry operations faster and more sustainable.

"We are very proud to be part of this project and accelerate the electrification of the maritime industry by applying our knowledge and experience in automotive charging technologies. This is an incredible opportunity to develop and commission a MW charging system for ferries and demonstrate successful deployment," said Mark Smidt, Director of Business Innovations at Heliox.  

Project framework: Expansion of the European charging infrastructure

The transport sector is responsible for 23 percent of CO₂ emissions and still relies on oil for 92 percent of its energy needs. The project, therefore, aims to extend Europe's technological lead in fast-charging systems for a wide range of ship and vehicle types and to drive forward the transformation of transport here. The project also serves to reduce CO₂ emissions, meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and counteract climate change. With the help of Heliox, HYPOBATT will install, demonstrate and evaluate the use of multi-MW fast charging systems in the selected German ports.

Port of Norderney, Germany © FRISIA

HYPOBATT's ambitions for more efficient and sustainable ferry operations.

As a first step, the performance of the new multi-MW charging system will be tested in a pilot project at ports in the North Sea. This is expected to improve electrical efficiency by up to 20 percent and reduce the turnaround time of the ferries. Specifically, this will be made possible by some of the following ambitious goals:

• A shorter and automated connection of the vessels to the charging station: less than 30 seconds after docking.

• The optimization of the daily operation of the charging station from the connection to the departure of the vessels,

• The reduction of operating and maintenance costs by 20 percent,

• and the evaluation of flexibility in terms of power levels by HYPOBATT.

In addition, the newly deployed technology is expected to minimize the impact on the power grid infrastructure during power transmission. The HYPOBATT consortium will propose a regulatory framework to the EU Commission to advise on the requirements to standardize DC shore connections.

Heliox's role as an expert in fast charging solutions.

Heliox is one of the European companies actively supporting HYPOBATT with its own optimal fast charging solutions. The specific tasks of Heliox are mainly the development of the modular multi-MW ship charging system and the standardization of charging infrastructures between ship and shore an DC charging for ships. Installation is planned for 2024.

Moreover, one of Heliox's main tasks is to implement an adaptive energy management strategy to minimize both the impact on battery performance and potential loads on the power grid infrastructure. Finally, Heliox is also expected to develop an optimal thermal management system for the modular multi-MW marine charging container.

Heliox has been involved for many years in various European innovation and research projects, such as ASSURED, HiEfficient, Hiperform, Navais and many more, to advance the energy and transport transition through innovation together with innovation partners.