HYPOBATT project develops multi-MW charger for ferries

“Hyper powered vessel battery charging system” (HYPOBATT) is the title of a European pilot project that aims to advance the electrification of ferry shipping. The focus is on the necessary charging infrastructure in the ports. The goal is to develop a megawatt charging standard for ferries.

The Dutch charging specialist Heliox has won the contract for the charging system. According to the company, multi-MW fast-charging systems are to be installed, demonstrated and their use evaluated in selected Northsea ports in Germany as part of HYPOBATT. Initially, this will involve the ferry service between Norddeich and Norderney.

The charging system that Heliox is developing is to deliver an output of two megawatts. The system, however, will not only resupply the ferries but also help charge harbour vehicles. Installation is planned for 2024.

The specifications include a shorter and automated connection between the ship and the charging station in less than 30 seconds after docking, optimisation of the daily operation of the charging station from connection to the vessels’ departure, reduction of operating and maintenance costs by 20 per cent and HYPOBATT’s assessment of flexibility in terms of power levels. Despite the charging power of up to two megawatts, the newly deployed technology is expected to minimise the impact on the power grid.

The project aims to standardise e-ferry charging, develop new business models for battery-powered boats and make ferry operations faster and more sustainable. In addition, the HYPOBATT consortium intends to propose a regulatory framework to the EU Commission to advise on the requirements to standardise DC shore connections.

“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,” says Mark Smidt, Director of Business Innovations at Heliox. “This is an incredible opportunity to develop and commission an MW charging system for ferries and demonstrate successful deployment.”

Heliox specialises in commercial vehicle charging and is familiar with high-power charging – although not on this scale until now. In November 2021, the company unveiled its first chargers for passenger cars, rated at 50 and 150 kW, respectively.

Including reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.



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