Finnish’d Ferry

Century-old transport boat gets electric upgrade

Finland’s oldest ferry, “The Fori”, is going electric. The Fori was born in 1904 as a steam-powered boat, then equipped with diesel engines in 1955. It is now being relaunched as the country’s first all-electric vessel, reports BBC news. Turku, a city of about 200,000 on Finland’s southern shore and a popular tourist destination during the summer, announced the conversion back in 2015. The city uses the Fori to transport 75 passengers per trip (for free!) across the Aura River.

Ferrys are still more vital than you’d think—everywhere. They still play a role in human transport in major cities, as well as shorter range shipping services for goods and vehicles. Finland’s industry is especially busy, with cruiseferries transporting large groups of people on routes across the Baltic Sea to Sweden, Denmark, and Poland. In the video below, check out a short tour of Turku, featuring the Fori at 1 min, 26 seconds:

An electric drivetrain system, designed by Visedo, will enhance the boat. Each of the two engines consists of a DC/DC converter to increase the voltage from the batteries, and a permanent magnet motor drive to transform the electrical signal into mechanical energy. The new system is eight tons lighter than the diesel engines and hydraulic motor it has replaced. Visedo expects about 3kW of energy per hour to be used during the summer, and around 4kW in the winter.

The Fori requires one engine to operate. Its new design allows for both to be used if necessary, for extra power. Finnish winters bring river ice, making it very necessary. In addition to increased torque, dual engines allow the ferry to stay in service if one requires maintenance.

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