A historic vessel electrified


Finland officially relaunched its oldest operating ferry as the country’s first all-electric passenger vessel on Saturday, April 29, in the City of Turku.

The historic Föri ferry, which used steam and diesel to drive it in the past, now has a new zero-emission electric drivetrain that will deliver greater efficiency, less noise and reduced operating costs.

The Föri initially entered service in 1904, after the City of Turku commissioned local shipyards Aktiebolaget Vulcan to build a city commuter ferry to take passengers across the Aura River to Åbo.

Mobimar was commissioned to upgrade and oversee the removal of the boat’s diesel-powered hydraulic motor and the old control system. 

The new installed system is eight tonnes lighter, consisting of two Visedo permanent magnet motor drives and two Visedo direct current to direct current (DC/DC) converters, which controls the ferry’s DC grid. 

The new vessel draws power from batteries that are charged overnight, with the new power system simultaneously improving redundancy and making it possible to run on one or two motors – particularly important during icy conditions. 

This also allows future motor maintenance in shifts, with no interruption to operation. 

Heikki Sallinen, project engineer Visedo, says: “The Föri ferry is a national treasure but with its old diesel engine, fuel consumption and emissions were high and overall efficiency poor. Visedo power brings the 100-year-old vessel into the 21st century without changing its character and delivers zero-emission transport for Turku.”

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