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ABB TO POWER ELECTRIC NIAGARA FALLS TOURIST VESSELS

Saturday, May 4, 2019 

Niagara Falls tour operator Maid of the Mist has ordered two new passenger vessels sailing on pure electric power, enabled by ABB’s technology, using high-capacity battery packs.

They will be the first all-electric vessels built in the US, and will benefit from ABB’s zero-emission technology, allowing guests to experience Niagara Falls undisturbed by engine noise, vibration or exhaust fumes.

Maid of the Mist, one of North America’s oldest tourist attractions, operates from April through to the first week of November, with boats departing for the base of Niagara Falls every 30 minutes, with an estimated 1.6 million guests on board annually.

“We are thrilled to be the USA’s first vessel owner to add all-electric ferries to our fleet,” said Christopher M Glynn, president of Maid of the Mist Corp. “We have chosen ABB to support us in our journey towards more sustainable operation based on their unparalleled experience in marine system integration, as well as efficient and innovative technologies for sustainable transportation.”

“Maid of the Mist’s decisive move towards e-mobility signals a new era in the future of transportation and complements ABB’s commitment to power the world without consuming the earth,” said Peter Terwiesch, President of Industrial Automation business ABB. “Reducing emissions at Niagara Falls is not only important for the natural landmark, but also proves that the technologies enabling sustainable mobility are already available today.”

Each of the vessels will be powered by a pair of battery packs with a total capacity of 316 kWh, split evenly between two catamaran hulls. Having two fully independent power systems on board will increase the resilience of operations by creating a redundancy. The vessels will charge between every trip while passengers disembark and board. Shoreside charging will only take seven minutes, allowing the batteries to power the electric propulsion motors capable of a total 400 kW (563 HP) output. The power setup will be controlled by ABB’s integrated Power and Energy Management System (PEMS), which will optimise the energy use on board. The batteries will be charged using hydropower, making the energy cycle for the operation of the vessels entirely emission-free.

In addition to integrating the ship-to-shore battery charging connection, ABB will supply switchboards, drives, the integrated control system, and the ABB Ability Marine Remote Diagnostic System for remote equipment monitoring and predictive maintenance.

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