Harbour power supply cuts ship emissions

People living near the port of Lübeck in northern Germany can look forward to a major reduction in pollution from shipping thanks to a shoreside power supply for merchant vessels that will be the first of its kind in the country.

The system, known as Siharbor, lets ships berthed in port draw power from the local grid, rather than producing it themselves with onboard diesel generators. Siemens, which developed the technology, says this reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 35 per cent, nitrogen oxides by more than 95 per cent, and fine particulates by 90 per cent.

Swedish shipping line Transatlantic is the first customer to use Silharbor. Its vessels just have to hook up to a dockside connection point using a cable and plug-in connector.

Although all the vessels that currently berth at Lubeck use Silharbor’s 50Hz operating frequency, on a global scale around two thirds of ships operate at 60Hz. To address this, Siemens has included Siplink, a system based on two converters connected via a DC link that means Silharbor can adjust differing power supply networks to one another and couple them.

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