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Port of Hamburg powers new berthing area with solar panels

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Port of Hamburg has opted for the sustainable solution at its newly-built berthing area in the Elbe River by powering it by nineteen solar panels.

The solar-powered mooring systems were built by Dutch maritime innovator Straatman.

Using solar energy reduces energy costs and fits within a vision of sustainability. Hamburg’s port authority also cited reliability as an important factor in their choice.

The solar systems provide power to capstans as well as working lights in order to guarantee safe berthing. The dolphins are equipped with triple and quadruple 125 and 150 ton quick release hooks, also supplied by Straatman.

Using LoRa technology, essential system details are shared, including available power, energy consumption, battery quality and a log of the capstan use. This allows the Port of Hamburg to monitor the status of the mooring systems in a web app and plan just-in-time preventative maintenance.

The idea for sustainable, solar-powered mooring dolphins was first conceived in 2013. Straatman received an informal request from a main port authority to investigate the possibility of powering capstans without power cables, in particular for dolphins located in open water. Though wind was also considered as a possible energy source, Straatman concluded the sun to be more reliable and stable.

In close cooperation with the port authority and strategic partners, the Dutch company developed a design based on solar panels and battery packs. After a pilot project in 2014, the design was further optimized for installation and its size was reduced. Working lights and navigations lights were also integrated. This second generation of the design was then ordered by the Port of Rotterdam.

Hamburg’s new berthing area was completed in the last quarter of 2019. It serves as a waiting area for vessels with a deep draft that depend on the tide to enter the Port of Hamburg.

The berthing area was realized by the Arbeitsgemeinschaft GSWP Finkenwerder joint venture, which consists of the companies F+Z Baugesellschaft (technical leader of the joint venture), AUG. PRIEN Bauunternehmung and Taucher Knoth from Hamburg in Germany.

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