The solar panels in the Port of Hamburg are used for safe mooring (Source: Straatman BV)

Hamburg adopts solar power in new berthing area

A new berthing area on the River Elbe, outside the Port of Hamburg, is using solar power for quick-release mooring hook units with integrated capstans. Nineteen solar panels with battery packs provide power for the mooring systems, built by Netherlands company Straatman BV, which are required for deep-draught vessels to moor safely as they wait for the right tidal conditions to enter the Port of Hamburg.

The system follows the first such installation in the Port of Rotterdam. Apart from the clear advantage of using sustainable power and reducing overheads, the Straatman system has other benefits. There is no need to install underwater power cables which are susceptible to damage from anchors and dredging operations and are expensive to repair. Meanwhile, construction of dolphins and mooring berths is faster, and the Rotterdam installations have demonstrated lower maintenance costs.

The solar-powered arrangement provides power for capstans and working lights and can also be used for navigation lights. The Hamburg installation features dolphins equipped with triple and quadruple 125- and 150-tonne quick-release hooks supplied by Straatman. Using long-range technology, the performance of the systems can be monitored, including available power, energy consumption, battery condition and usage. A web-based app allows port engineers to plan effective preventive maintenance.

The Port of Hamburg’s berthing area is the result of a joint venture, Arbeitsgemeinschaft GSWP Finkenwerder, a collaboration between F+Z Baugesellschaft, technical leader on the project, Aug. Prien Bauunternehmung, and Taucher Knoth.

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Article Editorial staff Ship&Offshore