A new, futuristic navigation marker has been installed in the fairway leading to Stockholm Norvik Port, Sweden, and will undergo field trials until late-2022.
Key features of this device include methanol fuel cells and specialist illuminated screens. It also has a mobile network internet connection, allowing it to be monitored and controlled remotely by the port’s personnel.
Helsinki-based Arctia, best known for its range of smart SeaHow Ice Buoys, has supplied the illuminated screens, as well as a filtered ventilation system to protect the fuel cells and internal components from seawater corrosion.
Jonas Andersson, nautical coordinator at Ports of Stockholm, commented on the innovative features of the navigation marker: “The methanol fuel cells help charge the batteries during the winter. This enables significantly higher energy use than solar panels alone can generate, which in turn increases the possibilities to use supplementary equipment, such as weather stations, cameras and even 5G network connections.”
The navigation marker has been developed as part of the EU Intelligent Sea Project, funded by a grant from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) programme.
This project aims to improve the safety and efficiency of maritime fairways through digitalisation. Floating and land-based aids to navigation are being equipped and tested with remote monitoring and control systems, as well as environmental sensors which will provide data on sulphur emissions from shipping.
The small fuel cells used in the navigation marker are currently used in a variety of other applications, such as providing back-up power supplies in telecom systems and remote weather stations.