Maersk is testing a ship-based containerised marine battery system on a vessel ”to improve vessel performance and reliability while reducing CO2 emissions.”
The 600 kWh marine battery has been manufactured in Odense, Denmark by Trident Maritime Systems. It will be transported to Singapore and installed on the 249m long MAERSK CAPE TOWN in December.
“This trial will provide a greater understanding of energy storage that will support Maersk in moving towards further electrification of its fleet and port terminals. Maersk will continue to facilitate, test, and develop low-carbon solutions on our journey to become carbon neutral by 2050,” said Søren Toft, Maersk COO.
Maersk noted that battery power alone for marine vessels “is still years away from being a technically and economically viable option. However marine battery systems can be used to improve the efficiency of a vessel’s onboard electrical systems such as the MAERSK CAPE TOWN’s generators. By maintaining the vessel’s auxiliary generators at a more optimal load, and avoiding running generators when not needed, overall fuel consumption can be reduced.
“Additionally, it will support the generators with up to 1,800 kVA of power during rapid changes in electrical load such as thruster operation. This can reduce generator maintenance requirements. The battery system is also capable of providing redundant power, which can improve reliability at sea by ensuring continuous power supply,” Maersk stated.
With regard to charging the battery, the MAERSK CAPE TOWN has a waste heat recovery system to recover electrical energy from the exhaust gas system which will be used for charging.
“This exciting pilot – the first of its kind in the industry - will show the potential of battery technologies to keep improving the performance of our vessels while also reducing fuel consumption in our non-propulsion electrical systems,” said Ole Graa, Maersk Head of Fleet Technology.
MAERSK CAPE TOWN operates between West Africa and East Asia, and the first full voyage with the new system in place will take place next year. “Battery modules will be operating within the container in conjunction with other electrical and control components. Maersk has also worked in close collaboration with the American Bureau of Shipping - the vessel’s classification society – to ensure safety and compliance,” Maersk Line said.
If the trial is a success batteries might be able to provide an alternative to shore power for vessels at some ports where noise and vibration from auxilliary engines are more of an isue than vessel emissions. Maersk has just agreed to fit silencer kits, or mufflers, to some of the Rio Class vessels in the Hamburg Süd fleet that have been the subject of noise complaints at Port Chalmers in New Zealand.