The transition to battery hybrid and battery electric propulsion is already occurring in the marine industry. Starting with hybrid and electric ferries, the shift is now happening across the maritime industry. Hybrid fishing boats, electric aquaculture support vessels, hybrid offshore support vessels, hybrid tugboats and even hybrid super yachts are all currently operating around the world. Where the marine industry needs power, PlanB offers a cleaner, safer solution.
Batteries are capable of providing full propulsion and house power for short run, fixed route ferries. Suitable operational profiles for electrical operation are shorter ferry routes with a high number of trips. While the passengers embark and disembark, the batteries are quickly charged from shore power. The result is zero emissions operation, reduced noise pollution, elimination of fuel consumption and reduced maintenance costs. Crew and passengers will experience an increased level of comfort with far less noise and vibration on board.
Fully Electric Ferries – 100% Battery Power
Batteries provide full propulsion and house power for short run, fixed route ferries. Suitable operational profile for electrical operation are shorter ferry routes with high number of trips. While the passengers embark and disembark from the ferry, the batteries are quickly charged in port. The result is zero emissions operation, reduced noise pollution, elimination of fuel consumption and reduced maintenance costs. Crew and passengers will experience an increased level of comfort with far less noise and vibration on board.
Traditional diesel power and electric battery power combined. The energy storage system allows the engines to operate at optimal load and absorbs many of the load fluctuations. Batteries provide a ‘power bridge’, optimizing generators and reducing low load operation. This offers instant spinning reserve and clean, quiet low speed propulsion and horsepower. The result is decreased fuel consumption, air pollution, noise and maintenance costs.
A workboat, such as an offshore supply vessel or cable layer, uses a dynamic positioning system to hold position relative to the rig despite wind, waves and currents. The vessel will typically ramp up onboard generators to provide the instant power that is needed to offset these forces, using it as needed and dumping the excess energy. A hybrid handles these spikes in load with the high power output from lithium batteries. The vessel is able to respond to variations in load (wind and waves) as they happen, on battery power alone. Other uses include spinning reserve, backup power and to eliminate diesel engine idling.
Tugboats are designed to provide huge power on demand. Most of the time however, they are not engaged in their heaviest work. Instead, they spend large amounts of time in transit, holding position or at the dock. These low load conditions make large engines inefficient and increase the amount of pollution produced. This inefficiency is easily corrected by battery hybrid propulsion. The battery allows the vessel to transit through the harbour on battery power, operating in zero emissions mode. When high-speed transit or heavy bollard pull is required, the diesel engine/generator takes over. The batteries are topped up during the day from excess generator energy and may be fully charged at dock using shore power.
In a conventional RTG configuration, the diesel generator undergoes periods of inefficient sustained idling, resulting in unnecessary fuel usage and pollution emissions. By hybridizing the RTG with a small onboard lithium energy storage system and braking regeneration, each RTG operates with vastly increased efficiency resulting in reduced fuel consumption, emissions, and maintenance. The payback of converting to hybrid is further increased by the reduction in maintenance by use of a smaller sized generator that runs fewer hours.
Energy storage used in grid and renewable energy projects plays an important role to create a more flexible and reliable grid system. For example, when there is more supply than demand, the excess electricity generation can be stored, and when demand is greater than supply, the energy storage facilities discharge their stored energy. For islands and isolated communities, utility infrastructure is almost entirely reliant on imported fossil fuels. Designed to replace traditional diesel power plants, PlanB energy storage solutions such as CanPower create low/zero emission power plants. Integrated with renewable energy such as solar and wind, and with the emergency back-up of generators, energy storage enables a safe and dependable low emission energy solution.
Full electric systems are comprised of an electric motor driven by a battery pack. Full electric vessels are usually defined by fixed power and cycle demand, and regular access to charging facilities (ferry operations are a good example). When all the energy is coming from batteries alone, demands on the system are very high, and cooling systems are essential to maintain performance and increase battery life.
Hybrid propulsion systems include an internal combustion engine, generator, battery, and electric motor, typically allowing the diesel or gasoline engine to do the heavy work when needed and charge the battery bank with excess energy. Hybrid systems offer more flexibility for dynamic operational profiles or vessels that require the ability to run extended distances. The energy storage system takes on lighter loads such as zero emission low-speed cruising, peak shaving and spinning reserve and provides energy for hotel loads such as lighting and A/C when the vessel is dockside or at anchor.
Peak shaving in grid and renewable energy projects is similar to load levelling, but may be for the purpose of reducing peak demand rather than for economy of operation. The goal is to avoid the installation of capacity to supply the peaks of a highly variable load. Energy storage provides fast response and emission-free operation, making it the optimal solution for this application.
This type of electrical load relates to the human occupancy aspects such air conditioning and lighting, similar to the features of a hotel.
Spinning reserve is used as a type of back-up power to keep the vessel from harm’s way in the event of power loss, provide emergency navigation and hotel loads, auxiliary propulsion power, and even extra bollard pull to the main drives in the event of an emergency situation while towing.
Shore Power – Ships connect to the shore grid infrastructure. When grid power is unavailable or lacks reliability, the shore power comes from a land based battery bank (container full of batteries) to re-charge. When upgrading a port or facility it is often more economical to install energy storage rather than introduce additional capacity from distant power generation.
On Board Charging – Batteries can also be recharged using excess power from onboard electric/diesel generation while underway.
Gloppefjord and Eidsfjord fully battery-operated ferries which operate on the west coast of Norway, mark another milestone in the road towards zero emission in ferry operation in Norway.
World’s largest electric ships, the Tycho Brahe and Aurora operate on a 4 km ferry route between Helsingborg (Sweden) and Helsingör (Denmark). The massive ships carry 7.4 million passengers and 1.9 million vehicles annually.
The NKT Victoria hybrid cable-laying vessel’s overall fuel consumption is approximately half that of less sophisticated units. Proving that even a small battery system can make a big impact on ship operations.
With hybridization the CCCC hybrid port crane generator is now sized to charge the batteries only, not actually lift the load. Thus, the crane is able to use a generator that is one-third the size of a typical unit.