Foreship, a ship design and engineering firm, has secured its 40th shipboard battery project, marking the completion of a series of consultancy, design, and installation assignments that have included the largest Energy Storage System (ESS) ever connected as well as critical work to standardize system interfaces.
In order to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and accelerate the energy transition, the marine industry has begun to incorporate batteries onboard ships. Batteries on non-electric ships are critical to almost all aspects of operation. If we add the electrical powered ships, then batteries are one of the most important systems on board. Batteries present a unique raft of opportunities for marine stakeholders as well as a challenge.
According to the Maritime Battery Forum, nearly 600 vessels in operation feature batteries as part of their energy source solutions, while a further 190 ships are on order. Foreship estimates that around 645MWh of shipboard battery power was in service worldwide at the start of 2023, around 400MWh more than was the case in 2019.
The case for batteries on board ships is increasingly compelling, whether owners are optimizing fuel efficiency by exploiting spinning reserve, maximizing engine efficiency with peak load shaving, or using batteries in specific circumstances as a zero-emission energy source.
…said Jan-Erik Räsänen, Chief Technology Officer at Foreship.
Among the company’s projects, highlights include the feasibility study, specifications, concept and basic design, and technical project management for shipping’s largest ever (10MWh) battery installation, as part of a major cruise vessel retrofit. The project required progressive work on battery system installation, all ancillary equipment and systems including transformer installation, converter separation, fire integrity, gas monitoring, cooling and ventilation.
As advances in battery technology improve the power vs. size/weight ratio, the usefulness of stored energy as a zero-emission propulsion solution and as a back-up in case of engine failure will continue to rise.
While batteries are used sparingly for main propulsion today, Jan-Erik Räsänen pointed out that they convert energy to thrust with much higher efficiency than diesel engines.
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