Maersk has announced that it intends to trial a containerised battery system onboard one of its containerships to improve vessel performance and help reduce its CO2 emissions.
The containerized 600 kWh marine battery system will be installed aboard the 249m-long vessel Maersk Cape Town, which sails between West Africa and East Asia, next month in Singapore.
“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,"says Søren Toft, Maersk COO.
"Maersk will continue to facilitate, test, and develop low-carbon solutions on our journey to becoming carbon neutral by 2050.”
While propelling marine vessels with battery power alone is still years away from becoming a technically and economically viable option, marine battery systems can be used to improve the efficiency of a vessel’s onboard electrical systems, such as 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.
“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,” says Ole Graa, Maersk’s head of fleet technology.
The first full voyage with the new system in place will take place next year and will be closely monitored to evaluate the performance of the system against the trial’s ambitions.
Battery modules will be operating within the container in conjunction with other electrical and control components.
Maersk says it has also been working in close collaboration with the American Bureau of Shipping – the vessel’s classification society – to ensure safety and compliance.