Norway Promotes Electric Shipping On Waterways


Norway's Battery Electric Ferry

Norway already has some battery electric ferries

The shipping industry has the same challenge as the automotive industry – strict emissions standards.

Because there is not much room for improvements of conventional technologies beside some software tweaks, manufacturers are moving towards plug-in hybrids and electric ships.

Green Coastal Shipping Programme was launched in Norway (by DNV GL and 25 partners from the Norwegian maritime industry and the Norwegian authorities) with five different projects.

They aim to develop very efficient and environment friendly ships like the CargoFerry plug-in hybrid with LNG back-up.

“The pilot projects include several different ship types, and infrastructure with an emphasis on alternative fuel concepts. “When we launched the Green Coastal Shipping Programme, we said we wanted to make Norway a world showcase for green coastal shipping. With these five pioneering pilot projects we are well on our way,” says Programme Director Narve Mjøs.

CargoFerry plug-in hybrid

The first pilot project, CargoFerry Plug-in Hybrid, aims to develop a cost-effective and profitable short-sea container ship that is powered by a plug-in hybrid LNG/battery propulsion system. It is a short-sea container ship concept with a zero-emission solution during port sailing and operations. After developing the technical concept, the project partners will calculate the vessel’s environmental footprint and carry out a cost/benefit analysis. The shipping company Nor Lines will take the lead on this project.

Next-generation green shuttle tanker

Teekay Tankers will lead the second pilot project, which will investigate technical solutions for utilizing batteries and VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) in a shuttle tanker. Battery technology has not been used on this vessel type yet and the project will explore how it could potentially help to optimize operations and reduce the need for installed power. The project partners will also look at the possible use of batteries as a ‘spinning reserve’.

After assessing the economic and regulatory feasibility of battery-powered shuttle tankers, the project will review new technological solutions for utilizing VOC produced on board. VOC are by capturing and condensing the recoverable gasses produced during offshore loading. Using the liquid VOC for onboard power generation could reduce total fuel consumption and the environmental impact of the vessel. VOC is generated during offshore loading and is an energy source which could potentially offer an environmental benefit in addition to reducing the total demand for fuel.

Hybrid ocean farming vessel

The objective of the third pilot project is to define an optimized hybrid propulsion system for more energy efficient operations with greater redundancy. The project owners are ABB and the Cargo Freighters’ Association.

Conversion of cargo carrier into battery-hybrid LNG carrier

This project aims to develop a cost-efficient LNG distribution concept with a hybrid LNG/battery propulsion solution and zero-emission port operations. Converting an existing vessel may provide a cost-effective option for small LNG carriers. The project owners Øytank Bunkerservice and the Norwegian Gas Association will lead the way in developing the technical concept, calculating the environmental footprint and carrying out a cost/benefit analysis.

Pioneering green port project

The fifth pilot project has the objective of developing a low-energy-consumption port with a minimal carbon footprint. Some of the technologies being employed to achieve this include electric heavy-duty vehicles and cranes. The green port will also be equipped with smart gates, offer cold ironing services and charging stations for plug-in hybrid ships.

Risavika Harbour in Stavanger will take the lead in the green port project, developing the technical concept, undertaking a cost/benefit analysis, calculating the environmental footprint and presenting a plan for further development of the concept.”

Source: DNV GL via The Maritime Executive

Categories: General


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8 Comments on "Norway Promotes Electric Shipping On Waterways"

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Navy Goes Electric

In 2013 the U.S. launched the ‘electric’ Destroyer Zumwalt a series hybrid that runs on 4 Rolls Royce gas turbine generators producing 78 megawatts of power, enough to propel the ship’s all-electric drive motors, the electric rail guns, daily electrical needs such lighting, communications, even hot water, as well as and tons of computer, radar and communications equipment.

Also, in 2016, the U.S. will begin outfitting an additional 34 Arleigh Burke class missile destroyers with HED (hybrid electric drive) similar to that used by the Royal Navy.

In addition, the U.S. plans to convert its current aircraft carrier launch catapults from steam to all-electric.

And the beat goes on….

EV ships have the same challenge as EV heavy freight trucks: Very limited range with current battery tech. And unlike the situation in passenger cars, you can’t hide a larger battery pack under the floor, where it won’t interfere with interior room.

There are already ferries using electric drive; ferries which run only a short distance, a few times a day, and spend most of their time tied up at the dock, where they have plenty of time to recharge.

Long-distance shipping using EV ships will have to wait for significant improvements in batteries; lower prices and smaller size. Furthermore, unlike long distance trucking, there isn’t much opportunity for en-route battery swapping.

Altho, on the latter point, in an earlier era, nations maintained coaling stations on islands along major sea trade routes. So battery swapping wouldn’t be economically impossible for commercial shipping. But making battery packs which could be swapped in and out of a ship as quickly and easily as pouring coal into a coal bunker, would be quite an engineering challenge. Packs would have to be modular, since ships are all different sizes and shapes.

“making battery packs which could be swapped in and out of a ship as quickly and easily as pouring coal into a coal bunker, would be quite an engineering challenge. Packs would have to be modular, since ships are all different sizes and shapes.”

Challenge accepted! Most ships carry standard size containers. There are established mechanisms to move those containers from and onto ships. Some ships carry lot’s of them. I could even imagine one big ship at a fixed location (better than an island, because no port has to be built) where ES (electrical ships) can go and pick up a new battery-container. Something like an offshore-gas-station, but with batteries 😉 Located close to an off-shore wind-park those container ships can even recharge the batteries without the need to go to a land-based port…

20 feet:
volume 1.171 ft³ 33,1 m³
what’s the energy-density of a good cell? in kWh/m³? let’s say at 500Wh/liter…
33100*0,5kWh= 16550 kWh

How far can a ship go with 16 MWh? … Not so far… @ 100MW (big ship)… hmmm… full throttle for 10 minutes… but @ 10 MW its more than 1 hour… 😉

Big ships carry more than 10000 of them.

That’s a huge battery swap-station!!!

The ISO-Li-Ion-Container must have 6 couplings at the center of each side/bottom/top and a standard controller as well as a unique ID/(IPV6?) This way it does not really matter how you staple them on the ship.

Furthermore – as ISO-Li-Ion-Containers – perfectly fit on trains, they can be used to use electric trains on non-electrified tracks.

Container-ship-battery-swap-stations can do their business outside of “exclusive economic zones” 😉

The Ampure is a workhorse. It does more then 30 crossings a day, and quick charges from a dump pack while exchanging passengers.

Pretty cool stuff.

Iceland wanted to run their fishing fleets on hydrogen years ago. With all the geothermal they could make synthetic diesel from CO2 and H2, no need to modify the ships.