Maersk will be installing a containerized 600 kWh marine battery system as a trial on board the Maersk Cape Town in December 2019 expected to improve vessel performance and reliability while reducing CO2 emissions.
The vessel is a Singapore-flagged 249-meter long container ship built in 2011 which sails between West Africa and East Asia.
“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 said in a statement that propelling marine vessels with battery power alone is still years away from being a technically and economically a 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, the shipping giant added.
The containerized marine battery will support the generators with up to 1,800 kVA of power during rapid changes in electrical load such as thruster operation which 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,” said Ole Graa, Maersk head of fleet technology.
The containerized battery energy storage system was manufactured in Odense, Denmark by the system integrator and turnkey supplier Trident Maritime Systems. The battery system will be transported to Singapore and installed on board the Maersk Cape Town.
The Maersk Cape Town includes a waste heat recovery system, which is a special feature of many Maersk container vessels. This system increases overall efficiency, as it allows the batteries to charge by capturing electrical energy from heat that would otherwise have been lost out of the exhaust gas system for the main propulsion.
The first full voyage of the ship with the new system will take place "next year". Maersk said it will be closely monitored to evaluate the performance of the system against the trial’s ambitions.