In December, Danish maritime transportation company Maersk will add a 600 kWh battery system on board the container ship Maersk Cape Town in a trial run to improve vessel performance and reliability while also reducing CO2 emissions.
Maersk warns that powering vessels with battery power alone is still years away from being a technologically and economically viable option, but in the meantime, ship operators can use battery systems to improve the efficiency of a vessel’s onboard electrical system, like the generators on board the Maersk Cape Town. By maintaining the vessel’s auxiliary generators at a more optimal load and avoiding running generators when not needed, Maersk hopes it can reduce overall fuel consumption.
The batteries will also 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, which will be charged by the vessel’s waste heat recovery system, is also capable of providing redundant power, which can improve reliability at sea by ensuring a continuous power supply.
The first full voyage with the new system in place will take place next year. Maersk will monitor the ship to evaluate performance.
“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 Maersk COO Søren Toft.