Expert discussion on electric drives in shipping with energy storage in batteries

January 22, 2019. Source: Mariko GmbH.

An expert workshop on “100% electric propulsion in (inland) shipping with energy storage in batteries” took place on January 22 at the invitation of MARIKO GmbH and FME (NL) with around 20 experts from the electromobility sector and shipping industry, including INDanube inland shipping industry experts. This event was organised as part of the EU-funded project D-ZIB “German Center for Innovative Inland Navigation”.

The topic of alternative propulsion systems and energy systems on board in both maritime and inland shipping is becoming increasingly important. A possible alternative to diesel or other fossil fuels is the use of electric drives with energy storage in batteries.

During the expert discussion, the challenges and potentials for optimising inland waterway transport in the direction of “zero emission” through electrification were discussed.

In an introductory lecture, Dr. Ing. Gerd-Michael Wuersig from DNV GL on the “status quo of electric drives and battery systems in shipping”. He clarified that battery systems are currently used mainly in the short-sea shipping, especially on ferries, and reported in this context on the experience of the electrified passenger ship “Alsterwasser“. Afterwards, fields of application, technical and legal challenges, potential for optimisation and financing options were discussed – accompanied by keynote speeches by the experts. Furthermore, Bram Kruyt from Wärtsilä presented the pilot project “Modular Energy Concept’s (MECs)”, which aims to electrify five inland vessels for the transport of HEINEKEN beer and to create a nationwide regenerative energy supply along the transport route.

Particular challenges arise from the integrity of a battery drive system in terms of cost, production, life, recycling, energy supply and the type of energy source used. Other aspects included the limited storage capacity and the efficient storage of the battery on board.

The results of the expert discussion will be resumed in future in specialist events and incorporated into new project approaches.

The presentations are available on the MARIKO GmbH homepage for download.