Battery Ship Project Shows 30% Fuel Savings

Thursday April 11, 2013

A pilot project by Det Norske Veritas (DNV) and Norwegian ship owner Grieg Star shows that a battery hybrid ship can provide payback in less than a year, and fuel savings of 30 percent, DNV says.

The project was part of the joint industry "Low Carbon Shipping" effort funded by the Norwegian Research Council.

"Hybrid ships are similar to the better known hybrid cars, like the Toyota Prius, but have greater advantages," said Eirik Ovrum, a researcher in DNV Research & Innovation.

"The payback time on additional investments is much less than the 10 years expected for a car."

In the project, DNV and Grieg Star simulated crane operations on one of the ship owner's open hatch vessels using DNV's COSSMOS tool to model the operations of four cranes powered by either conventional diesel generator sets or using a lithium-ion battery.

The battery hybrid ship used 30 percent less fuel and made annual savings of $110,000, allowing it to pay for its cost in less than a year.

"The uplifting results show that bringing batteries on board ships is not only a viable business operation, it is also good housekeeping," said Jan Øivind Svardal, vice president  of Newbuildings & Projects at Grieg Star.

"By reducing both energy consumption and emissions, we create a win-win situation for ship owners and the environment, an essential element of a sustainable business future."

Norway has been leading efforts to develop the use of battery power in shipping, with ships using the hybrid propulsion systems now beginning to enter service.