New project seeks to drive marine battery safety and adoption

Classification society DNV GL has announced the launch of a Joint Development Project (JDP) that is designed to advance the understanding of the use of lithium-ion batteries in the shipping industry.

Geir Dugstad, Director of Ship Classification and Technical Director in DNV GL – Maritime, said that “including batteries in ships, whether as a hybrid or fully electric system, offers the industry the opportunity to improve fuel economy, reliability and operational costs”, adding that “for this technology to fully take hold, however, knowledge and requirements must be in place to ensure that we have products and a safety regime that address the concerns of all stakeholders while also creating the conditions for this technology to take off in the market.”

Director General of the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA), Olav Akselsen, said that, with the new advances in alternative fuels it was the NMA’s ambition to partner actively with the maritime industry, contributing to solutions that satisfied vessel safety and environmental impact, while also taking the industry’s commercial needs into consideration.

Denis Cederholm-Larsen, Senior Ship Surveyor at the Danish Maritime Authority said that there was “a great opportunity to further enhance the approval process for these types of systems with reliable technical input. This type of collaborative, industry focused research program is the perfect platform for those developments.”

DNV GL said that the JDP had brought together stakeholders from across the whole maritime industry, “creating a deep pool of expertise, knowledge and experience from many different perspectives to develop a greater understanding of the challenges and requirements of expanding the use of batteries in the maritime realm”.

The JDP officially kicked off at the end of 2017, with major tasks defined as follows. The project will wrap up with dissemination activities in 2019.

  1. Safety Model Development and Assessment Based on Prior Knowledge
  2. Concerted Lithium-Ion Battery Risk Assessment
  3. Battery Safety Testing Program
  4. Battery Safety Simulation and Analysis Tool Development and Refinement
  5. Project Management, Dissemination, Input to Requirements and Rules

Project Partners:

Norwegian Maritime Authority

Danish Maritime Authority

Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (Forsvarets Forskningsinstitutt, FFI)

Corvus Energy, maritime battery systems vendor

Plan B (PBES), maritime battery systems vendor

FIFI4MARINE, lithium-ion fire extinguishing system provider

Nexceris, developer of battery off-gas sensing technology

Rolls Royce Marine AS, propulsion and system technology provider

ABB, propulsion and system technology provider

Stena, ferry owner and operator

Scandlines, ferry owner and operator, including largest maritime battery installation in the world

Damen, ship builder

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