Battery manufacturer Corvus Energy is set to launch the Blue Whale battery, its latest in a series of batteries designed to meet the varying needs of the maritime industry.
Battery packs can reduce carbon emissions by as much as 95 percent, and will reduce freight costs as fuel consumption is decreased. Moreover, the batteries will benefit their owners in regard to any carbon taxes that are introduced going forward.
In building for the future, Corvus Energy has a series of batteries that range from high-energy, rapid-charging units to high-energy fuel cells suitable for ferries and heavier transport needs. Blue Whale is the top of the high-energy range and will be launched in June at the Nor-Shipping conference in Oslo, Norway.
Halvard Hauso, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Corvus, told FreightWaves, “We will have a range of products that are made specifically for particular ship types rather than a one size fits all approach.”
The Blue Whale system will be supplied in two-metre-high battery stacks, which are approximately one metre square, weighing 2.5 tonnes each. Battery stacks will sit on connector rails that are linked to a control unit at the front of the row of fuel cells. This design has made maintenance easier and utilizes space more efficiently.
A small- to medium-sized roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) ferry will need a bank of around 15 units measuring 8.5 metres by 5.9 metres. This will supply energy for the vessel in a hybrid system (operating with a generator powered either by diesel or a zero emissions fuel).
According to Corvus some ro-ro vessels operating on electric power only could save 95 percent of carbon emissions and reduce fuel costs substantially as well as reducing maintenance costs and nitrogen oxide emissions.
The cost of installation will be initially higher because the electrical infrastructure has to be put into place. However, with a 10-year battery life, replacement batteries will require only replacement fuel cells, thereby reducing the cost significantly. Spent batteries that can no longer be used at sea can be used on shore for several years subsequently, raising the battery life to around 20 years. After that 99 percent of the materials can be recycled into new batteries, said Hauso.