JDP to examine marine battery safety and adoption

JDP to examine marine battery safety and adoption
Energy storage system onboard a passenger ferry

DNV GL has launched a Joint Development Project (JDP) to advance the understanding of lithium-ion batteries in the maritime industry.

More than a dozen partners from the entire value chain have joined the initiative. Included are flag states, research institutions, battery and propulsion suppliers, fire detection and extinguishing system providers, and shipowners, operators, and yards. The JDP will bring together stakeholders from across the maritime industry, delivering a deep pool of expertise, knowledge, and experience from a range of perspectives.

The purpose of the project is to develop a greater understanding of the challenges with using batteries in the maritime industry, and the requirements for expanding the use of them. DNV GL says that by the end of the JDP, there will be a better understanding of how products and services can be optimised to push the development of batteries in ship propulsion.

Geir Dugstad, Director of Ship Classification and Technical Director in DNV GL – Maritime, says “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. 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.”

Rasmus Nielsen, Naval Architect and Officer at Scandlines, believes that there is a lot of effort that goes into making sure alternative systems such as batteries are sage, but says that the present safety and approval methodology is cumbersome. The JDP therefore hopes to drive a greater level of safety, while ensuring new and advanced technologies are implemented to a greater extent.

The JDP will look at five areas in the applications of batteries to ships. The first will be to carry out a safety model development and assessment based on prior knowledge, the second to carry out a concerted lithium-ion battery risk assessment, the third is to test battery safety, the fourth to do a battery safety simulation and analysis tool development and refinement, and the fifth is project management, dissemination, input to requirements and rules.

Director General of the Norwegian Maritime Authority, Olav Akselsen says “With the new advances in alternative fuels it’s our ambition to actively partner with the maritime industry and contribute to solutions that satisfy 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 believes that this type of collaborative industry focussed research program is the perfect platform for developing and enhancing the approval process for systems, such as batteries, with reliable technical input.

The JDP officially started at the end of 2017. It is due to wrap up with dissemination activities in 2019.

The full list of project partners include: the Norwegian Maritime Authority, Danish Maritime Authority, Norwegian Defense Research Establishment, Corvus Energy, Plan B (PBES), FIFI4MARINE, Nexceris, Rolls Royce Marine, ABB, Stena, Scandlines, Damen, DNV GL.