From the ABB press release:
ABB Marine, working with other businesses within the power and automation company, is developing hybrid marine propulsion systems that combine electrical generators with batteries to trim emissions and help ship owners reduce their long-term fuel costs.
This “Zero Emissions Port Call” – where vessels switch to batteries to enter harbors, then link to renewables-dominated power grids as they unload passengers and cargo – will improve the marine industry’s economic viability even amid pressure to reduce pollution and greenhouse gases.
“We want to make emission reductions possible, viable and realistic,” said Eero Lehtovaara, a ship captain who heads ABB’s Marine Design House in Oslo, Norway. “The power of the whole group, and the legacy of what we have within ABB, enables us to be very innovative and very flexible.”
Marine industry has a big opportunity
Today, more than 100,000 vessels dock at 4,500 ports worldwide, producing carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to 220 coal-fired power plants annually. And seaborne trade is expected to more than double to as many as 24 billion tons annually come 2030, according to the U.K.’s Society of Maritime Industries.
Clearly, ABB’s Lethovaara said the prospects for a “Zero Emissions Port Call” are increasingly good as fleets are modernized to handle this boom while meeting regulations designed to respect the environment.
The vision: At sea, big cargo ships use their main engines to recharge batteries housed in containers. These same batteries also supply peak shaving power, reducing fuel costs.
Nearing shore, vessels switch to batteries to run their propulsion systems. And once berthed, their onboard systems are powered via connections from land. Containers with empty batteries are replaced using a port’s cranes, before ships with supplied with fully-charged batteries again return to the ocean.
“The battery packs could be charged with solar power, with wind power, anything you want to use,” Lethovaara said. “It’s all available, it can be done today.”