Rolls-Royce launches new battery system to electrify ships

Ground transport is currently leading the transition to electric propulsion, but maritime transport is now starting to see its share of electrification and Rolls-Royce wants in.

The British power system company is launching a new battery system to electrify ships.

Rolls-Royce describes the new system called ‘SAVe Energy’:

“Rolls-Royce now offers SAVe Energy, a cost competitive, highly efficient and liquid cooled battery system with a modular design that enables the product to scale according to energy and power requirements. SAVe Energy comply with international legislations for low and zero emission propulsion systems.”

The company has been working on battery systems for years, but the recent improvements in li-ion batteries are now resulting in a boom of electrification of ships.

Andreas Seth, Rolls-Royce, EVP Electrical, Automation and Control for Commercial Marine, said the company expects to deploy more batteries next year than they did over the last 8 years combined:

“The electrification of ships is building momentum. From 2010 we have delivered battery systems representing about 15 MWh in total. However now the potential deployment of our patent pending SAVe Energy in 2019 alone is 10-18 MWh.”

They released this diagram of a SAVe Energy powertrain, which can also be combined with a LNG or diesel powered engine to create a hybrid solution:

Seth said that they are delivering the first system to Prestfjord as part of Norway’s effort to electrify its maritime transport:

“Battery systems have become a key component of our power and propulsions systems, and SAVe Energy is being introduced on many of the projects we are currently working on. This includes the upgrade programme for Hurtigruten’s cruise ferries, the advanced fishing vessel recently ordered by Prestfjord and the ongoing retrofits of offshore support vessels. As a system provider we can find the best solution considering both installation and operational cost”

Last year, we reported on two massive ferries in Norway becoming the biggest all-electric ships in the world.

The country announced that it is making its fjords ‘the world’s first zero emission zone at sea’ earlier this year.

After deploying the first all-electric ferries, the operator said that they cut emission by 95% and costs by 80%.

The results of the first deployments sparked a flurry of new orders for all-electric powertrain systems for new ferries.

Ferries are leading maritime transport electrification due to their regular and often short routes, but cargo ships are now also being electrified. We have seen examples in China and in Norway.

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