ABS to classify the SEACOR Maya with BATTERY-Li notation, while marine energy storage firm Corvus supplies multiple ESS
Hybrid technologies are already commonplace in consumer and industrial vehicles, but the offshore and marine sectors are beginning to catch up.
Owing to its strict environmental and technological standards, much of the push for hybridisation in the oil and gas industry is happening in Norway. Investments from Statoil in the likes of companies like Corvus Energy – a company which specialises in the development of marine battery systems – have seen the technology gain prominence. In October last year Wärtsilä outfitted the Eidesvik offshore supply vessel (OSV) Viking Princess with a 533 kWh Orca energy storage system from Corvus, creating what it claims to be the first ever OSV which uses batteries to reduce the number of generators aboard the ship.
Viking Princess now runs on three LNG-fuelled Wärtsilä engines, while the battery pack provides balancing for demand peaks, resulting in a more stable load.
Now operators are taking the first tentative steps with the technology in the Gulf of Mexico. In mid-March classification society ABS announced that it had been selected by SEACOR Marine to class the region’s first hybrid OSV. SEACOR requested the “BATTERY-Li” classification for the Maya OSV, currently operated by Mantenimiento Express Maritimo (MEXMAR), the company’s joint venture in Mexico. The OSV is being upgraded now, with modifications expected to be completed in May 2018.
“The hybrid power solution on the SEACOR Maya has the potential to significantly reduce fuel consumption—by as much as 20%,” explained SEACOR engineering manager Tim Clerc. “Integrating new technologies is complex. To help SEACOR realize the benefit of using cutting-edge hybrid power, we partnered with ABS, to class the lithium battery system, to help validate its reliability. The operational savings gained from a hybrid power solution will also reduce emissions and facilitate our compliance to strict environmental regulations.”
ABS will provide BATTERY-Li notation for three additional OSVs operated by MEXMAR, which are slated for similar upgrades. The conversion to hybrid power for SEACOR Azteca, SEACOR Warrior and SEACOR Viking is expected to be completed in July 2018.
In a separate announcement in late February, Corvus announced that it had been selected to supply SEACOR Marine and Rolls-Royce with the battery ESS for the vessels, which will be operated by SEACOSCO – a joint venture between SEACOR and China Cosco Shipping Group (COSCO). Corvus did not specify the size of installation on each vessel, but did confirm that the batteries would be used to provide spinning reserve during critical vessel operations such as dynamic positioning, as well for peak shaving.
Meanwhile, with such systems on the rise across the globe, classification society DNV GL has announced the launch of a new joint development project (JDP), designed to explore how lithium-ion battery systems can be used in the shipping industry. Partners include the Norwegian Maritime Authority, Danish Maritime Authority, Norwegian Defense Research Establishment, Corvus, Plan B (PBES); Rolls Royce Marine; ABB, DNV GL and several others, and will investigate safety model development, risk assessment, project management and other tasks.