Page 24: of Marine News Magazine (November 2016)

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COLUMN BOATBUILDING variety of ways in marine applications, including peak shav- array control system, and back-up auxiliary power sup- ing for both hotel load and propulsion power requirements. ply (APS) are all needed. Additionally, the circuit breaker

Batteries can also be installed as a hybrid arrangement as switch gear that completes the power connection ? ow part of a diesel-electric propulsion system or they can be ? t should not be overlooked and this component can some- as a standalone power source to cleanly and quietly drive all times mirror the size of an entire battery array. Lastly, most propulsion and onboard power requirements. Applications will want a layer of redundancy to provide back-up as a similar to the Vision of the Fjords that can fully operate on failsafe to get home to port. battery power tend to be limited in speed to around 8 to 10 If batteries do indeed make sense for your application, knots and have a range of approximately 1 hour of run time there probably is a growing concern about ? re and thermal on full electric (battery) power on average. runaway—especially with all the latest issues developing

Beyond the electrical components, the auxiliary support around mobile device batteries. Should thermal runaway and safety systems must also be examined. take off from cell to cell in a battery array, the result can

Considering the limitations on battery run time, hav- be catastrophic, generating enough heat to easily liquefy ing proper shore side infrastructure for recharging is para- any metal boat they may be contained in. There are, how- mount. With ample shore side power available, charging ever, many advances in air cooled and water cooled lithium times can be quick, reaching full recovery in as little as battery technologies that provide the newest batteries with 10 to 20 minutes. Even with quick charging times, busy comprehensive battery management systems and safety workboats will be bound by the down time of charging features. These allow shutdown of the cells before trouble and this time must be minimized for any ROI to be recog- can begin. Classi? cation society DNV-GL has also written nized. In order to speed up the process, companies such as guidelines for installing battery propulsion technology, in-

ABB are automating the charging procedure through the cluding requirements for ? re? ghting systems that do offer use of robotics and pantograph arms that will automatical- some measure of assurance for the operator.

ly latch hold and immediately begin the charging process as soon as the vessel is near enough at the dock. F B


Being able to accelerate the charging connection time by Visiting the Vision of the Fjords is a clear testimony to as little as 30 seconds can make a signi? cant impact for a the advances and reality of feasible electric propulsion busy work boat that is charging frequently throughout the powered by batteries. As Rolf Sandvik advocates, the tech- day. Ferry operator Norled, has successfully implemented nology will only get better and become viable for more a pantograph charging arm for their 80 meter car ferry, and more applications. The cost premium for batteries is

Ampere, which is 100 percent battery powered. ABB will considerable and the life span varies, ranging from 2 to 10 soon be providing the ? rst ever industrial robot to quickly years depending on the size and charging cycles. For The handle all charge plug connections for HH ferries operat- Fjords, the technology works and the capital investment is ing between Sweden and Denmark. recouped on the backend savings in operating costs. With the vision of electric propulsion showing such favorable

B B potential the vision may soon become a reality for many,


For many operators, a complete reliance upon battery offering a new and feasible propulsion alternative for mod- powered propulsion just is not feasible, especially if routes ern work boats around the world.

are too long. Real estate and weight are also very real con- siderations. The Vision of the Fjords speci? cally chose to

Joe Hudspeth is Vice President of Business construct their vessel from carbon ? ber sandwich technol-

Development at All American Marine, Inc., ogy, which offered a one-third savings in weight over alu- a manufacturer of high speed passenger minum and helped offset the heavy payload of the batter- ferries, excursion vessels, and work boats, ies. For some applications, in order to get adequate power, in Bellingham, WA. Hudspeth has been involved with it may be necessary to ? ll nearly every void with batteries. maritime sales, marketing and product development

Fortunately, the technology is constantly improving along since 2000. He currently serves as a regional co-chairman with package size and power density ratios.

for the Passenger Vessel Association and participates on

The batteries themselves are only a part of the many several committees concerned with marine industry issues. components required to make the system work. Recti? ers,

Reach him at

DC to DC converters, battery management systems, the

November 2016

MN 24

MN Nov16 Layout 18-31.indd 24 10/21/2016 1:43:35 PM

Marine News

Marine News is the premier magazine of the North American Inland, coastal and Offshore workboat markets.