Electric & Hybrid Marine World Expo 2019 hailed best show yet!
With a record-breaking 130+ exhibits to see and more than 40 conference papers to learn from, the sixth edition of Electric & Hybrid Marine World Expo came to a successful conclusion last week, having welcomed thousands of attendees to the Amsterdam RAI across all three days of the annual event.
As well as the main exhibition – which was some 20% bigger than last year’s – and the adjoining Electric & Hybrid Marine World Expo Conference, there was also a free-to-attend Technology Presentation Area and the Autonomous Ship Technology Symposium, further ensuring this year’s event was undoubtedly the biggest and best yet, in every way!
Indeed, the world’s only dedicated exhibition of electric and hybrid marine charging and propulsion technologies and components saw more brand-new, cutting-edge products launched than ever before, as well as numerous exciting projects and investments announced live on the show floor.
These included the launch of a brand-new lithium-ion battery system for large- and medium-sized vessel propulsion systems from Nidec ASI. Foremost among a range of bespoke technological features is the Single Large String module, which is designed to reduce the number of modules and DC/DC and DC/AC converters required in battery packs.
As visitors to the show discovered, this simplifies wiring and installation on different vessel types and facilitates the use of hybrid propulsion systems with benefits in terms of weight and volume reduction while also allowing greater flexibility in naval architecture.
When asked why the company had chosen to launch the innovation at this year’s show, Dominique Llonch, CEO of Nidec ASI and chairman of Nidec Industrial Solutions, said: "Presenting this innovative solution at Electric & Hybrid Marine World Expo places us among the forerunners at the helm of a more sustainable development model, committed to offering innovations for transporting people and goods based on the use of renewable energy sources and a reduction in pollutant emissions.”
Another exclusive announcement made live on the show floor came from Israeli aluminum-air battery manufacturer Phinergy Marine, which revealed it had signed a joint venture agreement with electrical systems installation company Wekina Werkendam and shipbuilder Veka Group for installation of a 7.2MWh aluminum-air battery system on board a fully electric passenger ferry.
The metal-air energy storage system will be housed in a single 20ft shipping container and will provide a constant energy source for the vessel’s 2MWh lithium-ion battery system, enabling weeks of zero-emission operation at a time. Shore-based charging infrastructure will not be required for the vessel due to the fact that the aluminum-air battery system itself does not require recharging. Instead, it is replaced with a new container of aluminum via crane in just 15 minutes.
While Udi Erell, founder and CEO of Phinergy Marine, admits that the cost of the replacement aluminum is higher than the cost of recharging a lithium-ion energy storage system from a shore-based charging system, he explains that, over the lifespan of the vessel, which is expected to be between 30 and 40 years, the capital cost will be less than a third of that spent on a lithium-ion system.
“With a lithium-ion battery system, you’ll need to replace it again and again every eight years,” said Erell. “This is not the case with a metal-air system, which means the capital cost is decreasing all the time. And if you want 7.2MWh of electrical energy from lithium-ion batteries, you’ll need around 20 containers on board the ship. But with this technology we can fit that into just one container.
“What’s more, unlike lithium, aluminum is truly green,” continued Erell. “Not only is it produced with hydropower, but it is also the most abundant metal source in the earth’s crust, which means you don’t have to buy Congo for it. It’s everywhere!”
Construction of the passenger ferry will commence in August or September this year, with the vessel scheduled for completion one year later. It will operate in an as-yet unspecified location within Europe.
Battery technology was by far the most prevalent technology on display at this year’s World Expo, and French energy storage solution provider Leclanché explained how it plans to boost production of its own battery systems to meet increasing demand.
Leclanché CEO Anil Srivastava revealed that the company has commissioned Comau, a supplier of advanced industrial automation products, to build one of the world’s first automated manufacturing lines for lithium-ion battery modules. The solution is capable of automating Leclanché’s entire battery manufacturing process, from pouch cell stacking and welding to the final assembly of up to 32 different product configurations.
According to Srivastava, the collaboration will drive industrial-scale production of energy storage solutions that will help accelerate the conversion of maritime transport towards more sustainable power solutions. “Marine transport alone produces 13% of greenhouse gas emissions and on current projections, emissions are expected to rise by at least 50% by 2050 under a business-as-usual scenario.
“We made an early investment in developing a DNV GL certified battery system for marine applications, and are the first battery supplier to fully comply with stringent 2015 regulations,” continued Srivastava. “Our partnership with Comau will enable us to produce energy storage solutions for e-marine applications at an industrial scale to the sizeable and fast-growing electric and hybrid marine market.”
Elsewhere, UK-based manufacturer of mission-critical communications, electronics and intelligent systems, STS Systems, used the show to launch IConIC, a world-first technology that automatically informs shipping operators of the health of their engines and warns of impending failures.
Designed to measure optimum live engine performance and predict future fault symptoms faster than current condition monitoring methods, IConIC uses AI and edge computing to quickly learn the state of health of any engine in all environments before presenting real-time autonomous health monitoring.
David Garrity, chief technology officer, said: “In our experience, a typical engine in a small- to medium-sized ship can save €130,000 [US$150,000] a year in fuel and 580 tons of CO2 simply by making sure it always runs in an optimum healthy state. We have also seen that unexpected engine faults can cause catastrophic failures and result in unplanned downtime and urgent maintenance repairs easily costing in excess of €500,000 [US$570,000] per incident.
According to Garrity, users of IConIC, which can be fitted non-invasively to new-builds or retrofitted to existing vessels, can expect payback in less than one year. This will help to offset the maintenance costs associated with the use of expensive low sulfur fuels ahead of legislation that comes into effect in 2020.
Conference and Awards
The pay-to-attend Electric & Hybrid Marine World Expo Conference saw leading experts from around the world present technical papers on the latest and next-generation technologies that will power the ships of the future. Laurens van Mourik, project manager – sailing department, City of Amsterdam, provided an overview of the projects and pilots currently underway on the city’s famous canals and outlined how it plans to reach its sustainability goals for 2025; Jeremy Ward, managing director, East By West Ferries & Wellington Electric Boat Building Company, gave insight into the development of the Southern Hemisphere’s first fully electric passenger ferry, scheduled for launch in New Zealand by December 2019; and Makhlouf Benatmane, marine navy solutions leader at GE Power Conversion, presented how to integrate different energy storage systems of different kW and kWh into marine vessels.
The winners of the Electric & Hybrid Marine Awards were also announced live during the show, with a mixture of new and familiar names bestowed with accolades. Corvus Energy claimed the Supplier of the Year title for the fifth consecutive year; Kongsberg Maritime enjoyed double success, winning the Propulsion System Manufacturer of the Year and Innovation of the Year awards; Viking Life-Saving Equipment took home the Engineering Team of the Year award; and ForSeas’ Tycho Brahe and Aurora diesel-electric passenger and vehicle ferries won the Electric & Hybrid Propulsion System of the Year award. To find out more about the winners, visit the official Electric & Hybrid Marine Awards page here.
“My company is retrofitting an inland barge, so I came here to find potential supplier and components we can use in that project. I was only planning on being here for one day but there’s so much information that I had to come back a second day. And I’ve made a lot of new contacts so it’s been a positive experience.”
– Jeroen Dieleman, project manager, Ishy Project, Yerseke Engine Services
“I came here to find lithium-based batteries and battery management systems that have already been proven to work and are ready to be installed on a vessel. The exhibition is really interesting because I can see and touch things that I could only read about on screen or paper before. The conference presentations were also extremely interesting and very helpful to me in finding the right solutions for my company.”
– Paolo Borghese, engineer, Italian Navy
“I came here to find an alternative to lithium-based batteries and I found some very interesting concepts and ideas. It was important for me to come here, and it’s conveniently located because I work in Belgium and France.”
– Marc Van Overmeire, professor, VUB
“As a ship designer, this exhibition has been very interesting because I’ve found many technical solutions that are already on the market. I’ve also been able to catch up with colleagues and see what some of our competitors are doing and share information, which is vital to help grow this segment.”
– Harald, Arndt, project manager, Neptun Ship Design
“It’s great to have so many manufacturers of electrical solutions all in one place. I’ve traveled here from France and have found a lot of potential fuel-saving systems that I can now consider using in the diesel-electric cable ships my company builds. For example, before I came here, I had an idea of what DC-bus technology does but now I have a much better understanding of it and how we can use it, and that’s thanks to this show.”
– Hugo Plantet, newbuilding project manager, Orange Marine
“I came here to find energy storage systems because they are a critical technology under heavy development right now. And as a shipyard we’re very interested to know about all these products and the trajectory of their development. It’s been great talking to people about the benefits and challenges of this technology and sharing ideas.”
– Catalin Moise, assistant project manager engineering, Damen Shipyards
“The show is great: I work for a shipowner and operator in Singapore, and I’ve been able to gather a lot of information about hybrid systems and autonomous solutions for our future vessels. Having the likes of ABB, Wärtsilä and Kongsberg here is great for us and has really made the trip worthwhile.”
– Zaw Zaw, manager, electrical, Posh Fleet Services PTE
“We deal with a few regular suppliers already, but it’s been great to come to this show and meet so many more potential new suppliers and system integrators for our future projects, instead of going to our normal ones. It’s good to have competition!”
– Darsana Ramanujan, assistant general manager, Cochin Shipyard
“It’s been a very surprising show for me as a first-time visitor. I didn’t expect to see so many new and innovative technologies, especially hybrid systems.”
– Takaki Ishii, engine design, Yanmar
Electric & Hybrid Marine World Expo will return to the Amsterdam RAI on June 23, 24, 25, 2020. Visit www.electricandhybridmarineworldexpo.com to register now for your free exhibition pass and to book your seat at the conference.