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Saft to provide 800 kWh Li-ion system for hybrid ferry

Saft has won a contract to supply Li-ion battery systems to Imtech Marine, a leading maritime technology supplier. Two Saft Seanergy systems will be at the heart of the diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system and energy management system for “Hybrid III”, a Roll On Roll Off (RORO) passenger and vehicle ferry designed for use on Scotland’s short sea crossing routes around the Clyde and Hebrides.

The new vessel, currently under construction by Ferguson Marine Engineering Ltd for CMAL (Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd), will be Scotland’s third hybrid ferry when it enters service in autumn 2016, carrying up to 150 passengers and 23 cars or two HGVs (Heavy Goods Vehicles) with a service speed of 9 knots. (CMAL is currently holding a naming competition for the ferry.)

The first and second hybrid ferries, the MV Hallaig and MV Lochinvar, entered service in 2013.

The vessel is being funded by the Scottish Government to help meet the target set in its Climate Change Delivery Plan to reduce CO2 emissions in the transport sector by at least 20% by 2020.

Because it uses both diesel and electric power, its fuel consumption will be significantly lower than a conventional ferry, leading to fuel and CO2 emissions that are at least one-fifth lower than a conventional arrangement.

The project represents a significant development for Saft as it is the first contract with Imtech Marine, experts in supplying hybrid propulsion systems for all types of vessels.

As a modular system, Seanergy can be scaled to meet any requirements up to 750 V. The modules are based on Saft’s advanced nickel-based Li-ion Super Phosphate (SLFP) cell chemistry, which offers the advantage of improved high energy capability and optimized total cost of ownership when compared with standard Li-ion phosphate technologies. The compact modules integrate the Fe Li-ion cells, module supervision and cell balancing.

In January 2015, marine industry independent safety assessor Bureau Veritas delivered the highest quality assessment for the Seanergy modules, establishing that the design conforms to recognized industry quality and certification standards.

The two Seanergy systems, which provide a total of 800 kWh of energy storage, can power the vessel in battery mode only and in hybrid mode in combination with a diesel generator. The batteries will be charged overnight from shore supply while the ferry is in port. When at sea, Imtech’s energy management system will balance the energy delivered by the diesel genset and battery systems to make propulsion as efficient and clean as possible, enabling the genset to run at peak efficiency.

Interest in hybrid propulsion is growing fast in the maritime sector as ship owners and operators come under pressure to meet more stringent energy efficiency targets. This contract for a very high profile ferry service in Scotland is further confirmation that Saft’s Li-ion technology offers a reliable, high performance and fully commercialized solution for hybrid propulsion on even the largest sea-going vessels.

—Jayesh Vir, Saft’s Key Account Manager for the Marine Segment


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