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Rolls-Royce launches new modular Li-ion battery system for ships: SAVe Energy

Rolls-Royce is launching a lithium-ion based energy storage system for ships. Rolls-Royce has been delivering energy storage systems since 2010, however the actual energy storage units were previously supplied by an external party.


Illustration of a ship system setup with batteries. This example shows a hybrid system for a tugboat. Source: Rolls Royce.

Energy storage is a major green investment for a ship owner. Returns are maximized when the system is correctly dimensioned for the specific ship, and includes intelligent power control.

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 complies with international legislations for low- and zero-emission propulsion systems.

The development work has been partly funded by the Norwegian Research Council of Norway’s ENERGIX program. The three ship owning companies Color Line, Norled and the Norwegian Coastal Administration Shipping Company have been partners in the development, ensuring that the energy storage system covers a wide variety of marine applications, including ferries, cruise vessels and multi-purpose vessels.

SAVe Energy is be delivered from the Rolls-Royce Power Electric site in Bergen, Norway, as part of the company’s offering of complete ship systems.

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.

—Andreas Seth, Rolls-Royce, EVP Electrical, Automation and Control – Commercial Marine

SAVe Energy can be applied to several areas including peak shaving, spinning reserve and battery-powered vessels. Combined with an LNG- or diesel-powered engine in a hybrid solution, it will increase efficiency and reduce emissions, and can be coupled with most types of propulsion units.

In a hybrid set up, SAVe Energy handles the peak load, while the main power generators will relate to the average load and not reduce the propulsion units thrusting capabilities.

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.

—Andreas Seth

SAVe Energy is an ESU system (Energy Storage Unit), and was recently class-approved by DNV GL, confirming that SAVe Energy has been developed in compliance with the newest 2018 ruleset, and are accepted for installation on all vessels classed by DNV GL.



Start with LNG hybrids and grow the technology to include hydrogen fuel cells...no more diesel.

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Shipping is starting to make dramatic changes now since Bunker fuel due it's high Sulfur content is starting to be regulated and LNG Hybrids are already being installed, e.g. as GCC reported 21 April 2018 that Norwegian expedition cruise operator Hurtigruten had signed a Letter of Intent with Rolls-Royce for a major environmental upgrade program to hybrid power.
Hydrogen fuel at least in compressed gas form is questionable since it has very poor volumetric energy density, not much better than batteries and while liquid hydrogen would be better it is very costly.
Recently, two Norwegian companies (Yara and Kongsberg Gruppen) have teamed to construct a short-range, all-electric coastal container ship the Yara Birkeland that will operate autonomously and eliminate up to 40,000 diesel truck trips per year over a short 37 mile trip.
The point to mention this is that Yara, an Ammonia producer is involved. Ammonia has 1.5 times the volumetric energy density of liquid hydrogen and can be burned directly in diesel engines or in SOFC. A Hybrid Ship using Renewable Ammonia may be a way to move to CO2 free Shipping.

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