Hybrid Car Carrier with Zero Harbor Emissions

By Keith Henderson at July 14, 2011 07:35
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A joint research and development project to develop a hybrid power supply with the aim of reducing CO2 emissions suitable for ships was announced in Japan in January last year. Sponsored by Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) it includes Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.(MHI), and Sanyo Electric Group.

The goal of zero emissions from the vessel while alongside in harbor is achievable by using solar energy to charge lithium-ion batteries that provide a power source allowing the diesel generator(s) to be shut down.

Caption: The MOL Car Carrier, to be launched at the MHI Kobe Shipyard in June 2012.
Note the logo SOLAR HYBRID painted on the sides of the vessel near the stern.
Image credit: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.

MOL agreed to construct a car carrier fitted with the hybrid system and monitor the effectiveness of the CO2 reduction technology during actual vessel operation. MOL is already using solar cell technology on two other ships and the aim of this project is to improve the effectiveness of CO2 reduction technology in future vessels.

Caption: The MOL Car Carrier, from the air showing the solar panels on the upper deck with capacity totaling 2.2 MWh.
Image credit: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.

This week MOL announced the design of the hybrid car carrier to be built at the MHI., Kobe shipyard for launch in June 2012. The vessel has a capacity of 6,400 vehicles (standard passenger cars) with a LOA of (199 m), beam (32 m) and draft (9.8 m). Solar panels on every bit of flat, exposed upper deck space, will generate up to 160kW. This is more than ten times as much as present systems on other ships, making it the most powerful solar system of its type in the world.

The lithium-ion storage batteries, are placed in the bottom of the vessel, taking the place of fixed ballast. They have a total capacity of 2.2MWh of electricity and are charged by the solar panels while the ship is underway and in harbor. Zero emissions in harbor is therefore achieved by eliminating the requirement of running diesel gensets.


Caption: Illustration of the Hybrid Power Supply System
Image credit: Sanyo Electric Co.,Ltd.

Comments (4) -

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Jude Dufrane |     7/18/2011 9:09:24 PM #

Great to read about this full scale attempt to reduce emmissions from shipping. Is there somewhere more information is awailable? A few operational questions spring to mind like:
- how many hours can the ship stay in port on the solar panel/battery only and the need for sunshine to make it work, charging time?
- perhaps the battety can also be charged from the ships diesel generators in case of insufficient light and still be able to use it in port?
- lifetime of the system and maintenance?
- environmental consequences of producing the solar panels and the lithium batteries and recirculating the lot in perhaps some 20 years time?

Bjarne T |     7/19/2011 11:45:56 AM #

Have they actually looked at the power profile of a car carrier involved in discharge and loading of vehicles?  The in port electrical demand of a car carrier is quite high due to ventilation requirements to deal with vehicle exhausts.  They can always supply mates and longshoremen with scba's to go about their business,

Mark Humphries |     7/27/2011 8:01:35 PM #

It would be interesting to know the energy balance of the system when moored at port...

Marco |     8/5/2011 1:40:56 AM #

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