As part of the DNV GL Maritime Americas 19th Annual Technology Week, the company hosted it’s annual Maritime Battery Workshop in Houston.
More than 140 participants representing regulators, shipowners, drilling contractors, designers, yards, charterers, manufacturers, integrators, suppliers, and investors were present for a day of interactive debate on battery and battery-hybrid technology applied to the maritime and offshore industries.
With the worldwide fleet of fully electric and battery-hybrid vessels in operation and contracted steadily increasing, together with its broader use on different ship types, more of the agenda concentrated on the lessons learned from existing projects, new developments and areas of critical focus.
A bright future for batteries
The growth rate for battery-hybrid and fully electric vessels is immense. In 2019 alone, DNV GL averaged one new battery project contract per week. “Batteries are not a passing fad, so it should come as no surprise that this workshop has quickly become one of the most sought-after events on our calendar,” said Anthony Teo, DNV GL Maritime Technology and LNG Business Development Director and the coordinator of the event.
When the first workshop was held in 2018 in Houston, the industry was still buying into battery technology, and the focus of the event was more on the decision-making process and the drivers for the shift to electrification. “We aim for the program to be valuable for the market where it is at the time. With so many vessels operating now, we can really dig into the critical learnings, which is important with even more vessels utilizing electricity in the future.”
Battery fire safety
In late 2019, a fire onboard the non-classed car-ferry MF Ytterøyningen shed a spotlight on a new element related to battery fire safety in the industry. With the support of a number of authorities with fire engineering expertise, a thorough investigation of the course of events and the cause of the incident has been ongoing with preliminary findings from the Norwegian Maritime Authority and local Police recently being made public.
During the workshop, Corvus, the manufacturer of the battery onboard the vessel, as well as the Norwegian Maritime Authority and DNV GL delivered a session on battery fire safety & lessons learned from the incident. This session was the undisputed highlight of the workshop, with representatives from the three major stakeholders candidly sharing their insight, key learnings and mitigating actions.
“The use of batteries onboard offers a lot of opportunity for reduced emissions, reduced costs, and increase operational integrity. However, like so much in our industry, there may be serious consequences when things go wrong,” said Arnstein Eknes, DNV GL Global OSV Segment Director. “Our objective is always to help the industry understand the full picture. The key takeaway from today was that we need to share more and educate each other. With more knowledge, more well-informed decisions are made and individuals are better prepared to face the challenges that exist, and in turn, do their job more efficiently and effectively. The level of transparency delivered today by the presenters was a clear testimony of this mindset.”
Collaboration is key
“Today was a demonstration that the industry sees DNV GL as a safe place to share knowledge and experience more openly for the common good. Many participants expressed appreciation for the openness shown by several companies in sharing their experience that is valuable to others.,” said Antony DSouza, Executive Vice President and Regional Manager of DNV GL Maritime Americas. “DNV GL has extensive experience supporting our customers in achieving efficiency through the use of alternative fuels and energy efficiency. We seek to share our experience from different market segments and collaborate with customers and industry to accelerate innovation and technology that will shape the future of the shipping and offshore industries. With the successful experience this year, we intend to repeat Technology Week in the early part of the year in the future.”
#1/#2. Antony DSouza, Executive Vice President and Regional Manager of DNV GL Maritime Americas, welcomes attendees to the DNV GL 19th Annual Technology Week.
#3. Sverre Eriksen, DNV GL Maritime Principal Engineer, addresses workshop attendees on maritime battery safety and rules updates.
#4. A roundtable discussion brings owners and charterers together to share experience and perspectives on battery application. From left to right: moderator, Arnstein Eknes (DNV GL), panelists David Watson (Transocean, Geoge Holland (SeaDrill), Tim Clerc (Seacor), and Bo Jardine (Shell).