The global maritime industry is facing the challenge of strongly reducing conventional air pollutants as well as greenhouse gas emissions, while maintaining utmost passenger and crew safety aboard vessels. Safe, sustainable decarbonization is not only essential for all ship sizes, but also entire port infrastructures. Organic flow batteries from CMBlu can be scaled for almost any maritime application and can make a major contribution to mastering these challenges.
Full electrification is a particularly attractive solution for inland navigation and periodic coastal ship traffic, which require a scalable, reliable and safe electricity storage technology. In contrast to comparable lithium-based systems, with our organic flow batteries, we can size power and capacity independently. Thanks to this flexibility, we can configure the precise sipping range for any given motor power, resulting in considerable cost advantages. Finally, the batteries can be charged with power from renewables while berthing in the port or waiting at locks.
Beyond power requirements for propulsion, largo cargo or cruise ships also have a multi-megawatt electrical power demand on board – and it fluctuates considerably. For example, the cooling capacity of container ships and the electricity required by passengers are characterized by pronounced day and night cycles. The diesel generator sets producing this power are frequently operated at inefficient partial loads, since second or third systems need to be started or shutdown gradually after exceeding certain thresholds. But in combination with the energy storage buffer of tailor-made organic flow batteries, these machines can almost always run at their optimum operating point. This not only reduces costs, greenhouse gas emissions and operating hours, but also increases passenger comfort due to quieter operation. In addition, the batteries prevent large-scale electricity black-outs on board in case of a power generation failure, so the crew can restore the regular power supply efficiently.
On all types of ships, the safety of passengers and the crew has the highest priority. CMBlu batteries are unparalleled in this regard. Compared to other battery storage solutions such as lithium-based systems, organic flow batteries are completely free of safety-critical, easily flammable or explosive materials. This makes our technology highly reliable, extremely safe and fit for the future of shipping.
The transformation to pollutant-free and decarbonized ports will strongly raise the demand for ship battery charging shore power. In addition, ports offer the ideal environment for local photovoltaic or wind power generation. This setting, however, results in very high local power peaks on both the consumption and generation side. That’s where intelligent energy storage solutions are essential. Tailor-made, sustainable battery solutions from CMBlu can be used to bypass the resulting overloads and bottlenecks within the port as well as in the upstream distribution grid.
Like for all industrial sites these attractive behind-the-meter benefits are bolstered by lucrative front-of-meter opportunities: Free battery capacity can be temporarily sold to the electricity markets, so energy arbitrage in the day-ahead and real-time or intraday markets, together with profitable opportunities in ancillary services will generate considerable additional revenues. Finally, CMBlu will provide an integrated AI-based software platform to tap into this full value chain from optimized battery operation to full electricity market access.