Safe electrification for shipping: AKASOL receives important DNV-GL certification

Energy-efficient fishing in Norway. The hybrid fishing boat is equipped with AKASOL battery systems; the operator not only reduces emissions but also avoids noise

AKASOL AG, Darmstadt, Germany, has obtained DNV-GL certification for its model AKASystem 15 OEM 37 PRC series of battery systems. Effective immediately, this battery system is unconditionally approved for use in maritime applications. The quality seal is issued by the Norwegian Det Norske Veritas (DNV) and Germanischer Lloyd (GL), who have been setting standards together for ships and offshore applications since 2013. With this DNV-GL certification, AKASOL is laying a broad foundation for all future battery systems that will also gradually find application in shipping.

The increasing maritime traffic causes considerable pollutant emissions every year. In 2018, the EU maritime transport sector emitted about 140 million tons of CO2. To reduce emissions, electric drives have so far been used primarily for short distances in inland waterway transport. Hybrid solutions in combination with diesel engines are also often in operation. According to Nikša Pirovic, AKASOL Sales Manager for maritime battery systems, electrification in shipping is still at the very beginning: “With our certified, high-performance lithium-ion battery systems, we aim to make a major contribution toward significantly reducing future emissions also in shipping. The sector needs to get cleaner – and as quickly as possible. That’s why we’re using our certified systems to help electric battery-powered and hybrid-driven ships gradually become the standard in the industry.”

The DNV-GL classification society, for its own part, has developed comprehensive standards to guarantee the safety and reliability of lithium-ion batteries as drive technology. That also includes environmental protection provisions that must be followed in international waters. Before certification was granted, the AKASOL AKASYSTEM 15 OEM 37 PRC battery system underwent extensive and highly demanding tests, including vibration, temperature, and high-voltage tests as well as verification of electromagnetic compatibility. The assessment also examined design elements, including the safety concept, installation requirements, and manufacturing procedures.

The AKASystem 15 OEM 37 PRC is a high-performance battery system from the commercial vehicle sector, which can now be used to operate ships economically and ecologically. A single battery system provides over 25 kWh of energy, has a capacity of 37 ampere-hours, and weighs about 238 kilograms. This system and the battery system for the automotive sector have more than 90% in common, and the resulting economies of scale are reflected in, among other things, an attractive price/performance ratio. Since the AKASystem 15 OEM 37 PRC is manufactured at the serial production site in Langen, Germany, it is immediately available for customers now.

Some marine customers are already making successful use of the certified battery system. A fishing operation in the Norwegian Baltic Sea, for example, has become more energy efficient: The batteries have been integrated into the hybrid fishing vessel from Moen Marin there in collaboration with the Norwegian e-mobility pioneer ZEM. Used for fishing in remote locations, the boat relies on robust, reliable storage technologies. The operators of the new electric fishing boat fleet are very satisfied and plan to equip additional boats with the AKASOL systems before the end of this year. In so doing, they eliminate emissions while reducing their operating costs at the same time – and thanks to the low-noise motor, they also significantly improve working conditions for the fishermen. Consequently, AKASOL will also be introducing electrification in other maritime applications. Early next year, the certified battery systems will be installed in a 37-meter hybrid yacht at a leading European shipyard.

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