Stena joins 'circular’ battery power bank project

Installing a powerbank on the quay is the next step in the electrification of Stena's fleet (credit: Stena)Installing a powerbank on the quay is the next step in the electrification of Stena’s fleet (credit: Stena)

Stena is participating in an EU-funded project to investigate the reuse of automotive batteries in dedicated power banks for fast charging in ports. The two-year trial involves class society DNV GL, the ports of Gothenburg and Kiel and a number of Stena companies –Stena Recycling, Batteryloop, Stena Rederi and Stena Line.

The project is intended to investigate the potential for the reuse of lithium-ion (Li-Ion) batteries from the automotive, and light transport sectors for the storage of energy in ports.

“An incredible amount is happening in the world of batteries. New solutions are being designed to meet the charging requirements of the transport sector of the future, especially for shipping where vessels are starting to switch to electric power. Rapidly charging a large ferry, for example, requires a huge amount of energy in a short time and it’s not certain that the electricity grid will be able to deliver it. Local energy stores at ports could offer a great solution to this problem”, says Rasmus Bergström, Managing Director of Batteryloop.

Batteryloop and Volvo Buses have already previously been involved in a joint project with Stena Fastigheter, whereby bus batteries are used as energy storage units to provide electricity to the Fyrklövern residential area in Gothenburg. The electricity that is stored in these units comes from solar panels fitted to the apartment buildings’ rooftops.

The reuse of Li-Ion batteries potentially offers an efficient and lower-cost solution to the need to develop energy storage solutions to meet the charging requirements of hybrid-electric vessels.

The reuse of batteries also offers an opportunity to deliver a cost-effective solution to the challenge of scaling up supply in regions where local electricity grid capacity might not be strong enough to support rapid increases in demand.

Quayside energy storage can also be used as an alternative power source for vessels in port, which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Stena Line invests in battery power

As early as 2018, Stena Line began its investment in battery power on the ferry Stena Jutlandica, which uses battery power to drive the bow thrusters that steer the vessel into port.

“This is an important milestone in the electrification of shipping. Our future project, Stena Elektra – a fully electric ferry – is already on the drawing board. In order to succeed, we need to solve the issue of how to quickly charge a ferry. Energy storage at ports using recycled batteries, is a very interesting and sustainable alternative for the future”, says Per Wimby, project manager for electrification at Stena Teknik.

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