The delivery of five ferries from Damen Shipyard Kozle represent the first commercial reference for Echandia Marine’s full new battery system, based on Toshiba’s LTO battery technology. (Image courtesy of Damen Shipyards)
The delivery of the first of five electric ferries from Damen Shipyards marked the full commercial launch of Echandia Marine’s new battery system, which has been developed using Japanese electronics giant Toshiba’s SCiB™ technology.
Damen Shipyards delivered the first five of a fleet of electric ferries built for operations in the harbour at Copenhagen in Q2 2020. The delivery marked the world’s first acquisition of a fleet of electric commuter ferries by Arriva Denmark. These ferries are based on Damen’s standard 23-metre harbour ferry design and are scheduled to serve a series of routes in Copenhagen Harbour.
Each of the ferries can carry up to 80 passengers on multi-stop routes in the harbour. The ferries were built at the Damen Shipyard Kozle in Poland and have a steel hull combined with a steel and composite superstructure. The catamaran hulls are powered by a pair of 40 hp electric motors that drive through a conventional shaft and propeller system to give a speed of 9 knots.
Lithium titanate oxide (LTO)
The project marks Echandia Marine’s full commercial launch of its new battery system, which has been developed using Japanese electronics giant Toshiba’s SCiB™ technology. This technology is the result of many years’ development work, partly funded by EU in the BB Green projects. The system is a lightweight, long-lasting, technologically-advanced heavy-duty battery system with lithium titanate oxide (LTO) cells that allow for fast and frequent charging. The benefits of LTO, previously considered too expensive for the maritime industry, are substantial and these include high power output, high charging capability, long life and safety.
“With Toshiba’s long experience of LTO batteries, we can offer our customer a safe, reliable, cost-effective battery system. We currently work exclusively with LTO batteries and we are proud that after extensive investigations into environmental performance, cost-efficiency, optimal passenger experience and reliability, Damen Shipyards ultimately chose Echandia’s LTO battery system” says Echandia’s CEO Magnus Eriksson.
Included in the Damen contract was the provision of the charging system that allows the ferries to receive a charge at each stop. This is achieved by having an automatic connect system that engages once the ferry is docked bow-on in its berth. In addition to the main propulsion engines the ferries are fitted with a bow thruster that allows this bow in docking operation to be speeded up. The battery capacity is 183 kWh and the operations allow for a 6 minute charge 18 times per day.
DNV GL type approval
Echandia is the first company in the world to be awarded a DNV GL Type approval certificate for an LTO battery system. Echandia’s E-LTO energy storage system (ESS) is a smart, highly scalable air-cooled modular design system that is based on Toshiba LTO cells.
DNV GL has extensive expertise in testing maritime battery systems. The testing regime included thermal runway propagation, internal/external short circuit, forced discharge, EMC, environmental tests, software functional tests and battery system performance tests.
Echandia Marine also noted that LTO battery chemistry is very robust. Thermal runaway in the cell is extremely unlikely, and propagation of thermal runaway between Toshiba cells is almost impossible. Thus, E-LTO offers supreme passive prevention against thermal runaway propagation compared to other battery types. This results in a highly safe, controlled system that does not require any active measures like water cooling or fire suppression.