A storage system consisting of 30 lithium (LiFePO4) 280Ah/25.6 volt batteries from MG Energy Systems was installed on motor freighter Jolina. MS Jolina is equipped with high-power alternators, which efficiently charge the MG lithium-ion battery bank while sailing.
The adjustment options available to the skipper allow for optimal use of the system. Thus, the recharging of the batteries can be tailored to the duration of the voyage being made.
The assignment was short and clear: create a battery system that can meet the energy needs on board for at least 8 hours when docked.
Challenges: Although the assignment was short and clear, realization from design to delivery obviously requires effort and attention. Connections to existing systems had to be made and this concerns both the distribution of main currents and the transmission of alarms & signals, but also, for instance, the starting and stopping of generators.
Although the applied LiFePO4 technology is known to be very safe, inland navigation regulations (ESTRIN) place great emphasis on fire safety of lithium storage systems.
Greener Shipping ensured a seamless integration with the on-board grid where switching to and from the battery system can be done without interruption. Alarms and alerts are transmitted to existing systems and generators are automatically started when the end of charge in the batteries is in sight, allowing them to be recharged. The batteries are placed in durable stainless steel enclosures, equipped with fire-retardant cladding, multiple fire detection and a fire extinguishing system with level control.
The result: Peace and quiet on board
MS Jolina is now a ‘silent’ ship with no emissions when docked. And not for 8 hours, but more than 30 hours. Apart from the peace and quiet, the complete system has several other advantages. For example, the generator, which previously provided power during mooring, runs 5 times less. It also works more efficiently, by generating energy at its rated power instead of about a tenth of that. This obviously saves fuel, in addition to reducing the need to change lubricating oil and filters and proportionally extending the generator’s lifetime, which is expressed in running hours.
In the summer months, the temperature in the engine room can reach as high as 55 degrees. When docked, the heat was maintained because a generator then took over heat production. This is now a thing of the past: when docking, the machines are silent and it cools down nicely overnight. A better (cooler) climate in the engine room is beneficial for all electrical and electronic equipment, as its lifespan and proper functioning largely depend on the ambient temperature.