The world is going electric - and this is undeniable! Be it on land, at sea or in the air - industries and technologies are starting to catch up - and at times exceed - fossil-fuel powered means of transportation.
In the marine industry cargo ships, naval ships, submarines and even special purpose marine vessels are fast adopting electric power. Similarly, the luxury yacht market has entered an era of eco-consciousness as builders and suppliers work together to source and develop sustainable solutions. These efforts are focused on reducing consumption and emissions, as well as improving speed and above all safety.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) estimates that the amount of human-instigated carbon dioxide emissions from shipping is expected to rise by 50 – 250% by 2050 if no action is taken. New propulsion systems that consume less fuel, and hybrid yacht batteries that motorise the vessel voyage for hours of silent and fuel-less transportation, are emerging on the horizon. Growing interest in energy storage from the sea vessel industry is already leading global battery manufacturers to accommodate the rising demand for electric and hybrid marine systems.
The advantages from powering yachts with batteries are well known, just as much as the risks that come with them. A European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) report concludes that a Li-Ion battery fire onboard a ship can be more deadly than a sinking ship. The authors point out that the commonly used fire suppression systems are not effective in case of a battery fire, and in some cases may even worsen the situation.
Mechanical shocks or misuse of a Li-Ion battery may lead to an increase in its internal temperature, triggering what is known as a thermal runaway. During a thermal runaway, the battery electrolyte releases toxic and potentially explosive off-gases along with excessive heat. The resulting fire can ignite the electrodes of the battery and is of such high intensity that it is difficult to extinguish or contain.
FirePro, a leading manufacturer of condensed aerosol fire suppression systems, has carried out extensive research, with more than 70 tests over the past 5 years, aimed at understanding the diverse behaviour of fire on such batteries. The FP technology has been thoroughly tested regarding effectiveness and efficiency by accredited laboratories including KIWA (Netherlands) and Albarubens (Italy) as well as by prominent Li-Ion battery manufacturers such as LG Chem. Moreover, prominent manufacturers such as Samsung SDI are using FirePro for their Energy Storage Systems (ESS).
Additionally, FirePro has been working closely with shipyards and end clients, designing solutions for small to large Li-Ion battery ESS’s. Noteworthy installations include those on the Baltic 142 Canova luxury super yacht and the Aurora pioneering ferry boat.
Baltic Yachts is a European superyacht building company based in Larsmo, Finland. It is considered as one of the world leaders in the design, engineering, and construction of high-performance carbon composite yachts. FirePro systems are currently installed in the engine room of Baltic 142 Canova to protect both its engine and its critical electrical equipment.
The Aurora is a ferryboat operated by ForSea (HH-Ferries), a European operator based in Helsingborg, Sweden that supports ‘sustainable’ ferry routes. FirePro systems protect four Battery Energy Storage Systems on board the Aurora.
Despite the risks and difficulties, there is nothing slowing the marine industry from going electric, and therefore fire suppression technology must progress and adapt accordingly. FirePro is embracing the change and is constantly helping to shape the future of fire protection against battery fires.
FirePro has a team of expert partners in Singapore who are ready to help and advise on Marine Fire Protection as well as specific FirePro solutions. Alarm Supply Pte Ltd has been installing and commissioning Marine systems successfully for many years and can showcase a large portfolio of projects and clients. For further information, you may contact Danny Ang – General Manager of Alarm Supply Pte ltd at firstname.lastname@example.org