Safe introduction of battery propulsion at sea
Electric propulsion using batteries as energy storage has the potential to significantly reduce emissions from shipping and thus the environmental impact. The battery type that is currently on the top of the agenda to be used for ship propulsion applications is Li-ion batteries. Li-ion batteries pose different safety issues than e.g. other propulsion technologies and other batteries such as lead-acid batteries. It is essential that the safety level on board, including fire safety, is maintained, when introducing electric propulsion with energy storage in batteries. This report discusses the different regulations and guidelines available today for fire safety of batteries on board in relation to current knowledge about Li-ion batteries. Also fire safety measures available on board ships today and their applicability for Li-ion batteries is discussed, as well as the different test methods available and their applicability. A workshop gathering different stakeholders from Sweden, Norway and Finland identified fire safety as the main challenge for the introduction of battery propulsion at sea. The workshop concluded that future work is desired in order to increase knowledge and to develop publicly available strategies, training and designs.