Cold Ironing: Environmental-friendly Power for Ships at Ports
During ships' layovers in ports, certain amounts of electric power are still needed to supply further operations such as cargo handling, air conditioners and lighting, etc.
The common power source for ships when tied up in ports, is currently supplied by their own onboard auxiliary engines using bunker fuels, such as Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO), Marine Gas Oil (MGO). By doing so, ships account for the majority of harmful emissions in port area.
The larger ships are, the higher emissions and noises they produce: emissions vary significantly from type and tonnage of vessel, such as cruise ships, container ships, ferries, RoRo Ships etc. Therefore, for port cities, port areas can be where the main pollution occurs.
What is "Cold Ironing"? The Maritime Solution to Air Pollution.
To mitigate the air pollution in port cities, the maritime industry has been looking out for attainable and practicable technology measures and schemes.
Among them, one of the solutions is to require the ships - which are not already using environmental-friendly fuels, fail to meet the emission restriction and potentially cause harmful emission, to carry out the "Cold Ironing" - "it is the process of providing shoreside electrical power to a ship at berth while its main and auxiliary engines are turned off."
How Does the Cold Ironing Process Work?
The term "Cold Ironing" indicates a technology and a process which enables ships, while layover in ports, to shut down their own auxiliary engines and to be supplied with electricity via Onshore Power Supply Systems, conventionally, stream from the Grid Power.
The primary Technical Requirements of Cold Ironing are:
On the Shipside, i,e. onboard of the ship, shall either already equipped or retrofitted with ship to shore connection (in accordance with the IEC 80005 Standard) for the sake of connecting to Onshore Power System to provide electricity; otherwise the connection between the ships and Onshore Power Supply Systems, can also be achieved via an AMP System (Alternative Marine Power) that comes with cable reel or cable management system.
On the Portside, at the berth where the ship will be tied up to, the electrical infrastructure and construction for Cold Ironing System i.e. shore to ship connection has been established (in accordance with the IEC 80005 Standard), which usually comprised of:
- Frequency Converter (converts 50Hz from the Grid Power to 60Hz needed for the ships );
- Voltage Transformer (to meet Low/Medium/High Voltage of each individual ship);
- Cable Management Systems often include a cable reel, as the power cables shall be lifted and pulled by cranes or other applicable equipment, from/to the position where the shore power connector is located.
Conventional "Cold Ironing schematic"
Benefits of Cold Ironing Ships: from Air Quality to Noise Reduction
By shutting down ship's own diesel generators which normally use fossil fuels for power, being supplied with the shore side electricity instead, this land-based power source usually comes from Grid Power or external Mirco Power Plant, generated from low-emission, renewable and sustainable energy sources such as wind or solar.
Cold Ironing is thus an effective anti-pollution measure with a multitude of benefits:
- enables significant reduction of harmful emission due to fewer fuel consumption, relieves the air pollution at port areas;
- reduces the noise pollution produced by the ships' engines;
- ensures a higher energy utilization, because ships' engines usually have lower efficiency;
- prolongs the ships' own engines lifetime whilst saving maintenance cost.
Current Challenges in Implementing Cold Ironing Shore Power Systems
- Conventional Onshore Power Supply (OPS) Systems are stationary installations, thus, it isn't economically and technically feasible to furnish every berth with such system;
- The additional procedure to firstly convert the frequency and voltage from Grid Power to the ones required by each individual ship, possibly accompanies with instability factors, such as unpredictable troubleshooting;
- Feedbacks from current operational and technical practices - that many ships reluctant to adopt shore side electricity - due to long connection duration and often unexpected technical errors, which raised ship owners' and operators' safety concerns for their vessels and crews;
- Grid Power Plants often face limited capacity problems and coverage difficulty, especially in the remote port areas.
The Role of Ports in Cold Ironing Technology Integration
"Green Port" has been the paramount objective for the ports to accomplish, in the interest of combating the global climate change whilst conforming to local environment regulations, and fundamentally, improving the air quality in the port areas, safeguarding a healthy atmosphere for the citizens of the port cities.
Hence, besides enacting concrete regulation towards emission restriction, it is beneficial for port authorities and power providers to deploy and implement Onshore Power Supply (OPS) infrastructures for berths in ports, make them accessible and easy-to-connect, in order to enforce and to promote Shore Power Scheme - an efficient & effective emission-reduction measure, to the end users, i.e. ships.
Becker PowerPac - an advantageous Cold Ironing Solution
With Becker PowerPacs, eCap Marine facilitates a modern, environmental-friendly, safe and economical option - as Mirco Power Plant providing shore side electricity to major types of vessels, either inland vessels or seagoing vessels, such as RoRo ship, ferry, CTV, container ship during their layovers in port.
Becker PowerPacs are designed and constructed for supplying shore side electricity to the vessels during their layovers in ports - all components and engineerings are strictly in compliance with required norms and standards, such as Machinery Directives, TÜV, BV, etc., as well as local laws and regulations for energy and environment.
Take one standard configured Becker LNG PowerPac® as example: a compact Power Generation System which intelligently combines a gas combustion engine with an output of 1.5 Megawatts continuous electrical power to a container ship, yet with decisively fewer emissions than the typical power generation from the ships' own auxiliary engines. Together with an exchangeable LNG Tank System in a limited amount of space – the size of two 40ft high cube ISO containers.
For large container ship with higher electricity demand to receive continuous electrical power, two Becker LNG PowerPac® can be cascaded and operated in parallel, contributing 3 MW in total.
Becker PowerPac can likewise providing shoreside electrical power to vessels which are not yet equipped or retrofitted with shore power connector (in accordance with IEC 80005 Standard). The connection can be realized via an AMP System (Alternative Maritime Power) that is usually also fitted with a cable management system inside its container.
eCap's Cold Ironing Technology Solution - One standard configured Becker LNG PowerPac® with 1.5 MW
- 2 x 40 ft high cube container
- Fuel: 8.2 t LNG
- 28 – 30 hrs operation (@ 90% load)
- 1,500 kWel. island mode
- Frequency 60 Hz
- Voltage 6.6 kV
- Electrical connection acc. to IEC 80005-1
- 60 t (fully equipped)
CE-Certified, partly classified and risk assessed by IACS members (DNVGL/BV)
Extendibility of operating hours by positioning a second LNG-Tanktainer on top
Cascadable for up to 3 MW power supply
Simple action – significant immediate effect:
The Becker PowerPac is a quickly implemented solution with its delivery time of eight months, no required infrastructure investments and has a high impact on port emission reductions.
The innovative Becker PowerPac excels itself as an exceptional technology solution for establishing electrical infrastructure at the port side for cold ironing in ports. In comparison to conventional stationary Shore Power System, the Becker PowerPac distinguished itself for following innovations advancements:
- Cold ironing Systems customized for container ships, ferries or RoRo ships
- A flexible, independent onboard energy supply
- Standby as Backup and Emergency Power Generation
- Significant and immediate reduction of harmful emissions
- Quick implementation – usable in any port
- 100% maritime solution as separate power generation unit
- In line with energy laws – no state taxes, grid fees etc.
- Suitable for all kinds of container terminal operations
- No extensive infrastructure investments are necessary
- Add extra electrical capacity to the Grid Power at port areas
Becker PowerPac - an mobile Cold Ironing Shore Power Solution
The high flexibility of the Becker PowerPac allows it to be easily moved to and to serve multiple mooring locations as per request and planning in advance. Due to this high flexibility and its designated integration into regular terminal operational processes. The handling of Beck PowerPac is literally part of the terminal loading/unloading operations.
Handling Process of Becker PowerPac for Supplying Shore Power to Ships
Under current port operations and administration flow, a ship is required to register and report information, such as its ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) and ETD (Estimated Time of Departure), CII (Carbon Intensity Indicator), etc.
It is therefore practical to be included into daily port operations, to plan and organize each use request of Becker PowerPac in advance, smoothly and trouble-free. Serial actions, such as:
- Shipside: ship operators shall prepare and evtl. shut down main engines, adjust ship's power supply board accordingly; get the crane or lifting equipment and/or cable management systems ready, to direct/accept power cables to/from the portside;
- Portside: terminal operators shall transport the Becker PowerPac to the designated berth, so the preparation and commissioning for the readiness of this system can be done before the vessel arrives.
Once this pre-reported ship is tied up at the designated berth in port, as per its individual request and booking, the Becker PowerPac will be:
- either being place onboard (normally positioned on the aft ship/outer ship side of the vessel);
- or stays on the shore side and to be connected to ship via established Cable Management Systems. The distance and exact location depends on each terminal's physical condition.
All those actions and movements are done via the port terminal’s locally available, standardized loading equipment, such as gantry cranes, ship-to-shore cranes and van carriers.
A standard configured Becker LNG PowerPac® weighs not exceeding 60 tons (including the LNG-Tanktainer). If 60 tons exceeds some terminals' lifting and/or transportation equipment weight limits, the handling and movement of the Becker LNG PowerPac® can be done in two separate actions with the PowerUnit and the Tanktainer accordingly.
Handling Example of Becker LNG PowerPac® for Shore Power Supply:
Step 1: The Becker PowerPac is transported from a stand-by position at the terminal to the ship by a straddle carrier.
Step 2: The LNG-Tanktainer is delivered and connected to the Becker PowerPac, which is now ready to be moved on board.
Step 3: The Becker PowerPac is ready to supply power and is picked up by a gantry crane to be moved on board the vessel.
Step 4: The Becker PowerPac is lowered into position on the aft ship/outer ship side of the vessel.
The Future of Cold Ironing: Trends and Innovations
Becker PowerPac can be deployed with various fuel sources, besides using a combustion engine as Becker LNG PowerPac® (Liquified Natural Gas) or LBG PowerPac (Liquified Bio Gas); other gasiform fuels and optimally, green alternative fuels are feasible too. Our Product Portfolio also includes:
Fuel cell technology with (green) hydrogen as fuel: Hydrogen Power Generator (H2PowerPac);
Battery technology for supplying & charging power - Energy Storage System (ESS): Battery PowerPac.