Norway-headquartered Corvus Energy has partnered with Canadian operator Seaspan Ferries for the first field trial of Corvus’ Blue Whale ESS, a new comprehensive energy storage system.

For the purpose of a field trial, Blue Whale will be deployed on board Seaspan Reliant, a roll-on / roll-off (RoRo) drop-trailer cargo ferry.

Built in 2016, the ferry provides its services between British Columbia’s Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, sailing through the Salish Sea.

The battery system has been designed for large vessels that operate on zero-emission energy such as cargo ships, cruise ships, and large roll-on / roll-off passenger (RoPax) and RoRo ferries.

Corvus Energy said that the system has a rack-free design with loaded modular blocks, providing the industry’s highest volumetric battery room energy density.

Consequently, the design will expand a ship owner’s passenger or payload opportunities.

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Corvus Energy EVP strategy and business planning Sean Puchalski said: “Seaspan has been an important partner for Corvus Energy. They were amongst the first to install our batteries in North America. Their extensive experience on our battery systems and knowledgeable team makes them the ideal field trial partner.

“Corvus Energy is grateful for the generous funding provided to both Corvus and Seaspan by Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, an initiative of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada.”

The National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Programme (NRC-IRAP) provided support during the research and development of the Blue Whale ESS product and its Battery Monitoring and Optimisation System.

In addition, the Salish Sea Marine Emission Reductions funding obtained from Environment & Climate Change Canada also made a contribution in the field trial.

Blue Whale ESS will increase the vessel’s energy storage capacity from 545kWh to 1,892kWh after replacing an in-service first-generation Corvus AT6500 ESS in the existing battery room.

The new Blue Whale system will be installed by the middle of 2021, at the same time when Seaspan will relocate the AT6500 system onto another vessel, Seaspan Swift.

The commissioning and trials of Blue Whale will take place while the ship is in full-service operation during the remaining months of 2021.

With three and a half times the past energy capacity, Seaspan will be able to use the battery power beyond the spinning reserve.

The battery power will also enable fuel-efficient peak shaving, load balancing, and zero-emission operation.

After installation, automatically collected performance data will be examined and monitored remotely via Corvus’ Cloud-based monitoring and optimisation system, providing feedback to the R&D team.

Commercial deliveries will commence after the completion of the Blue Whale field trial and all key maritime authority certifications in the first half of 2022.