How Floating Power Ports Help Ships To Curb Air Pollution!

Feb 17, 2023by Olivia Harper - F&F

Stillstrom is an offshore charging buoy concept developed by Maersk Supply Service that has been designed to eliminate marine vessel emissions and facilitate clean offshore charging! Let’s take a look.

Shipping PortShipping Port

Image: Canva

Why We Need A Cleaner Future For The Shipping Industry  

Pollution has become a growing concern for every industry these days, especially for the mega industries which consume a lot of power and produce hazardous emissions — the shipping industry being a major one. Every day, thousands of vessels consume fuel for the sole purpose of powering auxiliary functions, while on standby.

Initiates have been taken previously in an attempt to curb marine vessel air pollution, however, nothing had proven to be a success. During the pandemic, the industry further added to the existing pollution crisis… multiple ships could not leave the port and thus, ports were overcrowded with ships that still used the energy to run.

In fact, the California Air Resources Board reports that the ships that use the Southern California ports release the amount of smog equivalent to 5.8 million passenger cars!

Flowing Power PortFlowing Power Port

Image: Maersk Supply Service

The Solution — Floating Power Ports To Transfer Onshore Clean Energy To Ships!

To tackle this problem, a Danish shipping corporation ‘Maersk’ has announced a new project which would help to reduce the emissions caused by idling ships. Their solution is the concept of offshore charging buoys to replace fossil fuel usage with clean, renewable energy.

How does this work? The charging buoys would be connected to underwater power cables, or floating power ports, which further draw energy from the onshore green renewable resources like wind farms. Stillstrom, an accompaniment to Maersk undertakes this new venture.

After safely connecting the vessel to the mooring point, power will be transferred to the vessel, allowing the vessel to turn engines off — with zero emissions. On a global scale, their ambition is to enable vessel owners to turn engines off, thereby supporting a cleaner future for our oceans!

Underwater Charging CablesUnderwater Charging Cables

Image: Maersk Supply Service

The Potential Of Underwater Power Cables To Change The Shipping Industry

Stillstrom, meaning ‘quiet power’ in Danish, has implemented a test buoy offshore in Norway. The floating power port is connected by one cable to one buoy but plans to have multiple charging connections on this single buoy.

The program manager of Stillstorm, Sebastian Klasterer Toft, says “Our vision is that, following proof of concept, inside five years of commercialisation we shall be around 50 to 100 ports, including those with wind farms nearby.”

David Pettit, a senior attorney with the NRDC, also shares “If it works, I think it will be a big step forward for those ships that are able to access electric power instead of running their auxiliary engines because then you go to zero emissions both offshore and at the dock.”

Wow! We hope to see these floating power ports take off and one day enable marine vessels worldwide to have access to clean, renewable energy. What are your thoughts on this new innovation? Be sure to share what you think in the comments!

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