iconsys announces new collaboration with CEMEX and the University of Warwick for iConvert™

Press Release: Having secured funding under the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition Round 2 (CMDC 2), iconsys, global building materials supplier CEMEX, and University of Warwick will undertake a study to determine the feasibility of developing a shore-based store and release electrical energy solution for self–discharging commercial cargo vessels.

The Smart shore power system, with energy storage for self-discharging commercial vessels supporting whole vessel efficiency, is part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition Round 2 (CMDC2) which was launched in May 2022, funded by the Department for Transport and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK. As part of the CMDC2, the Department allocated over £14m to 31 projects supported by 121 organisations from across the UK to deliver feasibility studies and collaborative R&D projects in clean maritime solutions.

The CMDC2 is part of the UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emission’s (UK SHORE) flagship multi-year CMDC programme. In March 2022, the Department announced the biggest government investment ever in our UK commercial maritime sector, allocating £206m to UK SHORE, a new division within the Department for Transport focused on decarbonising the maritime sector. UK SHORE is delivering a suite of interventions throughout 2022-2025 aimed at accelerating the design, manufacture and operation of UK-made clean maritime technologies and unlocking an industry-led transition to Net Zero. 

The project, to be developed in a practical, environmentally, and economically sustainable manner will determine the feasibility of the solution capable of meeting the fluctuating electrical load demands of commercial cargo vessels. In addition to vessel base loads, ship-mounted self-discharging cargo equipment draws frequent, high peak transient electrical loads throughout extended duration cargo operations.

Phil Alston, commercial director at iconsys said: “We’re delighted to have been awarded funding for this project and to be working alongside CEMEX Marine and University of Warwick to further develop shore power technology. It helps to further validate iConvert™ as a world-leading product for shore power.” 

The majority of existing maritime electrical supply and charging infrastructure in the UK is either relatively small in scale or focused on meeting the needs of electrical consumers which are drawing relatively stable loads on a supply-on-demand basis. This project will bring an immediate decarbonisation objective with the related cost and sustainability aspects of electrical power delivery to ships at berth.

Laurence Dagley, operational excellence and business development director for CEMEX West Europe materials commented: “Our commitment to sustainability means we are examining every aspect of our operation to cut emissions, including in our marine business. We are very proud to have received this funding from the UK Government for the project, which will also explore the whole-ship energy efficiency, design, and integration to identify areas where systems can be improved, replaced, or removed to reduce the energy requirements.

“Additionally, this project could help our vessels meet potential forthcoming ’emissions at berth’ regulation while contributing to the UK Government’s Clean Maritime objectives.”

The study will further consider the aspect of serving the needs of multiple vessels from a single shore-based infrastructure installation and therefore avoiding replication of similar decarbonisation technology in multiple vessels, with associated reduction in materials usage and cost for ship operators. It will also explore the potential for supply-to-grid support for the UK electrical network when available stored energy is not required for ship operations.

Andrew McGordon, reader at WMG, University of Warwick, commented: “We’re excited to have been awarded funding for this project, alongside iconsys and Cemex, to further develop our innovative marine systems energy modelling work to help identify energy reductions, emission and cost benefits in the sector.”

For more information on iconsys and iConvert™ visit iconsys.co.uk

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