NYK Begins Research on Battery-Hybrid System to Reduce GHG from Ships

NYK, MTI, ABS, and WinGD Conduct Joint Research for Optimization of Ship Design

Dec. 02, 2021

Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha
MTI Co., Ltd.

NYK and NYK Group company MTI Co., Ltd. ("MTI"), together with the American Bureau of Shipping ("ABS") and Winterthur Gas & Diesel Ltd. ("WinGD"), have started joint research for optimization of ship design by utilizing a battery-hybrid system to aid ship propulsion and thus reduce GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions from vessels.

A vessel's main-engine revolutions may increase significantly when a vessel tries to maintain its sailing speed during strong waves and winds. This phenomenon is called “load fluctuation.” The shaft generator may also increase the burden on the main engine. The shaft generator is connected to the ship's propeller shaft to generate electricity within the ship as the main engine rotates.

The battery-hybrid system is a mechanism that decreases the burden that the shaft generator places on the main engine. This battery-hybrid system supplies electricity from the battery when the load on the main engine fluctuates. As a result, the power that the ship can use for its propulsion can be increased, and the operation of the main engine thus becomes more efficient. For these advantages, this system is being introduced to more oceangoing vessels. In addition, the use of the battery-hybrid system will lead to a reduction of GHG emissions since instead of a generator, which requires oil, it can supply electricity for the operation of onboard equipment during daily operations.

In this joint research, NYK, MTI, ABS, and WinGD aim to create an integrated simulation model of ships by combining the modeling technologies* of each company to maximize GHG emission reduction through use of this battery-hybrid system.

Specifically, an integrated model of an entire ship will be created by combining NYK and MTI's modeling technologies for actual sea performance** and WinGD's modeling technology for engine plants that include batteries. Then, using ABS's advice on the evaluation of the effect of GHG reduction. NYK, MTI and WinGD will then jointly design a ship in digital space and together with ABS conduct simulations of navigation using a scenario that assumes meteorological conditions in actual seas. By considering the issues clarified within the simulation, NYK, MTI and WinGD will further improve the simulation model to optimize ship design. This joint research is an epoch-making initiative in the maritime industry that has the ship users, NYK and MTI, collaborating with the marine equipment manufacturer WinGD and with the advice of the marine classification society ABS develop a digital model of a ship, perform simulations, and build a ship. The ship model will be verified in accordance with a modeling and simulation framework to be developed by ABS.


Image of processing a simulation.   Image by NYK.

In the future, NYK and MTI, together with ABS, WinGD, and shipyards, will improve the accuracy of the simulation by collating the simulation results, obtained through the joint research, with the performance data of actual ships in actual seas. NYK and MTI aim to nurture this simulation technology as a core technology in the shipbuilding plans of the NYK Group. NYK and MTI will also utilize simulations to optimize the method of operation and control of the battery-hybrid system. This joint research is the first step for such future-aiming initiatives.

On February 3, NYK released the NYK Group ESG Story, which aims to further integrate ESG into the company's management strategy and promotes activities that contribute to the achievement of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) through business activities. Conducting this joint research reflects the company's initiative to provide an eco-friendly transportation mode through the improvement of ships (hardware) and ship operations (software), as well as the promotion of digitalization. To strongly promote ESG management, the NYK Group will encourage new value creation as a sustainable solution provider.



Company Overviews

Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha
Head office: 2-3-2 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan
President: Hitoshi Nagasawa
Website: https://www.nyk.com/english/

MTI Co., Ltd.
Head office: 2-3-2 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan
President: Kazuo Ishizuka
Website: https://www.monohakobi.com/en/

* Modeling technology
Describing the act or specifications of an equipment mainly through mathematical formulas.

** Actual sea performance
The vessel's performance, such as navigation speed or fuel efficiency, in actual sea conditions with waves, winds, etc.

*** NYK Group ESG Story
A guideline detailing concrete efforts to integrate ESG into management strategies of the NYK Group. Details: https://www.nyk.com/english/news/2021/esg-story_01.html

NYK Group, press release