Image: Portsmouth International Port.

Portsmouth International Port (PIP) has announced it will pilot a new smart energy system that includes a novel energy storage solution.

It will include the design and construction of a dual chemistry battery technology project, specifically designed to meet port requirements. This will work together with advanced management software, which can help to optimise onsite energy use to reduce emissions and improve air quality.

The Port Energy Systems Optimisation (PESO) project is co-funded by Innovate UK, and brings together a consortium of Swanbarton – which is developing the energy management software – the Energy Systems Catapult and Marine South England, who will lead the project.

Talking to Solar Power Portal, Anthony Price, managing director at Swanbarton, explained that the battery will be a lithium-ion and lead acid hybrid, and that PIP will place a contract for purchasing it soon.

“The battery exploits the two technologies’ voltage/charge curves in such a way that brief, shallow discharges are met from the durable and responsive lithium-ion cells, but longer and deeper discharges are met from the economical and environmentally friendly lead acid. So it will be a very cost effective solution.

“We are pleased to be working with Marine South East on this project, we are also working with them on other projects in the maritime sector. These are good examples of how innovation in energy systems cuts across applications, bringing benefits to transport infrastructure, renewables and local communities. We hope to deploy further installations of our management software in more projects soon.”

The project is particularly prescient given the growing power demands at ports as ships use more onshore power and adopt electric propulsion systems. Therefore it will be necessary to develop systems capable of providing more power without having to resort to expensive grid upgrades.

Jonathan Williams, CEO of Marine South East, added: “Cleaning up maritime emissions is now an urgent priority for the maritime sector and the PESO project will be a critical stepping-stone to achieve this… This will pave the way for decarbonisation and other emissions reduction across the port estate.”

The Energy Systems Catapult will assess future energy requirements around ports as part of the PESO project, helping it to evaluate the long term impact of energy systems the transformation to greater electrification may have.