The transportation industry as a whole is responsible for about 25% of global CO2 emissions, and out of this number, about 30-40% comes from cargo transport. This means that any energy efficiency increase in cargo transportation will inevitably have a big impact on a global level. At Skeleton Technologies, we are developing new, ultracapacitor energy storage-based solutions to improve the efficiency of port cranes.
Types of port cranes
Port crane manufacturers include global giants such as Konecranes, Kalmar, Liebherr, and ZPMC, whose cranes move containers in ports around the world, but there are various different types of cranes for various different uses cases. Some of the most used types are RTG (rubber-tyred gantry) cranes, STS (ship-to-shore) cranes, and grabber cranes.
The constant up and down movement of any type of crane of course offers the opportunity for energy savings.
A Kinetic Energy Recovery System is ideal for port cranes. The energy generated when a container is lowered is usually burned in the braking resistors, but with our ultracapacitor-powered system, the excess energy can be captured and re-used to help lift the containers. The solution is suitable for most RTG cranes, and we've decreased energy consumption by 30% and fuel consumption by 9% on average for our customers.
The system can be installed in new cranes or retrofitted into existing ones.
Continuously operating STS cranes can trigger high peak loads on the grid as well as creating voltage and frequency fluctuations. The end result can be a blackout, leading to expensive downtime. In this application, ultracapacitors are used to provide peak power to the local grid, ensuring no blackouts occur.
Ultracapacitor energy storage ensures a stable grid and enables continuous operation for STS cranes.
STS cranes are essential to any container terminal and any downtime and maintenance will directly impact the efficiency of the port. Reliability is of utmost importance.
The diesel engines powering port cranes need to be reliable and work under any weather conditions. However, often the lead-acid batteries, tasked with starting the large diesel engines, fail. Downtime is costly, so it's essential for crane operators to use every minute efficiently. Ultracapacitors can be used to start large diesel engines reliably even in the most difficult of conditions. The SkelStart Engine Start Module is designed for this exact application, making sure unplanned downtime is a thing of the past for port crane operators.
If you want to hear more about any of these applications or discuss energy storage solutions for your needs, get in touch with us.