A smart port works more efficiently in every way, and so energy efficiency is a key priority. Every port today has access to a myriad of data on energy use and costs: but too few are able to use the information effectively to drive significant savings.

An energy management system, linked to the ports’ energy distribution infrastructure, is an effective tool to optimize performance and minimize energy demand.

There is much to be gained. Our involvement in the Susports project demonstrated that introducing energy storage solutions on-board RTGs can reduce diesel use by up to 50%: driving major cost savings for any port.

Another step in the journey to becoming a smart port is full electrification of all port equipment.

Electrification

Around the globe, oil prices continue to rise, while costs of renewable power sources are steadily falling. Now is the time to deploy electrically powered equipment within the port environment. Many smart ports also adopt onsite renewable energy generation to deliver clean electricity more competitively than grid power.

Many port assets are now being converted from diesel power to full electrical operation. Electric power not only drives cost savings; it also reduces terminal emissions and noise, improving the working environment for employees and the surrounding community.

Hybridisation

In some ports full electrification is an unrealistic option due to space constraints or low intensity of operations. In this case, an efficient solution is to adopt hybrid power solutions that combine electrical energy storage with diesel power systems.

In a crane application, the energy storage system receives a boost in charge as the crane works to lower a container. This charge then assists the drive system in moving the next container, reducing the consumption of fuel.

Much of the energy saving is realised when equipment is not in use, where traditionally the diesel motor would continue to run idle, wasting fuel and generating emissions.

Energy storage

Storing energy drives major cost savings for a smart port. One option is to use solar energy to generate electricity, storing the excess for use at night. Alternatively, a smart port can buy power at the lowest rate and store it for use in moments of peak demand.

Storage options include hydrogen in combination with fuel cells and chemical energy storage, as well as innovative solutions such as using cold storage facilities to store thermal energy.

We work with port operations around the globe to analyse energy use and determine the most viable solutions to drive major efficiency and cost savings.

For more information, please contact our team today.