Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


LoCOPS Report Summary

Project ID: 756696

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - LoCOPS (Low Cost Onshore Power Supply)

Reporting period: 2017-01-01 to 2017-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

PowerCon aims to pursue a major market opportunity by demonstrating and further commercializing a competitive Onshore Power Supply (OPS), to provide electricity for large sea-going vessels when at quayside in port. The OPS system not only reduces the consumption of fuel and the associated air pollution but also eliminates acoustic noise and vibrations from the running engines.

The structures behind the unfavourable operational and capital expenses have been hindering the deployment of OPS. Today’s high operational expenses are due to a tax disadvantage on shore side electricity compared with tax-free bunkerfuel available for ships. Because of this, the European Commission in 2007 opened up for exemptions from energy taxes for onshore power and some European countries (e.g. Denmark, Sweden and Germany) can now provide shore side electricity at reduced rate. The high capital expenses are seen as a consequence of the low competition and relatively few capable suppliers on the market causing a high bargaining power of the suppliers.

Comparable trends have been seen within the wind power segment in the past where, over time, the total cost of wind turbines has been lowered with great success to compete with fossil fuels. Danish SME PowerCon (PC) have for the last 7 years been part of this success, by adding significant savings into the wind power industry with competitive power solutions. More specifically, we have developed and are successfully commercializing a frequency converter for wind turbines, which is up to 50% cheaper than competing solutions. Now, we aim at bringing the same savings for the maritime sector by introducing a low cost OPS for ships, based on the technology we developed for wind turbines.

In LoCOPS Ph 2 project, we aim to demonstrate our technology in operational environment (at the Port of Kristiansand i Norway, to prove that our technology will result in a positive business case for ports, and thereby step into a very promising market for PowerCon.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The project has reach the first 12 months, and the overall progress is going as planned.

The project has achieved to finalise the specifications and also the engineering work required for the construction of the system. Furthermore many of the sub assemblies has been assembled ready for the integration into the main systems.
The last months of 2017 did however not proceed quit as fast as expected, mainly due to some difficulties in the decision making of the city and port in Copenhagen, the initial end-user of the project. The arise challenges with the initial end-user (Copenhagen city and port) are related to the lacking decisions about initiating the civil works related to the area were the equipment are to be installed and the work related to the cables connecting the Onshore power system. The LoCOPS project did try to encourage the Copenhagen city and port to work faster but with very limited results. Because of this, the project decided to aim at a cruise port in Norway, more specifically the Port of Kristiansand.

In parallel with the engineering work, the project has initiated the overall Go-to market strategy with several initiatives for a number of country´s. In relation to On-Shore Power projects in Europe, and in general the transaction in the transport sector from fossil power to electricity power, Norway is very much in front in terms of providing initiatives for the maritime industry to use Shore Power. Norway are very focused about the environmental effects of the marine sector including the cruise industry and are discussing whether they by regulation can provide more pressure on the shipping industry to convert for more environmental friendly methods.
Norway has already a number of smaller low voltage systems for oil rigs and offshore supply vessels but so far nothing for cruise ships. It is however a topic that has been discussed very much over the last years and therefore of very high interest for PowerCon and our forthcoming export. PowerCon has attended a dedicated cruise onshore-power conference in Norway to be a part of the debate and to make sure the Norwegian ports are aware of PowerCon and our unique products.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

This innovation project will use PowerCon competitive edge from a highly competitive segment and introduce it in a new emerging segment, matching the needs from the relevant stakeholders. So far, the combination of high CAPEX and OPEX of existing solutions undermines the port’s business case in deploying OPS. However, the recent developments in tax exemption gives the port and/or cruise ships an opportunity for a positive gross margin on shore side electricity. Thus, with a sufficiently high consumption as in cruise ships and sufficiently low cost OPS, a business case will emerge. PowerCon’s innovative solution will diversify from other systems by having a price competitive solution, which will enable an overall improved business case ensuring the return of investment for more ports and cities. This fact will enhance the likelihood of the decision to invest in OPS. The main novelties of the LoCOPS system are:

1- Very compact design. This new design will allow the system to be very compact, which will shorten the power path
and thereby the related conduction loss. So far, PowerCon has achieved a design with a power density of 1MVA per
m3 for the converter core compared with the industry standard of no more than 0.25 to 0.5MVA per m3. The high
power density is not only saving space and weight; it also reduces the cost since it requires less material per MVA converter.

2- Optimized control system. The energy efficient control system is adding to the savings not only in the operational
use but also related to the required cooling system keeping the power electronics at an optimal temperature. Less heat
loss requires less flow and power consumptions for pumps etc. and in general allows the cooling system to be less
complicated and thereby, also cheaper eliminating the need for a two-stage compressor system and deionization

3- Modularized for easy dimensioning. The easy assembly and flexible construction creates short installation time and the possibility of adding modules as the demand for power or number of ships connected at the same time increases in the ports.

The whole structure of the system is benefiting from a lower weight and size, thereby minimizing requirements for the
overall footprint and the use of construction materials. Based on our technology, we can offer a solution at significant lower price than the solutions available in the market.

Without knowing the detailed cost structure of competing OPS solutions, we know that
• The cost of PowerCon’s innovative converter technology is 30% lower than our competitors in the Wind Energy sector;
• The converter technology cost in the marine sector seems to be higher than the energy sector

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