Photo: Illustration: Courtesy of Echandia Marine

Bureau Veritas grants first type approval for LTO battery system

Swedish energy system supplier Echandia Marine has obtained type approval from the classification society Bureau Veritas for its lithium titanium oxide (LTO) battery system.

As disclosed, the solution aims to meet high international performance and safety requirements, as well as service life and reliability for at least 10 years of heavy operation without interruption.

“Echandia is the only company in the world to have a certified LTO battery system for marine use in tugboats. It is a breakthrough for safe LTO technology and as tugboats and ferries in local traffic increasingly become battery-powered, the future looks very bright”, said Magnus Eriksson, CEO and founder of Echandia.

The requirements for workboats and passenger ferries showed to be higher than for leisure boats because they need to be charged quickly and in operation for long periods without interruption.

“This is an important milestone for the new, stable, secure LTO battery technology. Certification for marine battery use is the most difficult to achieve, which is why LTO technology can now be expected to make an impact in several areas,” Jacob Zeidler, project engineer at Echandia commented.

The Echandia’s LTO battery system is a light-weight, high-performance battery system based on Toshiba’s LTO (Lithium-Titanium-Oxide) cells.

Echandia delivers batteries with a Battery Management System (BMS), which aims to ensure the full performance over the battery’s lifetime as well as suitable installation components, racks and cables. 

Zeidler added that the company already has “a type-approval for its E-LTO system from DNV.”

As informed, the first to use the battery system was the tugboat manufacturer Damen Shipyards, which built one of the first full-size hybridized tugboats.

Damen’s fully-electric ship-handling tug is a RSD-E Tug 2513, a zero-emissions derivation of the IMO Tier III-ready RSD Tug 2513, introduced in 2018.

In December 2020, Echandia signed an agreement with Siemens to provide E-LTO battery systems for 23 modern electric ferries for the South Indian city of Kochi’s public transport.

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The project comprises a total of 78 zero-emission vessels, which is the world’s largest fleet of electric ferries. The initial 23 ferries, to be built by Cochin Shipyard Limited, will connect the city and its 10 islands via 38 different terminals.

Echandia manufactures proprietary energy systems for high-power, zero-emission transport, including ferries, trains, and wind farms, at its facilities in Stockholm.