SuSy: Sustainable DC Systems

The joint project Sustainable DC Systems - Direct Current Energy Supply on Ships - SuSy for short - aims to increase the distribution efficiency and the absorption capacity for renewable energies.

Shipping currently contributes about 3% to global CO2 emissions, so it is of great relevance for climate protection that shipping also massively reduces its CO2 emissions. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has set itself the target of reducing CO2 emissions by 40% by 2030 and by at least 70% by 2050.

To achieve these goals, it is necessary to use renewable energies. Since renewable energies such as photovoltaics, batteries and fuel cells are based on direct current (DC) and a large part of the consumers on board a ship are also coupled via power converters, DC grids reduce conversion losses and enable higher efficiency compared to alternating current (AC) grids. In addition, sector coupling measures are used to exploit synergies of thermal and electrical energy systems, enabling further efficiency gains.

In order to minimize the cost of conversion to DC grids and the associated market hurdle, it makes sense to develop modularized solutions for a wide variety of ship types that are validated and optimized by simulations and laboratory tests prior to ship design. Corresponding laboratory tests are carried out in the DiCIE laboratory of the PHILSLAB and their results are subsequently fed back into the simulations. With the help of this approach, the development process of the novel DC systems can be significantly shortened. The approaches developed are to be designed as a modular system in order to be usable for a wide variety of ship types and to represent a possible future standard for ships.

The project is being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection with almost five million euros over a period of three years and is being led by Meyer Werft. In addition to TU Hamburg, the project involves Siemens Energy, the Institute of Networked Energy Systems of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), morEnergy, Lloyd's Register and associated partners Damen Shipyards and Schneider Electric.