Full Power of Current Direct Project Brought Into Focus


Published May 5, 2021 4:42 PM by The Maritime Executive

[By: Current Direct]

Current Direct, a research and innovation project funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program, aims to cut the cost of today’s marine battery electric drivetrains in half, relieving ship owners of the burden of capital expense to enable adoption and rapidly reduce greenhouse emissions.

The new website is a critical step in promoting accessibility to the program and accountability for consortium members. It will serve as the primary point of contact for the consortium and a resource to promote project objectives via social media channels like LinkedIn. Maintaining open and active avenues of communication with interested and affected businesses and agencies is essential to the success of such an expansive and revolutionary program. The website provides industry stakeholder and public access to the project deliverables, several of which are already available for download from the Resources page.

Current Direct’s innovative Energy as a Service platform will enable ship owners to accelerate the shift to clean energy while creating new business opportunities for shipyards and local entrepreneurs. By changing the model for acquiring and storing energy aboard vessels, Current Direct will create a new energy economy, generating thousands of new jobs in the process. Current Direct provides a vehicle for energy companies, institutional investors, and government stakeholders to participate in the green transformation of Europe’s merchant and passenger fleet.

Current Direct brings together thirteen dynamic partners from across Europe’s marine electrification value chain. The project is led by Spear Power Systems, makers of the world’s lightest, most flexible marine batteries certified to the most stringent international safety standards.

Blackstone Technology is lowering the cost of manufacturing 3D printed lithium-ion cells using state of the art active materials from Umicore. The University of Hasselt will use its electrochemical expertise to develop physics-based models of the Current Direct cells that will help optimize the life and return on investment of battery systems deployed across Europe as part of the Current Direct Energy as a Service platform, developed by engineers and data scientists at Rhoé Urban Technologies and Aviloo. Naval architecture and marine engineering company Foreship will lend its expertise to EDP NEW’s in-depth knowledge of electrical markets to ensure the Current Direct platform targets optimal vessels and locations, maximizing reductions in emissions. VUB’s material science experts are creating low-cost composites to improve the safety of battery packs that are designed for recyclability and feature VITO’s smart cell monitoring electronics. Wärtsilä will develop modular battery containers and charging infrastructure that will be certified to innovative standards developed together with Lloyd’s Register. The project will culminate in a demonstration of the Current Direct battery, shore charging, and asset management platform by Kotug in Rotterdam.

Vessel operators, ports, shipyards, naval architects, energy companies, certification bodies, regulators, and sustainability-focused investors are invited to join us in a series of virtual workshops to share your ideas and learn about how Current Direct can change the way you do business.  

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