Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) has started research and development work on a project to integrate the battery capacities of the automated guided container transport vehicles (AGVs) at its Container Terminal Altenwerder (CTA), according to a statement.
According to a statement, the move is part of the publically-funded FRESH project, a CTA-based initiative aimed improving the flexible management and control of heavy goods in the port.
HHLA, which has collaborated with Next Kraftwerke AG, one of the largest virtual power plant operators in Europe, says by 2022 approximately 100 AGVs will be converted to fast-changing lithium-ion batteries.
Furthermore, it will also help the transition towards renewable energies in container terminal operations and make them less dependent on weather-based renewable energy, such as wind or solar power.
A recent Port Technology technical paper looked at the future of container terminal design
Speaking about the initiative, Bris Wulff, from the CTA Terminal Development department, said: “This is, of course, not their primary purpose – container transport is. But in less busy times, free AGVs could provide battery capacity as mobile power stores to safeguard grid stability.
“Capacity utilisation at the terminal determines whether AGV capacities are free. These in turn depend on such factors as ship schedules, weather and tide conditions, traffic volume and load-ing cycles of the AGVs.
In this way, we can predict quite pre-cisely when and how long AGVs can dock at the electric charging stations, in order to either give or receive energy when the power grid requires it.”
Alexander Krautz, Team Manager of Innovation & Development at Next Krauftwerke, also commented: “The digitisation and electrification of the logistics branch – with its high energy consumption and special requirements – represents a challenge for our power system, while at the same time offering new possibilities for optimisation and stabilisation.
“Together with our FRESH project partners, this is precisely what we want to demonstrate.”