ALBERO challenge seeks to allow protected transport for EVs and extra on ro-ro ferries


Electrical automobiles are booming, with greater than one million on German roads as of this yr. This, in flip, implies that an growing variety of alternative-fueled automobiles are transported on roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) ferries. Nevertheless, there are specific situations related to touring at sea, akin to the ocean state, salt ranges and humidity of the air, cramped areas and closed car decks. This, together with the actual traits of and dangers related to alternative-fueled automobiles, implies that delivery corporations and ship crews should be ready for sure challenges.


An growing variety of alternative-fueled automobiles are transported through ferries. Delivery corporations akin to Stena Line should reply to this improvement by implementing new security techniques on board. © Stena Line GmbH & Co. KG

Automobiles are sometimes on closed car decks throughout transportation. This provides rise to new potential dangers, as varied accidents have already proven: In February 2022, Felicity Ace, a cargo ship, caught hearth and sank. There have been round 4,000 automobiles on board. These included quite a few plug-in hybrids and purely electric-powered automobiles with built-in lithium-ion batteries, which difficult firefighting efforts. The batteries in an unknown variety of electrical automobiles had caught hearth on board this roll-on/roll-off ship.

Again in November 2011, an electrically powered Nissan caught hearth on the car deck of the Pearl of Scandinavia ferry. An investigation revealed that the fireplace broke out whereas the automobile was charging. Consequently, the delivery firm prohibited charging throughout crossings. Incidents akin to these impressed the associate organizations to launch a challenge wanting into methods to enhance security when transporting different fueled automobiles.

In ALBERO, a analysis challenge by the German Federal Ministry of Schooling and Analysis (BMBF), a analysis workforce from the Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Data Processing and Ergonomics FKIE is working with companions to develop techniques and applied sciences to combine safely different fueled automobiles into roll-on/roll-off ferry site visitors.

As well as, they collaborated with quite a lot of companions to create measures to assist protected transportation and charging of automobiles throughout sea crossings, which additionally took under consideration automobiles powered by different fuels akin to pure fuel and hydrogen.

For a while now, along with typical automobiles, gas-powered and electrically powered automobiles have more and more needed to be transported on roll-on/roll-off ships. This requires new security procedures on board. The distinctive situations on ferries create a selected want for motion; these embrace the automobiles being parked intently collectively, which makes them tough to entry, the elevated danger of a hearth spreading, unpredictable climate situations, the vibrations of the ship and rather more.

—Lerke Thiele, a researcher at Fraunhofer FKIE

An evaluation by a challenge associate confirmed that the danger of a hearth spreading to the encircling space is larger with electrical automobiles than with typical automobiles. And there are extra complicated dangers to the well being of emergency personnel and bystanders. If the battery malfunctions and catches hearth, it will probably launch poisonous gases.

—Nina Rößler, Fraunhofer FKIE

A joint challenge with the Institut für Sicherheitstechnik und Schiffssicherheit e. V. (German Institute for Protected Engineering and Ship Security), the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg College of Utilized Sciences, the Analysis Institute for Automotive Engineering and Powertrain Techniques Stuttgart, GTE Industrieelektronik GmbH and Lloyd’s Register targeted on each battery-powered automobiles and different fuels akin to pure fuel (liquid and compressed pure fuel), liquefied petroleum fuel and hydrogen.

On this challenge, funded by the BMBF as a part of its “Civil safety – Transport infrastructure” subject, researchers developed technical, structural and organizational measures to enhance security when transporting the automobiles and—for electrical automobiles—when charging them throughout the voyage. In addition to acceptable strategies for pre-sorting throughout boarding, they designed particular parking areas and loading decks which have progressive danger detection and security techniques. For instance, the reserving system, pre-sorting course of and site visitors administration system had been integrated into the parking house design.

Suggestions had been additionally developed for the location of automobiles on board, and visible representations of their places and drive sorts had been created for the crew on the bridge. The plans for detecting and extinguishing fires took under consideration hearth detection techniques akin to fuel sensors, temperature displays and varied firefighting coaching programs particularly developed for different fueled automobiles. The rules are supplemented with structural hearth safety strategies (e.g. partitions, air flow, explosion safety), suggestions for appropriate measures to be taken within the occasion of an accident and necessities for protected loading, bearing in mind the actual circumstances on board.

Arranging optimum placement and hearth prevention for different fueled automobiles is an advanced matter. Our process was to design a boarding course of and develop a pre-sorting technique on the port contemplating these variables. On board, related data is transferred to the LoMoSS (Load Monitoring Help System) data system for which we developed a protoype. This case-reporting system additionally gives assist in decision-making; we applied and evaluated the system utilizing high and low constancy prototypes. It permits us to visually symbolize automobiles’ precise parking positions.


The LoMoSS data system’s person interface.

An essential factor of LoMoSS is that, after passengers disclose their car’s drive sort when reserving, this data is recorded within the reserving system and linked to the car’s license plate. Within the case of rapid hazard, it will probably additionally determine the proprietor or cabin quantity—loading officers defined that this was a very essential requirement.

—Lerke Thiele

The researchers took a human-centered strategy to designing the person interface; the potential finish customers had been intently concerned on this iterative technique.

Subsequent, the researchers hope to make use of LoMoSS to robotically document automobiles’ precise parking positions. An trade associate has already proven curiosity in creating a module for this goal.


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