Customcells® - Applications in the maritime industry

There are also new regulations in the shipping industry to reduce fuel consumption and thus environmental pollution. One alternative is the electrification of drive systems and hybrid solutions. CUSTOMCELLS® offers powerful batteries based on prismatic lithium-ion secondary cells for demanding applications on ships and yachts. The lithium-ion battery cells are ideally suited for use on yachts, offshore, supply and drilling vessels, excursion boats, tugs and ferries as well as for mobile port equipment.

Exemplary applications for Customcells® cell technologies

  • Hybrid drives for container ships, tugboats
  • Manned underwater vehicles
  • Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (AUV)
  • Underwater defence systems
  • Sea Surveillance / Floater
  • Navigation mark batteries
  • Offshore wind turbine installation ships
  • Container tracking systems

Customcells® - high-level safety cells

The use of lithium ion cells in the maritime industry is an intelligent approach to reducing ship engine sizes by buffering energy for azipod diesel-electric combinations or fully electric short-distance ferries. On the other hand, the use of lithium-ion cells in large quantities significantly increases the risk of fire on board if the choice of cell material is not a priority. In particular, the frequent use of numerous compact (low-capacity) NMC-graphite cells on ships leads to several disadvantages such as increased total operating costs, maintenance costs for the shipowner and a potentially high risk of fire due to thermal event, thus endangering passengers and crew. CUSTOMCELLS® high-level safety cells prevent fires on ships and ensure a long service life.

A calculation example

The following calculation was made for a ferry that travels an average distance of 5.6 km 30 times a day.

Example of a bad investment

A ferry is equipped with a 1 MWh battery storage for all-electric driving, which is based on numerous NMC graphite round cells. A distance of approx. 5 km is covered 30 times a day. The DOD during the trip is about 19%, most NMC cells are carried as own weight (81% - due to the cooling system, the cell size) but were still bought at full price. The risk of failure due to the high number of round cells is high. Only a complex extinguishing system can prevent a possible fire. The amount of energy inside the ship can be compared with a 1,000 kg TNT bomb. The fire risk is high due to the inhomogeneous aging, the high power loading and the high degree of utilisation, the service life (@80% SOH) is very low and less than one year. All this leads to unnecessary risks and very high total cost of ownership.


As part of the TIETEK project of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft e.V., one of the many CUSTOMCELLS® cell construction technologies was used to set up an energy storage system for the primary supply of a deep-sea robot. The lithium storage, the battery management system and the modular design were designed in such a way that pressures of up to 600 bar (corresponding to an operating depth of approx. 6000 m), which affect the entire system, do not impair its functionality. Due to this application-specific characteristic, the autonomous underwater vehicle could be built pressure tolerant, which resulted in considerable manufacturing and cost advantages. The AUV was developed for the exploration of deep-sea resources.

Power is supplied by four energy storage systems connected in series. The individual modules consist of 12 cells and are connected with hermetically sealed cable connectors. To achieve the desired pressure tolerance, the modules are surrounded by seawater so that the ambient pressure is transferred to the energy storage systems. The individual modules have been tested at hydrostatic pressures of up to 600 bar and optimized for ambient temperatures between 0°C and 50°C. The modules have been designed for use in the field of energy storage systems.