HHLA plays its part to make Hamburg air cleaner

AGVs powered by lithium-ion batteries are in action at HHLA Container Terminal Alternwerder (CTA) Photo: HHLA / Nele Martensen AGVs powered by lithium-ion batteries are in action at HHLA Container Terminal Alternwerder (CTA) Photo: HHLA / Nele Martensen

Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) has increased its efforts to improve Hamburg's air quality by committing to the use of lithium-ion battery container transporters at HHLA Container Terminal Alternwerder (CTA).

The operator said that as well as cutting pollution at the terminal, the vehicles are also three times more efficient than their diesel-powered predecessors.

“With the high level of automation at CTA, the terminal is already leading the way for container handling of the future,” said Angela Titzrath, chairwoman of HHLA’s executive board.

“HHLA takes its responsibility to protect the climate and reduce noise pollution in the Port of Hamburg seriously. We will now set ourselves new targets, combining entrepreneurial vision, social responsibility and the sustainable use of resources.”

Battery-powered

A lithium-ion battery-powered automatic automated guided vehicle (AGV) prototype has been in operation at the CTA since autumn 2016 and has been successfully tested together with an electric charging station.

Six of these charging stations have already been installed at Altenwerder and over the coming weeks, 25 lithium-ion battery-powered AGVs will go into operation at the CTA.

By the end of 2022, the fleet of almost 100 AGVs will be completely switched over to lithium-ion battery drive and a total of 18 charging stations will be installed.This will result in an annual reduction in emissions of approximately 15,500 tonnes of CO2 and around 118 tonnes of nitrogen oxide.

HHLA said that from an economic point of view, the ratio of energy consumed to actual power output for lithium-ion battery-powered AGVs is three times higher than that of diesel AGVs.

Further advantages of the batteries include the charging time, which is just one and a half hours, and their high durability. And they weigh less than lead batteries, bringing the weight down from twelve to four tonnes. Lithium-ion batteries also do not require any upkeep, unlike lead acid batteries. This reduces costs and down times resulting from maintenance work.

The terminal will use a sophisticated system with the charging stations supplied by wind power. If the container transporters are at the charging stations and there is no wind over the North Sea, software will signal that the batteries should feed energy back into the grid in order to immediately balance out the resulting gap between the generation and consumption of energy.

If the offshore wind turbines are turning particularly fast, however, the batteries will receive a signal to begin charging contributing to grid stability.

The Ministry of Environment and Energy will provide funding worth approximately € 8 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to the project.

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