The HHLA Container Terminal Altenwerder (CTA) operates a fleet of approximately 90 automated container transports (automated guided vehicles or AGVs) that, for the most part, are still operated using diesel-powered hydraulic systems or diesel-powered electrical systems. Since 2017, efforts have been underway to gradually adapt the drivetrains of these multi-tonne, ground-handling vehicles to lithium-ion batteries. A completely new infrastructure needs to be established for this, including for example charging stations, transformers and power lines.
This conversion to battery-powered electrical drives will receive funding of just under 8 million euros from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The funding is for the CO2 output reduction, which will be around 15,500 tonnes a year once the system has been completely modified and electricity from renewable sources is used. Noise, fine particulate matter, soot and nitrogen emissions will also be reduced.
As part of the conversion of the AGV fleet to battery-powered drives, HHLA will offer the lithium-ion batteries of the ground-handling vehicles on the electricity market to generate reserve energy. During operationally quiet periods the AGVs are to be strategically connected to charging stations, either to collect excess energy from the power grid or to feed energy back into the power grid as a “primary reserve”. This will help to stabilise the network frequency of the power grid. HHLA is making an important contribution to the success of the energy transition with these measures. To be able to temporarily offer reserve power of up to 4 MW to the power market, the CTA will set up twice as many charging stations as would actually be logistically necessary.
The control software required for this purpose still needs to be researched and developed, which will be done through the project FRESH, which was launched at the start of 2019.