The Innobarge Project – The details

Batteries

Mechanical braking systems are found on trucks.  A barge does not have a mechanical brake.  Ships have two types of stopping.  One is an Inertia Stop and the other is a Crash Stop.  In an inertia stop, the propulsion system fails and the barge takes much longer to stop.  A crash stop refers to putting all thrust in a reverse direction of the current.  In a conventional barge system, the thrust can only be applied in reverse.  In the InnoBarge barge system, a side thrust can also be used to move laterally away from a hazard.   The battery system design must reflect different conditions of use than an electrically powered truck.  The InnoBarge barge system has multiple electric thrusters.  In normal operation, the motors do not use maximum thrust and have excess capacity.   The barge design is not structured for speed in the water.  When the InnoBarge barge needs to crash stop, maximum thrust is needed by all thrusters.  The high current demands placed on a battery need to be considered.  Li-ion batteries excel against lead-acid car batteries in most design categories.  A LI-ion battery does not have the same instantaneous power availability.  A gasoline powered car battery has not been replaced by Li-ion batteries because of the need for high cranking current.  Li-ion batteries can not be cascaded in the same way lead-acid batteries can to increase voltage.   The type of the battery used on the barge is an important design consideration. A hybrid battery system is the best design.  Non-thruster power systems use Li-ion batteries.

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