A new energy capture storage and reuse system for container terminal yard handling equipment could help terminals reduce fuel bills, emissions and power peaks.

Port of Felixstowe

Designed for rubber-tyred gantry cranes (RTGs), Cress Systems’ ProwESS recycles kinetic energy from container handling equipment that is otherwise wasted. The flywheel-based system runs in parallel with normal RTG operations, with no mechanical connection required, providing stored energy when needed.

Speaking about the technology’s trial at the Port of Felixstowe, Cress CEO Richard Bradshaw, said: “One of the key findings out of the extensive Felixstowe pilot in 2016/2017 was the ability of the CRESS energy storage system to manage and control the release of stored energy as and when required to achieve optimal results, including the ability to reduce the peak demand on the RTG generator set.

“After conducting the field tests on different container and spreader weight combinations ranging from an empty 7 tonnes spreader to a 28 tonne loaded containers, energy savings ranged from 12.91-26.3% depending on the sequence of moves.”


No operational impact

The energy recycling process takes place without affecting terminal operations, equipment driving or lifting activities.

The study found that for European terminal operators using traditional diesel-powered equipment, energy savings translated to a 3-4 year return on investment (ROI) per RTG, depending on local fuel prices, throughput and mode of operations, said Mr Bradshaw.

Its energy peak reduction capabilities, mean the technology also helps terminals better manage the fast-growing trend to more electrified operations, he explained.

A second version of the system is under development for straddle carriers.