Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch agrees landmark pact with Corvus Energy

Bergen, Norway and Vancouver, Canada – July 14th  2022 —Finland-based power electronics specialist is set to join forces with leading maritime energy storage system (ESS) manufacturer Corvus Energy to continue the development of its smart Battery Short-Circuit Limiter (BSCL) protection device for large-scale battery solutions and advanced DC power distribution.

Under the three-year memorandum of understanding (MoU), Corvus Energy becomes the preferred partner for Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch in the ongoing development of its proprietary BSCL device. The agreement also includes the joint promotion of each party’s products.

“We are very happy to be working with Corvus Energy as a world leader in marine ESS and look forward to constructive collaboration and teamwork,” said Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch Division President Miika Reinikka.

“We are pleased to join forces with Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch. Their unique skill in thinking outside the box to solve complex challenges makes them a valuable partner on our journey to decarbonize shipping. Their innovative technology makes a big difference for the utilization, scalability and safety of marine battery systems,” said Corvus Energy CEO Geir Bjørkeli.

Solving the scalability challenge
Connecting high-energy-content batteries to one electrical system carries high risk of releasing a massive amount of short-term current that can result in system damage. Battery packs consequently have to be split between several DC-Hubs to handle the amount of energy. The more batteries you hook up, the more DC-Hubs would be required – theoretically up to eight for a 20 MWh ESS. The innovation BSCL brings is to limit short-term current from each set of batteries, immediately blocking the short-circuit system. This allows more batteries to be connected to the electrical system and fewer DC-Hubs, making the entire system more compact and representing a significant financial saving. The space saving in terms of cabinet length means less CAPEX while at the same time promoting safety, efficiency and reliability.

Microsecond response
“The BSCL is essentially an ultra-fast, semi-conductor-based protection device that operates based on actual system measurements with microsecond response. It opens the DC electrical circuit by disconnecting a battery set in the event of a fault anywhere in the system, preventing the battery set from discharging itself. Such a sudden release of energy could result in major damage and, in the worst case, an electrical fire. BSCL minimizes the risk by stopping the energy loss in microseconds,” said Teemu Heikkilä, Head of Product Line, Converters at Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch.

“From a technical perspective, the market hasn’t yet come to grips with this connectivity challenge. Class rules, which were primarily designed for AC/DC systems, are lagging behind the rapid pace of technology in DC power distribution. The BSCL is the first product fit for purpose with battery systems that are getting bigger almost by the day. Its key benefit, mirroring the electrification trend where the larger the ESS the better, is that you can increase the energy content of the ESS while minimizing the number of parallel systems required. In principle, implementing BSCL means you still only need two DC-Hubs for an ESS up to 40 MWh, so the savings grow in tandem with the size of the battery package,” he added.

Complementing Corvus Energy’s large battery system installations

While battery systems on board ships until now have been limited to below 10 MWh installations, future projects are increasing to many times this size. The device works for the entire Corvus ESS portfolio, including Corvus Orca, but is particularly suited to Corvus Energy’s Blue Whale ESS, which is designed to meet large operational energy demands at a cost-effective kWh price. The Blue Whale system has been specifically developed for large battery installations ranging from 10 MWh and upwards. Typical vessel applications include cruise ships as well as large ferries, yachts, merchant ships, inland vessels and workboats.

The Battery Short-Circuit Limiter (BSCL) is a standalone product to be placed close to the batteries and between drives. The space saving it generates complements Blue Whale’s low weight and low total system volume. The BSCL can also be retrofitted to existing systems for extra security.

Cousin to EBL and EDCB
The BSCL is closely related to Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch’s recently launched Electronic Bus Link (EBL) and Electronic DC Breaker (EDCB) devices that serve to guarantee selectivity and safety through ultra-rapid fault detection and disconnection, ensuring complete redundancy in DC power distribution for fully electric and hybrid vessels. Both devices are now standard building blocks in the company’s marine drive offering. They enable The Switch DC-Hubs to perform at the highest standards of efficiency and reliability, delivering maximum system protection and ride-through capability.

Caption: The Switch Battery Short-Circuit Limiter (BSCL) is a standalone product to be placed close to the batteries and between drives.
Caption: Corvus Orca battery system installation. The Battery Short-Circuit Limiter (BSCL) developed by The Switch will enable reduced short circuit current and reduced system size for large battery system installations.


About Corvus Energy

Corvus Energy is the leading supplier of energy storage systems (ESS) for maritime, offshore, subsea and port applications. Corvus Energy offers a full portfolio of ESS suitable for almost every vessel type, providing high power energy storage in the form of modular lithium-ion battery systems. The purpose-built, field-proven battery systems provide sustained power to hybrid and all-electric heavy industrial equipment, including large marine propulsion drives. Corvus Energy has unsurpassed experience from 600 projects, totaling over 500 MWh and more than 4 million operating hours. The company also develops maritime hydrogen fuel cells in collaboration with the world leader in fuel cell technology, Toyota Corporation.

For more information, please visit www.corvusenergy.com

About Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch

Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch focuses on electrifying the world with game-changing green technologies. Our innovative electrical drive train products, capabilities and solutions convert energy sustainably, store energy effectively and consume energy responsibly. Today, we have over 16 GW of megawatt-class environmental energy technology delivered for leading energy pioneers throughout the world. We’re on a mission to enable more profitable power generation, energy storage and energy use while lowering the cost of electricity, operations and emissions.

For more information, visit: www.theswitch.com

Media Contacts

For Corvus Energy:

Sonja Vernøy Hansen                                                
Marketing Communications Manager              
+47 99 309 309                                                              

For Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch:

Lisa Kettman-Kervinen
Marketing Communications Specialist
Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch
Tel. +358 50 554 5044