Container cranes at the Port of Seattle

Container cranes, like the massive units pictured above, transfer cargo from ships to the docks. The sheer size of such units, at least when viewed in person, negates any thought that one of these behemoths could accomplish such heavy-lifting tasks with power supplied by a lithium-ion battery pack. Well, it's time to strike that thought because Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding Co. (MES) has now proven that hybrid container cranes, packing massive li-ion power packs, are more than capable of hauling the heaviest of loads. The Nikkei states that MES' hybrid cranes are:
Designed with large lithium-ion battery packs that store electricity generated every time a load is lowered by the crane and supply that electricity to a motor that provides supplemental power to move the crane. This reduces the need to run the engine, which in turn helps reduce the crane's carbon dioxide emissions by 60 percent.
MES logged a four-unit order for its newly developed hybrid container cranes and will begin production immediately. Once complete, the cranes will find a resting place at two harbor-operation companies: one located in Tokyo, and the other in the Japanese city of Kobe. The units should be installed by May of 2011 and cost 150 million yen ($1.86 million U.S. at the current exchange rate) a piece.

[Source: Nikkei (sub. req.) via Green Car Congress | Image: jdnx – C.C. License 2.0]

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