Lithium-Ion Batteries in the Marine and Offshore Industries


( ABS recognizes the increasing use of batteries in the marine and offshore industries and their benefits. This document has been developed to facilitate the effective installation and operation of lithium-ion (Liion) batteries. This document is to be used in conjunction with and as a supplement to Part 4 of the ABS Rules for Building and Classing Marine Vessels (Marine Vessel Rules) and the ABS Rules for Building and Classing Mobile Offshore Units (MOU Rules), and the ABS Requirements for Hybrid and All-Electric Power Systems for Marine and Offshore Applications as applicable. The basic safety principles contained in the ABS Rules are to be followed in general (such as providing sufficient power generation/storage capacity, having adequate standby and emergency power sources, arrangements for continuity of supply in the event of a fault, general electrical safety such as proper cable sizing, appropriate insulation, and suitable equipment enclosure ratings).

The document establishes safety guidelines for owners, operators, shipyards, designers, and manufacturers for marine systems. This document does not address Lithium-ion batteries used in small portable electronic devices such as power tools, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and radios. This document covers lithium-ion battery types currently used in the industry (for example, lithium-ion cobalt oxide, lithium-ion manganese oxide, lithium-ion nickel manganese cobalt oxide, lithium-ion nickel cobalt aluminum oxide, lithium-ion iron phosphate, and lithium-ion titanate). For requirements applicable to conventional battery types (for example lead-acid, alkaline), refer to the requirements found in Part 4 of the ABS Rules for Building and Classing Marine Vessels. For requirements applicable to batteries used in underwater vehicles, refer to 10/11 of the ABS Rules for Building and Classing Underwater Vehicles, Systems and Hyperbaric Facilities.

Battery technology is continuously evolving with respect to battery chemistries and designs. Alternative arrangements or battery technologies may be considered by ABS provided it can be shown, through either satisfactory service experience or a systematic analysis based on sound engineering principles, to meet the overall safety standards of this document and the ABS Rules.

The February 2020 edition clarified and expanded the requirements when the battery space is adjacent to a machinery space of category A. The January 2022 edition included changes to the title of this document to replace "Lithium Battery" with "Lithium-ion Battery", and to update the requirements for emergency source of power, battery space, fire safety, hazardous areas, risk assessment approach and other editorial changes.

The July 2022 version changed the document type from “Guide” to “Requirements”. “Requirements” documents contain mandatory criteria for Classification and issuance of Class Certificates, while Guides contain only requirements for optional Notations (see 1-1-4/1.5 of the ABS Rules for Conditions of Classification (Part 1)). The title is changed from "Guide for Use of Lithium-ion Batteries in the Marine and Offshore Industries" to "Requirements for Use of Lithium-ion Batteries in the Marine and Offshore Industries".

Accordingly, editorial changes are made throughout this document. The April 2024 edition includes an update to the battery system’s energy, which has been reduced from 25 kWh to 20 kWh. This edition adds new requirements for the Lithium-ion battery system components, ventilation system, environment control, and gas detection. It also introduces goal-based standards and functional requirements to prescriptive criteria and includes updates to the requirements for the main and emergency sources of power, battery spaces, fire safety, hazardous areas, risk assessment approach, and maintenance manuals.

The ABS Guide on Lithium-Ion Batteries in the Marine and Offshore Industries, is available for download below:

Source: ABS


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