Guide for Use of Lithium-ion Batteries in the Marine and Offshore Industries

ABS recognizes the increasing use and benefits of batteries in the marine and offshore industries. Lithium- ion batteries, as the dominant rechargeable battery, exhibit favorable characteristics such as high energy density, lightweight, faster charging, low self-discharging rate, and low memory effect. The development of lithium-ion batteries for large energy applications is still relatively new, especially in the marine and offshore industries. ABS has produced this Guide to provide requirements and reference standards to facilitate effective installation and operation of lithium-ion battery systems.

The purpose of this Guide is to establish safety guidelines for owners, operators, shipyards, designers, and manufacturers. This Guide 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 (such as lead-acid, alkaline, etc.), please refer to the requirements in Part 4 of the ABS Rules for Building and Classing Marine Vessels. For requirements applicable to batteries used in underwater vehicles, please refer to the requirements in 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 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 Guide and the ABS Rules.

The February 2020 edition clarifies and expands the requirements when the battery space is adjacent to a machinery space of category A.

The January 2022 edition includes changes to the title of the Guide to replace the “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.

This Guide becomes effective on the first day of the month of publication.

Users are advised to check periodically on the ABS website to verify that this version of this Guide is the most current.