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Demonstrating efficient fully DC electric grids within waterborne transport for large ship applications (ZEWT Partnership)
Horizon Europe - Cluster 5 - Destination 5: Clean and competitive solutions for all transport modes
Estimated EU contribution per project
Link to the call
Link to the submission
Projects should develop high TRL power electronic systems as well as a new concept of DC power grid which leverages the capability of new power electronic systems and allows for different DC power generation systems based on sustainable alternative energy sources.
Primary DC systems are now applied on multiple types of ships, employing battery energy storage. The application of DC grids on-board has already started and will grow significantly because of its promising aspects such as reduction of complexity, increased modularity and improved integration. However, further progress is required to unlock the full potential of an on-board DC grid for large ship applications (over 5000 GT) addressing the entire network for both primary and secondary (auxiliary) distribution system, taking into account the various on-board applications of ship's electrification systems (e.g. high-power fuel cells, batteries, etc.) The challenge is to focus not only on secondary distribution, but also on the integration/interconnection of new sustainable primary power systems within a DC grid network serving the entire ship.
In order to address the above-mentioned challenge, proposals are expected to address all the following aspects:
- Develop high TRL innovative power electronic systems (e.g. converters, circuit breakers with logic selectivity) adapted and certified for waterborne transport applications.
- Develop a new concept of smart, flexible, plug-and-play DC power grid which leverages the capability of new power electronic systems and allows for different DC power generation systems based on sustainable alternative energy sources.
- Research the impact of design choices, safety measures and integration on the ship. This will require the development and on-board integration of high-power equipment and systems to complement the electrical grid (e.g. solid-state protection, solid-state transformers, Silicon-Carbide Power Devices,
- Develop a prototype system at small scale (min. 100kW) within a real waterborne transport environment. Demonstrate the functionality and the integration of its components, prove the possibilities for further upscaling. Prove the feasibility and benefits of distributing main power based on DC instead of AC.
- Validate the system with classification societies ensuring the highest standards for safety and reliability.
- Develop standards for on-board DC microgrids and communication protocols which are particularly valuable for large ships where there is differentiation between the electrical supplies towards different zones (e.g. zones with ICE and zones with RES systems).
- Integrate new power electronic systems within the ship’s network with advanced control systems to cope with variable loads and high levels of DC currents to interrupt.
- The emissions, efficiency and operational savings are expected to be demonstrated on a relevant ship type to validate the research results. The transferability of the applications to be applied has to be proven towards a range of vessel types, including those which have larger battery systems and longer autonomy. The demonstration is expected to serve as a reference for a wide spectrum of ship's types using electrical propulsion and auxiliary power.
- Where relevant, synergies and collaboration should be planned with the related activities and projects arising from linked Horizon Europe initiatives, in particular the Batteries and Clean Hydrogen JU partnerships.
- Plan for the exploitation and dissemination of results should include a strong business case and sound exploitation strategy, as outlined in the introduction to this Destination. The exploitation plans should include preliminary plans for scalability, commercialisation, and deployment (feasibility study, business plan) indicating the possible funding sources to be potentially used.
All relevant stakeholders (electrical distribution and protection manufacturers, engineering companies, manufacturers of electrical equipment, users, shipyards, etc.) should participate in proposals in view of the systems development.
This topic implements the co-programmed European Partnership on ‘Zero Emission Waterborne Transport’ (ZEWT). As such, projects resulting from this topic will be expected to report on results to the European Partnership ‘Zero Emission Waterborne Transport’ (ZEWT) in support of the monitoring of its KPIs.
Project outputs and results are expected to contribute to the following expected outcomes:
- Enabling reduced emissions from waterborne transport through increased electrification including hybrid power systems.
- Demonstration of the feasibility of a secondary smart DC grid (engineering framework, distribution/protection devices).
- Demonstration of smart management and control of hybrid electric plants, combining different energy sources, including sustainable climate neutral fuels so as to minimize total lifecycle net GHG emissions
- Development of a new configuration for the entire power generation architecture for large scale waterborne transport ready to be deployed.
- Development of new power electronic systems for AC/DC converters and DC circuit breakers within the electrical network with higher efficiency.
- Assessment of the waterborne transport emission reduction from increased electrification including hybrid power systems. Benchmarking and quantification of achieved GHG emission reduction through relevant quantifiable KPIs.
- Assessment through verifiable KPIs of the operating costs reductions and the reduction in emissions by cutting energy consumption and extending service intervals of the generator sets.
- Assessment through verifiable KPIs of the efficiency and power density improvements to reduce the overall volume and weight.
Regions / countries for funding
Moldova (Moldova), Albania (Shqipëria), Armenia (Հայաստան), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina / Босна и Херцеговина), Faeroes (Føroyar / Færøerne), Georgia (საქართველო), Island (Ísland), Israel (ישראל / إِسْرَائِيل), Kosovo (Kosova/Kosovë / Косово), Montenegro (Црна Гора), Morocco (المغرب), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Tunisia (تونس /Tūnis), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна), United Kingdom
Education and training institution, International organization, Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Other, Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit), Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs), Research Institution incl. University, Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)
To be eligible for funding, applicants must be established in one of the following countries:
- the Member States of the European Union, including their outermost regions
- the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) linked to the Member States
- third countries associated to Horizon Europe - see list of particpating countries
Only legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes, as beneficiaries, three legal entities independent from each other and each established in a different country as follows:
- at least one independent legal entity established in a Member State; and
- at least two other independent legal entities, each established in different Member States or Associated Countries.
Any legal entity, regardless of its place of establishment, including legal entities from non-associated third countries or international organisations (including international European research organisations) is eligible to participate (whether it is eligible for funding or not), provided that the conditions laid down in the Horizon Europe Regulation have been met, along with any other conditions laid down in the specific call topic.
A ‘legal entity’ means any natural or legal person created and recognised as such under national law, EU law or international law, which has legal personality and which may, acting in its own name, exercise rights and be subject to obligations, or an entity without legal personality.
- Affiliated entities — Affiliated entities (i.e. entities with a legal or capital link to a beneficiary which participate in the action with similar rights and obligations to the beneficiaries, but which do not sign the grant agreement and therefore do not become beneficiaries themselves) are allowed, if they are eligible for participation and funding.
- Associated partners — Associated partners (i.e. entities which participate in the action without signing the grant agreement, and without the right to charge costs or claim contributions) are allowed, subject to any conditions regarding associated partners set out in the specific call conditions.
- Entities without legal personality — Entities which do not have legal personality under their national law may exceptionally participate, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf, and offer guarantees to protect the EU’s financial interests equivalent to those offered by legal persons.
- EU bodies — Legal entities created under EU law including decentralised agencies may be part of the consortium, unless provided for otherwise in their basic act.
- Joint Research Centre (‘JRC’)— Where provided for in the specific call conditions, applicants may include in their proposals the possible contribution of the JRC but the JRC will not participate in the preparation and submission of the proposal. Applicants will indicate the contribution that the JRC could bring to the project based on the scope of the topic text. After the evaluation process, the JRC and the consortium selected for funding may come to an agreement on the specific terms of the participation of the JRC. If an agreement is found, the JRC may accede to the grant agreement as beneficiary requesting zero funding or participate as an associated partner, and would accede to the consortium as a member.
- Associations and interest groupings — Entities composed of members (e.g. European research infrastructure consortia (ERICs)) may participate as ‘sole beneficiaries’ or ‘beneficiaries without legal personality’. However, if the action is in practice implemented by the individual members, those members should also participate (either as beneficiaries or as affiliated entities, otherwise their costs will NOT be eligible.
other eligibility criteria
Activities are expected to achieve TRL 6-8 by the end of the project.
If projects use satellite-based earth observation, positioning, navigation and/or related timing data and services, beneficiaries must make use of Copernicus and/or Galileo/EGNOS (other data and services may additionally be used).
Relevance for EU Macro-Region
EUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Space, EUSBSR - EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region
UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)
All proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funders & Tenders Portal electronic submission system (accessible via the topic page in the Search Funding & Tenders section). Paper submissions are NOT possible.
Proposals must be complete and contain all parts and mandatory annexes and supporting documents, e.g. plan for the exploitation and dissemination of the results including communication activities, etc.
The application form will have two parts:
- Part A (to be filled in directly online) contains administrative information about the applicant organisations (future coordinator and beneficiaries and affiliated entities), the summarised budget for the proposal and call-specific questions;
- Part B (to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system) contains the technical description of the project.
Annexes and supporting documents will be directly available in the submission system and must be uploaded as PDF files (or other formats allowed by the system).
The limit for a full application (Part B) is 45 pages.