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Increasing the energy efficiency of straddle carriers in Port

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

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  • Full or part time
    Prof W Holderbaum
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Increasing the energy efficiency and reducing the emissions of container cranes in Port. This work will be novel as no systematic study has ever been made of the options for increasing efficiency of cranes nor how the use of intelligent energy storage could be used to reduce the demand in both peak power and energy.

Aims and objectives

Transport needs to become more efficient and reduce its impact on the environment. Within the Susports project (funded by Climate EU/KIC), a comprehensive study has been undertaken of rubber Tyre Gantry Cranes (RTG) which are used to load or unload containers from terminal tugs and stack containers in rows prior to despatching containers by road or rail. Detailed analysis and measurements have been made to identify options for increasing RTG efficiency. These include switching from diesel to electric operation and recovering energy for reuse which otherwise would be dissipated in dump resistors using on board energy storage.

The study would be undertaken together with a major port operator Leading Port Operator, a designer and manufacturer of novel intelligent energy storage systems. The drive-line of the straddle carrier (Crane) would be modelled using Matlab and validated by measurements on a straddle carrier. The options to be studied include recovering the inertial energy when a container is lowered or when the straddle carrier is regenerative braked and storing this energy for use when the next container is raised or the vehicle accelerated from rest.

Also to be investigated is to use the energy store as a power multiplier that this by the store taking in energy at a low rate and giving it out at a much higher rate. Following measurement and modelling, the intention would be to validate the model’s predictions by demonstrating the savings potential on a straddle carrier and to refine the control algorithms.

For more information, see our website:

Funding Notes

This is a fully funded project, covering tuition fees and an annual stipend (around £14,777)

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