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Norwegian Ferry Declared Safe After Overheating

Photo courtesy Vestfold fire brigade

Battery-Powered ‘Brim’ Declared Safe After Overheating in Norway

Mike Schuler

March 17, 2021

The situation on board a battery-powered sightseeing vessel in Norway has been resolved after crews used nitrogen to remove explosive gases following last week’s “thermal event”. The safety zone surrounding it has been lifted. 

The MS Brim has been docked in Vallø, Norway since last Thursday when a fire alarm was triggered and the crew observed smoke. No passengers were on board at the time, but Brim’s four crew members were quickly evacuated and a safety perimeter was set up over fears that the vessel could explode.

Although temperatures quickly stabilized, response crews were unable to board the vessel until Tuesday when they used a hose to pump nitrogen into Brim’s enclosed spaces and bulkheads to flush out any explosive gases to a nearby truck.

Photo courtesy Vestfold fire brigade

The battery supplier Corvus Energy said it has now been confirmed that the “thermal event” did involve Brim’s battery.

The 24-meter MS Brim is an award-winning all-electric sightseeing vessel built in 2019 and equipped with a Corvus Dolphin Energy energy storage system (lithium battery). It has two battery rooms with a combined 790kWh of batteries installed. 

In a statement posted to its Facebook page, the local Vestfold fire brigade thanked Corvus for their “invaluable help” in resolving the situation.

“The fire brigade and police have handled the situation in a most professional way. Corvus is happy that our procedures and recommendations were followed to the point and that all parties, by working closely together, have prevented a more severe outcome,” Corvus said in an update.

An investigation into the incident is now underway led by Norway’s National Criminal Investigation Service (Kripos), a special agency within the Norwegian Police Service. 

Brim’s owner, Brim Explorer, a local sightseeing tour company, is hoping to have the vessel back in operation this spring.

“We know that there is great interest in the technology of our hybrid electric ships, and believe it is important that our experience benefits all industry players. There are many learning points at this event, which we will actively share as soon as we have received more answers,” the owner wrote in Facebook post published in Norwegian.

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