The marine transportation industry is a significant contributor to global emissions of CO2 and other pollutants. Although marine emission standards have become increasingly stringent, increasing fuel efficiency remains the primary objective in terms of further reducing emissions and overall marine energy use. In this paper, a hybrid powertrain is investigated as a means of increasing fuel efficiency for a modern, 100 m class, passenger vessel. The hybrid powertrain includes an Energy Storage System (ESS) based on sodium sulfur (NaS) batteries and commercially available Caterpillar diesel engine-generator sets. The ship’s power load profile is based on annual averages for similar vessels. A control strategy and simulation models are developed and implemented in Simulink to analyze the power and energy flows in the hybrid powertrain. The Simulink model is used to compare the base scenario of a ship without energy storage to a hybrid scenario employing a 7.5 MWh NaS battery pack with related control strategy. Annual fuel consumption is the primary measure that is used to assess efficiency. Unlike hybrid powertrains for light-duty surface vehicle transportation, which achieve efficiency gains on the order of 10–20% [8, 9, 10], the hybrid powertrain for a large ship is estimated to lower annual fuel consumption by approximately 2%. The surprisingly small level of fuel savings is explained largely by the granularity of marine power systems, which include multiple generators that can be switched on and off to maximize fuel efficiency.

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