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Wind and solar sail combination progresses

Aquarius Marine Renewable Energy solution will undergo sea trials next year

Japan-based Eco Marine Power (EMP) has begun preparing for sea trials of its Aquarius Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) solution in co-operation with strategic partners and Onomichi-based shipowner Hisafuku. This preparatory work is intended lead to the world’s first installation of an integrated rigid sail and solar power system for ships using EMP’s patented technologies including the EnergySail.

EMP says: “This is a major step forward towards a more sustainable future for shipping and is expected to result in the wider deployment of EMP’s solutions on ships ranging from coastal cargo vessels to bulk ore carriers and cruise ships.”


A feasibility study involving several large bulk carriers: Belgrano, Nord Gemini and Bulk Chile, is already underway. For each ship an estimate of the propulsive power that could be provided by an EnergySail array will be prepared according to the routes they operate on. In addition the total amount of solar power that could
be installed on each vessel will be determined. On-board testing and data collection will also be undertaken as required.


After the feasibility study is completed, one ship will be selected for the sea trials phase. During this phase a trial configuration that will incorporate all the elements of Aquarius MRE will be installed and evaluated during a period of approximately

12 to 18 months.


Strategic partners involved in the Aquarius MRE Project include KEI System Co, The Furukawa Battery Company and Teramoto Iron Works Co. EMP is also in discussions with several companies including potential investors about their possible involvement in the project. Furthermore EMP is interested in
hearing from other companies that may wish to be involved during the sea trials phase of the project.

Methanol-fuelled fleet chalks up first year
Waterfront Shipping (WFS) marked one year of operation of the first of its seven vessels capable of running on methanol into its fleet in April. The first three vessels were delivered in April and the remaining four later in 2016. WFS says: “These innovative vessels have achieved accolades from the marine industry for their use of clean-burning methanol as an alternative marine fuel. Over the past year, the seven 50,000 dead weight tonne methanol tankers – powered by two-stroke dual-fuel engines capable of running on methanol, fuel oil, marine diesel oil or gas oil –
have been operating safely and reliably across the globe.”


Jone Hognestad, former President of Waterfront Shipping, who retired in March this year, said: “It has been exciting working with our shipping partners over the last few years to advance this new, clean technology.” He went on: “Investing in methanol-based marine fuel is an important step in the right direction and reinforces our commitment to sustainable proven technology that provides environmental benefits and meets emission regulations. In 2012, we were looking to renew part of our fleet as time charter vessel contracts naturally expired and to add new vessels to the fleet to meet increased product transportation needs. As an innovative and leading global marine transportation company and a wholly owned subsidiary of Methanex Corporation, the world’s largest producer and supplier of methanol, it was only natural that we investigated methanol as a future fuel for our vessels”, stated Hognestad.

WFS invited three shipping companies: Marinvest/Skagerack Invest (Marinvest), Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL), and Westfal-Larsen Management (WL), to collaborate on the project and in December 2013 announced plans to commission these dual-fuel vessels. Shipping partners, the engine manufacturer MAN Diesel and Turbo SE, and the two shipyards building the vessels, Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in Korea and Minaminippon in Japan worked closely to bring this innovative commitment to life. Since then, it has demonstrated and verified the potential to move the shipping industry forward.


Westfal-Larsen Management’s CEO Rolf Westfal-Larsen Jr said: “As we were evaluating our investment in this technology and having the Leikanger and Lindanger built with an engine that can run on a fuel such as methanol, it was important that we assessed its adaptability and use. Now with our vessels in operation and in the waters, we have found methanol to be one of the best alternative fuels due to its wide availability, the use of existing infrastructure, and the simplicity of the engine design and ship technology. Methanol shares similar characteristics with other marine fuels with respect to storage and handling and can even be bunkered by trucks if required. Using methanol as a marine fuel is a feasible and practical solution that supports the shipping industry and regulatory requirements. With the recent announcement by IMO for a global 0.5% sulphur cap for vessels worldwide effective 2020, methanol will soon be one of the very few fuel alternatives to MGO that can be utilized by existing modern vessels after relatively minor and cost effective retro-fit modifications compared to, for instance, LNG.”


Low flashpoint booster systems adapted for LPG
Global heat transfer, separation and fluid handling solutions provider Alfa Laval says its FCM One Low-Flashpoint (LF) booster systems have been a “clear success” on methanol-fuelled tankers with ME-LGI engines. Now Alfa Laval is supporting MAN Diesel & Turbo as the engine series is further developed to work with LPG.In late 2013, Alfa Laval was selected by MAN Diesel & Turbo to deliver Low-Flashpoint Supply Systems (LFSS) for the world’s first methanol-fuelled tankers. Since 2012, the two companies had been collaborating broadly on fuel conditioning for MAN Diesel & Turbo’s new two-stroke diesel engines with Liquefied Gas Injection (LGI) technology. But when the engine maker contracted to equip nine vessels with methanol-burning ME-LGI engines, methanol came quickly into focus.

“MAN Diesel & Turbo has worked closely with Alfa Laval in development projects like Exhaust Gas Recirculation, where Alfa Laval PureNOx technology cleans the circulation water,” says Søren H. Jensen, Vice President and Head of R&D, Two-Stroke Business at MAN Diesel & Turbo. “That, together with deep expertise in fuel conditioning, made Alfa Laval the natural choice to deliver the Low-Flashpoint Supply Systems for methanol.”

MAN Diesel & Turbo delivered low flashpoint supply systems for the world’s first methanol-fuelled tankers
MAN Diesel & Turbo delivered low flashpoint supply systems for the world’s first methanol-fuelled tankers

The resulting booster technology, the Alfa Laval FCM One Low-Flashpoint (LF), was installed on tankers built at Minaminippon

in Japan and Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in Korea. The vessels’

three owners, MOL, Westfal-Larsen and Marinvest, have since logged over 4500 running hours with the FCM One LF in the past three years.

In follow-on developments, MAN Diesel & Turbo is currently modifying the ME-LGI engine series to use LPG as an alternative fuel, and Alfa Laval is also preparing the booster system. “Tests of the engine and booster are expected to be completed by the end of 2017,” said Roberto Comelli, Business Manager, Fuel Conditioning Systems at Alfa Laval. “In the meantime, Alfa Laval is preparing to support MAN Diesel & Turbo when the first LPG-related orders come in. We are proud to be associated with LGI engine technology and to help bring more customers access to this low-emission alternative.”


Next generation energy management system from Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce has launched the next generation of its Energy Management (EM) System. The system will allow customers to reduce energy usage, fuel consumption and operating costs whilst supporting environmental compliance and providing performance information that enables the ship to comply with IMO regulations such as the mandatory Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP).


The manufacturer says the system offers customers a more data-driven performance management and decision making approach which will give an enhanced ability to monitor the performance of an individual vessel or a fleet. It can also increase crew awareness of individual ship performance and encourage healthy vessel-to-vessel benchmarking and competition, improving the performance of a specific vessel through the propagation of best operating practice.

According to Rolls-Royce, the system can be easily retrofitted and is also customisable to meet specific customer needs. It is suitable for a wide range of vessels, particularly those using large quantities of fuel, for example ferries, cruise and ropax ships, offshore vessels, fishing vessels and cargo ships.


The Energy Management System collects and processes data from a multitude of sensors on the vessel. Data sources include the engines, propulsion system, automation, deck machinery and other equipment.

The data collected from frequent sampling is available on board and is securely encrypted before being transmitted via link on to a secure Rolls-Royce-hosted web portal, where much more detailed analysis and comparisons can be carried out.
A cloud-based portal enables fleet operators to compare real-time and historical performance indicators and baseline analysis. Selected information is displayed graphically to make it as accessible and easy to use as possible.

New additive tested
Additive manufacturer Innospec tested its new Octamar Complete at Shell Marine & Power Innovation Centre (MPIC) in Hamburg, Germany, recently. The product tests were conducted on a test-bed engine and under controlled conditions, using 380 cSt fuel.

Innopsec says Octamar Complete provides a “true tank-to-stack product and gives unrivalled performance in handling and combusting today’s residual marine fuel qualities.”

The company says that the tests demonstrated the ability of Octamar Complete “to provide meaningful and measurable improvements in specific fuel oil consumption (SFOC),

reduced particulate emissions, improved fuel stability and ignition and combustion”.

An average reduction in SFOC of 1.6% across the load range was noted by Innospec, applying normalisation as per ISO standards and statistical analysis of the raw data using the Wilcox on Matched Pairs Test. At 50% engine load, a maximum SFOC reduction of 2.2% was achieved.


High hopes for sulphur removal

machine as alternative to scrubbers
A small US-based technology company has developed a machine, De-Sul, which it says can be used on ships to turn high sulphur heavy fuel oil (HSFO) into a product complying with the upcoming 0.50% sulphur limit. Green Framework claims De-Sul is an inline fuel grooming device which removes almost all the sulphur from HSFO bunker fuels, with a minimum of complication and power requirement, saying it can be fitted in a matter of days.


Green Framework believes the machine, which weighs about 5 tonne and is said to have a small footprint and a power requirement of approximately 50kw, could be a “ground breaking solution” in efforts to meet the 2020 sulphur limit, offering a lower cost alternative to scrubbers.Company CEO Barbara Dutton-Weingarten says De-Sul grooms the fuel at a molecular level. Bunkers are then passed through a filtration system to remove the sulphur-carrying compounds before the clean fuel is delivered to the day tanks.


The company envisages that the heavy materials that are filtered out after grooming can be stored on the ship. This post processing residue would be a pumpable heavy sludge which can be returned to shore for further processing into elemental sulphur, recovered fuel and other saleable compounds, according to Green Framework.


The company is currently looking for distribution and development partners to bring the product to the wider shipping market. If De-Sul is proven to work in practice, and ship owners are convinced that the by-product of the fuel processing can be safely and conveniently stored on the ship and later discharged ashore, it could become an interesting alternative for compliance with the global sulphur cap.

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