Published on : Saturday, December 2, 2017
Jan-Erik Räsänen, Head of New Technology said that the 2020 global 0.5 percent cap on fuel sulfur content is not the only reason cruise shipping is newly open-minded when it comes to the energy sources that can improve vessel efficiency.
Rapid advances in battery technology mean that the cruise sector could emulate the car industry in exploiting hybrid power, albeit differently packaged.
The technological efficiency improvements could come from considering new energy storage techniques – either electrical or thermal – but they might also result from reclaiming efficiencies from existing systems.
In the past, the container shipping companies have used steam turbines to reclaim the plentiful waste heat generated by 60-70 MW two stroke engines.
Until recently, the global cruise ship engines generating on average 9-16 MW have not been large enough to justify sizeable steam turbines, especially when considering the typical operational profile of a cruise ship.
The new potential is also fast-emerging for cruise ships to exploit battery power, where the energy stored can be derived from a variety of sources.
There are ship types that have been natural candidates for battery power– typically ferries and short sea vessels requiring power in short bursts, or vessels used in the oil and gas sector that spend a lot of time idling. Others have not been such an easy fit, even though a hybrid solution with batteries and conventional engine can improve fuel efficiency with up to 15 percent.
The objection to battery the technology in the cruise market has always been based on space and cost; now both are coming into place.