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Exclusive Article

Green and cost-efficient operations, by Peter Jaeckel

05/21/2020 | 15h23
Green and cost-efficient operations, by Peter Jaeckel
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New regulatory guidelines have progressed innovations in marine technology, and both vessel and equipment manufacturers alike have introduced solutions that answer the call of the IMO and EEDI to decrease energy consumption and emissions. At the same time, industry organizations are promoting the idea that emission-free maritime transport is an achievable near future, and financially sustainable, using existing, energy-efficient technology and R&D into new digital technologies.

With a little careful planning, it is possible to adopt some surprisingly effective energy-efficiency measures for your newbuilds, saving a lot of money in the long run, while also greening up operations.


Efficiency solutions are win-win

When companies hear the word ‘regulation’, they inevitably start wondering what it is going to cost to fall in line. However, it is important to understand that, in many cases, green initiatives can create powerful opportunities for savings, while also protecting the environment.

When it comes to regulatory changes in the marine industry, a lot of the impact falls onto fuel consumption, and fuel is the most expensive component of the maritime business model, representing up to 60-70% of total ship operating costs in times when fuel prices are higher.

This means that an investment in energy-saving solutions can help shipowners improve their bottom line by lowering fuel consumption annually.



Engine room opportunities

By far, the greatest opportunity for improving fuel efficiency is in the engine room. While in some ways, one engine room pump may appear to be much like another in overall specifications, efficiency performance can, nevertheless, vary by as much as 10%. Down the line, a decision to use the most efficient pump on the market can translate to as much as a 25% fuel reduction. So, it is important to consider what the manufacturer can deliver in terms of state-of-the-art pump design.

By choosing equipment that is systemically useful in the ship, it is possible to reuse and recycle some of the heat generated by the engine room equipment and reduce fuel consumption. Reusing engine room waste heat to keep a stable temperature in the cargo tanks for tankers can greatly improve total ship efficiency. Implementing a system like this onboard needs to be carefully planned, but in the long road, an increased efficiency of up to 82% and big gains on the bottom line make thinking ahead well worth the effort.

For example, installing a pump/fan control system can reduce the overall power consumption to a level where other power-consuming equipment and systems can be operated without increasing the overall fuel consumption of the vessel’s auxiliary engines. This means significant savings in the power normally needed to operate the vessel in accordance with the required operational profile.


Working smarter

Automation also has an impact on fuel efficiency. Installing programmatic technologies onboard ensures that your pumps will never work harder than they need to. This is made possible by optimizing pump and fan speeds to the current conditions in order to save fuel, for example, up to 300 tonnes a year for a bulk carrier of approximately 60,000 DWT.

It cannot be understated that it pays to invest in quality. Whether you are buying for your newbuild or retrofitting a ship that is already on the seas, choosing your manufacturer carefully can avoid a lot of unnecessary costs in terms of maintenance and replacement of parts and equipment, not to mention losses due to service docking.

While it is worthwhile to think about total cost of ownership, when choosing equipment, it can also be hugely economical to think about the ship as a total system. From the engine room to the ballast cooling system and cargo hold, think about how the separate components can function together to create the best potential for fuel savings.

Efforts like these, which green up your shipping operations, is good for the environment and your bottom line!




About the Author:

Graduated in Mechanical Engineering Technology at Old Dominion University, Peter Jaeckel has been working for 7 Years in the Global Manufacturing Industry, to include areas of focus in Oil, Gas, Fresh and SeaWater, Asphalt & Bitumen, Chocolate, Paper & Pulp, Fish Farming, Paint & Ink, Chemicals, Sugar & Molasses, Isocyanate, Soap & Detergent, and is the Lead Application Engineer Manager for DESMI in the North and South American Continents.

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