Lloyd’s Register’s Strategic Research Group has joined forces with Totempower Energy Systems and Zodiac Maritime Agencies to assess the potential of wind-generation devices onboard commercial ships as the maritime industry steps up its pursuit of viable carbon-alternate fuels.
A fully autonomous wind-monitoring system designed and assembled by Totempower has been installed on the Zodiac-managed bulk carrier Cape Flamingo. Sensors have been installed in locations where the best wind conditions and the most relevant environmental data (wind speed, direction and turbulence) could be expected, with consideration given to the most effective locations for onboard wind generation.
The project is expected to identify and measure the potential generating capacity from wind power for the ship’s trading patterns. The data will be used to support the development of computational fluid dynamics-based simulation models that could be suitable for predicting the energy yields on other Zodiac ships.
“We are very excited to embark on this initiative, “ said Simon Turpin, Environmental Superintendent for Zodiac Maritime Agencies. “The data-collection phase is expected to last 4 to 6 months. When the field trials are completed, we hope to have a better understanding of the feasibility of implementing wind turbines onboard our ships and the associated economic and environmental benefits.”
Public demands for industry to lower its CO2 emissions and rapidly rising fuel costs are driving research and development into increased energy efficiency and cleaner propulsion systems for the merchant fleet.
Supplemental wind power is just one of many cleaner energy options being explored by the marine team at the Strategic Research Group in concert with shipowners, designers and operators; others include research into LNG as fuel, nuclear propulsion systems, solar and tidal energy and the potential of fuel cells.
“This is innovative work, and better onboard energy management is the goal, ” said Senior Specialist Spyros Hirdaris, Lloyd’s Register. “To save fuel and maximise the understanding of alternative sources of power, we need good data. This project is designed to provide the information that Zodiac needs to evaluate the effectiveness for effective wind-energy solutions.”
The alliance was formed at a time when commercial shipping is increasingly looking to work with specialised service providers to support the development of new technology, creating alliances that can provide the technical solutions that the industry needs.
“Wind assisted power generation onboard commercial vessels seems a feasible option, although the benefits and design requirements need to be well identified and understood, ” Wolf Dietrich, Chief Executive Officer, Totempower Energy Systems, said. “We are glad that our in-house developed technology can assist in this process.”