As part of a consortium led by Finland’s University of Vaasa, Wärtsilä will play a key role in an EU-funded project aimed at reducing the environmental impact of shipping. Backed by EUR 10 million (about $12 million) of funding from the Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, it is called Project CHEK — which is an acronym for “deCarbonizing sHipping by Enabling Key technology symbiosis on real vessel concept designs.”
In addition to the university and Wärtsilä, other project partners are BAR Technologies, Cargill Ocean Transportation, Climeon, Deltamarin, Hasytec Electronics, Lloyds Register, MSC Cruises, Silverstream Technologies and World Maritime University.
The goal of the CHEK project is to reduce emissions from shipping through the integrated use of low-carbon energy forms and technologies. These include the use of hydrogen fuel, wind power, electric batteries, heat recovery, air lubrication, and new anti-fouling technology. Development work on the way by which vessels are designed and operated is also included.
The project will design two concept vessels; a bulk carrier, that will utilize sails to capture wind energy, and a cruise ship that will operate with a Wärtsilä designed engine running on hydrogen fuel. It is estimated that by combining new and innovative technologies, greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by 99 percent, energy savings of up to 50 percent can be achieved, while black carbon emissions can be cut by more than 95 percent. Several key enabling technologies will be demonstrated in practice on actual operational ships.
Both ship designs will feature Silverstream’s air lubrication technology – the Silverstream System – as a central part of a suite of complimentary energy efficiency technologies. The Silverstream System has been proven to generate between 5-10% net emissions savings, depending on vessel parameters.
“CHEK represents another significant step in Wärtsilä’s commitment and efforts to decarbonize marine operations. There is no silver bullet to meeting the challenge of combating climate change, you need to exploit a number of parallel paths, and that’s exactly what we are doing together with our partners here. What makes the project so exciting is that we are stretching what can be done,” says Jonas Åkerman, Director of Research and Technology Development at Wärtsilä.
The project dovetails with Wärtsilä’s extensive investments in developing an ecosystem of co-creation. The company’s Smart Technology Hub in Vaasa is a new state-of-the-art innovation center driving research, development, and production aimed at creating solutions for a more sustainable world. This initiative is complemented with Wärtsilä’s Smart Partner Campus platform, where stakeholders are invited to participate in the co-creation of win-win solutions.
In addition to developing and testing the hydrogen engine, Wärtsilä’s contributions to the project will include the following;
System integration for both vessels, including hybridization, energy storage and shore power connections; Developing a modular fuel-flexible powertrain for reduced fuel consumption and optimum efficiency; Implementing the novel gate rudder system for enhanced maneuverability and better efficiency; and Route optimisation for the wind assisted bulker to take advantage of prevailing and forecasted wind conditions.
Wärtsilä is already well advanced in researching potential future “clean” fuels capable of making a real contribution to decarbonicing shipping operations. Drawing on its unparalleled experience in developing marine engine technology and supply systems for a broad range of fuels, including LNG, LPG and volatile organic compounds, Wärtsilä continues to invest in research into fuels such as bio and synthetic LNG, ammonia, methanol, bio-diesel, as well as hydrogen.
The CHEK project is scheduled to kick off in spring 2021. With the new vessel design method, the results of the two test vessels can also be applied to other vessel types, such as tankers, container ships, general cargo vessels, and ferries. The project will also undertake the preparation of future scenarios, and an analysis of factors affecting the development potential for low-carbon shipping, such as the current infrastructure.
London, United Kingdom – 25 January 2021: Pioneering clean technology company Silverstream Technologies today announced that it is part of a consortium led by the University of Vaasa which has been granted EU funding under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme to accelerate shipping’s decarbonisation pathway.
Project CHEK – deCarbonising sHipping by Enabling Key technology symbiosis on real vessel concept designs – combines the expertise of a range of market leaders, including Silverstream Technologies, Cargill Ocean Transport, MSC Cruises, Wärtsilä, Lloyd’s Register, Climeon, Deltamarin, BAR Technologies, Hasytec Electronics and World Maritime University, all with the aim of reducing shipping’s emissions through the integrated use of low-carbon energy forms and propulsion systems, combined with energy efficiency technologies.
The consortium will work together to demonstrate the impact of a holistic approach to emission reduction in the design of two concept vessels; a bulk carrier, which will utilise sails to capture wind energy, and a cruise ship powered by hydrogen fuel. Both ship designs will feature Silverstream’s air lubrication technology – the Silverstream System – as part of a suite of complimentary energy efficiency technologies.
By treating energy efficiency as a fundamental building block of vessel design, and combining it with the application of clean technologies and future fuels, it is estimated that the designs will achieve a 99 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a 50 percent reduced energy consumption.