Ship-shape team is carbon conscious

A consortium is being set up by Ricardo to develop the next generation of low-carbon marine-energy systems.

The objective of the Ship Efficiency and Energy Storage Assessment consortium is to bring new technology to the marine sector, notably energy-storage and waste-heat recovery solutions.

Unlike land-based transport, where emissions have been legally controlled for some time, regulation is something of a novelty for the marine sector.

’Talking to people in the industry, we realised that energy-storage and waste-heat recovery solutions have not really been addressed,’ said Ricardo’s Yann Raguel. ’We bring know-how from other industries, where we have developed hybrid systems and energy-storage solutions.’

Advanced systems based on the selection of proven propulsion, energy storage, after-treatment and waste-heat recovery solutions have the potential to give significant fuel-consumption savings and meet existing and planned emissions regulations. Ricardo believes that operational fuel-consumption reductions of 15-25 per cent will be possible.

However, developing and implementing this type of technology within the marine environment is likely to be beyond the means of any one player, hence the consortium. ’We are looking at paying members and we estimate the fee will be between £50k and £70k,’ said Raguel. ’We have already had some interest and have meetings set up with a couple of potential members.’

The demand is there, he believes, and the potential benefits with rising energy prices are all the more attractive.

’The first phase of the consortium will provide an assessment of the technology. The outcome would be a report detailing different energy-storage solutions and applications, and their benefit in terms of fuel-consumption reduction, as well as the potential additional capital investment and return on investment of those technologies,’ Raguel added.