As Shipping Emissions Increase, Cool New Designs Emerge

Black Magic is a 4,000 ton Solar Hybrid Vessel that reduces GHG emissions 75% to 100% by harnessing energy from the sun, wind and waves.

Climate Progress intern Tyce Herrman has a look at some new sustainable shipping designs — and why we need them.

According to a 2000 UNFCCC report, “Shipping is a small contributor to the world total CO2 emissions (1.8% of world total CO2 emissions in 1996).”  However, a more recent International Maritime Organization (IMO) study, pegs ship emissions at 1 billion metric tons per year, about 3% of total anthropogenic CO2 emissions.  That is enough to making shipping the equivalent of the six largest country  in terms of overall greenhouse gas emissions as of 2009:

More worrisome, these emissions are on track to potentially increase threefold by 2050. See figure below.

[The different projections are different climate change scenarios determined by the IPCC.]

Energy saving technologies on ships like kite power, solar panels, and computerized energy management could reduce carbon emissions significantly.  More efficient ships could eventually sail the seas carbon neutral.

To encourage innovation in the maritime shipping sector, the Sustainable Shipping company is hosting its third annual Sustainable Shipping awards.  The awards recognize companies and individuals who are making great strides in emissions reductions.

Some of the potential designs look pretty slick.  The currently available green technology present in Black Magic — the ship at the top of the page — includes:

  • Mercedes Benz & Daimler DD16 Bluetec diesel electric power generation
  • Hydro & Aerodynamic advances in wave piercing pentamaran hull design
  • Azimuth counter rotating CLT high torque propeller system
  • State of the art fully rotational wing sails
  • KER & Power sailing regeneration
  • Maximum solar cell deployment (2,000 square meters)
  • Energy efficient equipment; including AC & refrigeration waste heat recovery
  • Computerized energy management, maintenance & guidance systems
  • Lithium ion UPS

Here’s another:

The Ocean Empire Life Support Vessel is a 44m Solar Hybrid LSV with 2 hydroponic farms and fishing facilities to harvest the sea. Her solar powered propulsion systems as well as all of the hotel amenities of a luxury global voyager are supplied by harnessing 3 major sources of sustainable energy.

The first and foremost source is energy from the sun which powers a 400 sq. meter 70kw solar array and illuminates 2 hydroponic farms.

The second source is energy from the wind which powers an auxiliary 80 sq. meter 200kw automated SkySail that drives the Ocean Empire to 18+knots and charges her GM ESS2 battery systems.

The third source is energy from waves captured by Motion Damping Regeneration (MDR). A new form of ATMD developed in collaboration with Maurer Sohnes Gmbh.

The currently available technology in the Ocean Empire LSV:

  • Daimler Turbo Compound DD16 Electric Power Generation
  • SkySail automated 80sq.meter 200kw traction kite
  • SunPower Solar Cells. 400sq. meter rated at 70kw
  • GM Allison Electronic Controls. Kinetic Energy Regeneration (KER)
  • Maurer Sohnes ATMD. Motion Damping Regeneration (MDR) 50kw
  • Voith Advanced Propulsion surface drives
  • Carbon Composite Hi-Efficiency Wave Piercing displacement hulls
  • Advanced aerodynamic radar canopy with PV wing spoilers
  • Energy efficient equipment. AC & refrigeration with Waste Heat Recovery
  • Plug-in computerized Energy management, maintenance & Guidance systems
  • GM Allison ESS2 Battery Storage UPS rated at 2,000kwh

Here’s a third:

The Emax IMO PANSAT (Port of All Nations Satellite) is a Circumnavigating Maritime Institute, General Assembly Conference Center, and Post Carbon Cruise Ship. Moored in front of the UN,

  • Her Turbine Props Generate 1.5MWs of power per day.
  • Her PV Exoskeleton up to 15MWs per day.
  • Her MDR system up to 2MWs per day and her auxiliary SkySail up to 30MWs per day.
  • At an average speed of 14 knots, the ‘Zero-Carbon’ cruising range of the Emax IMO PANSAT is unlimited.
  • As a Certified Carbon Offset Project her reduction in Global Warming GHG Pollution is over 5,000 tons of CO2 per year.

— Tyce Herrman with Joe Romm

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