Hybrid energy system integrates solar power and batteries on Bulker

Paolo Topic has been fitted with solar panels and a hybrid energy management system (Marfin)

Posted on December 21, 2021 at 3:45 p.m. by

The maritime executive

As shipowners continue to search for solutions to improve the energy efficiency of their vessels, Wartsila’s technology group has completed the installation and commissioning of a unique hybrid system that integrates solar panels to create a technologically advanced bulk carrier. advanced. The system combines and integrates power from several sources to optimize fuel consumption and reduce ship emissions.

The installation of the solar panel, which would be the first on board a bulk carrier, was carried out on the Paul subject, a 34,900 gross tonne bulk carrier built in 2016 in Japan. Managed by Marfin Management, the 656-foot-long vessel was fitted with photovoltaic panels in collaboration with solar panel specialist Solbain. Other segments of the transportation industry have also tested the use of solar panels, including equipment on a Dutch river transport vessel, and Royal Caribbean International has installed solar panels on some of its new cruise ships.

Marfin said special attention has been paid to installing the solar panels on the Paul subject to ensure that they would not create constraints for the loading and unloading of the vessel. A special removable structure was developed and the panels were fitted on top of the hatches.

After the first tests on solar production, the second phase consisted of working with Wartsila on the hybridization of Daihatsu’s three main diesel generators which generate 650 kVA. Generators were the only source of electrical power on the ship, but are now integrated with solar power and batteries that provide auxiliary power to the grid.

Solar panels installed on the bulk carrier panels (Marfin)

“This is an extremely exciting development that will pave the way for a more sustainable future,” said Alex Albertini, CEO of Marfin Management. “We will be able to provide our customers and partners with the most advanced vessel performance and environmental quality without compromising operational efficiency or flexibility. “

The integrated solution Wartsila HY Module, which is in a container, was placed on the ship’s deck to save space and was installed without the need for a dry dock. The HY module combines and integrates the energy storage system and additional energy sources, including solar energy. Wärtsilä’s Energy Management System (EMS) comprehensively controls motors, batteries and power distribution to provide auxiliary power and optimize on-board power generation, consumption and management.

“This facility represents a truly significant breakthrough in enabling the bulk carrier fleet to increase both its economic competitiveness and its environmental performance,” said Giulio Tirelli, Director of Business Development, Wartsila Marine Power.

According to Wartsila, when combined with other energy sources such as photovoltaic panels, the benefits are enhanced. The system responds to the challenges of the maritime sector to reduce operating costs while simultaneously reducing the environmental impact. The solution achieves this through significant reductions in fuel consumption and maintenance requirements while providing cleaner, safer and more efficient operations. It also contributes to the vessel’s compliance with the energy efficiency indices of existing vessels (EEXI) and the industry’s carbon intensity indicator (CII).

The system was placed in a container on the deck so as not to take up space on the deck (Marfin)

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