Marine · Offshore · Industry


SRC was visited by the Head of the Maritime Innovation, Marine Knowledge and Investment unit in the European Commission
11th October 2022

On Friday, we were visited by Andreea Strachinescu, the head of the Maritime Innovation, Marine Knowledge and Investment unit in the European Commission; Kaupo Läänerand, Deputy Secretary General for Maritime at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications; Tarmo Ots from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications; and Hele Karilaid from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The event was organized by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications for Estonia in an effort to introduce innovative and sustainable solutions of the Estonian maritime industry on a European level.

We were delighted to discuss the industry's future and present our guests with SRC's innovations for the marine industry. In more detail, we discussed our remote-controlled fairlead locking system and the integration of alternative fuels. The majority of our business volume comes from the Green Shift and companies that want to achieve environmental targets by making their vessels more sustainable.

Thank you to our guests for the interesting discussions!
Wind-assisted propulsion
11th August 2022

Wind has been the main source of marine transportation for thousands of years. And now, wind power may just be the future.

 This post will look at the #windenergy technologies impacting the global marine industry.
 There are four main technologies we will describe here:
 The first #technology is Flettner Rotors: a smooth cylinder with disc end plates spinning along its long axis. As the air passes at right angles across it, the Magnus effect causes an aerodynamic force at right angles. This force effect propels the vehicle forward.
 This technology is named after the German aviation engineer and inventor Anton Flettner, who started developing the rotor sail in the 1920s. 
 The technology is getting traction, and quite a few vessels have it on board. One company has reported a fuel reduction of almost 22% when considering a return route between San Francisco and Shanghai. 
 The biggest challenge associated with Flettner rotors is that they take quite a lot of space which can reduce the cargo capacity of the ships. 

 Wing sails are another technology that is getting much interest in the marine industry. It works similarly to the wings of an aircraft by providing a much better lift-to-drag ratio. It reduces drag and creates more forward thrust. 
 Before deploying wing sails, you must consider factors such as wind speed, ship speed, and ship type.
 The benefit of this technology is that no additional power is needed here as compared to a Flettner Rotor. In addition, you can adjust the wing sails at an angle to provide the maximum amount of required lift. 
 The airfoil can also be retracted when passing under a bridge. This technology is still in the very early stages of development. The first vessels using this technology are set to be unveiled in 2024.
 The third technology is the Kite power. Towing kites are flown to move the vessel forward in addition to the engine power. This technology is also gaining much traction and interest in the industry.
 The towing kite can be raised to its proper elevation and lowered using a 'telescopic mast'. The whole process can take 10-20 minutes. A few companies are working in this sector; one such company has reported a 35% reduction in fuel consumption.
 The fourth and final technology is the suction wings. Wings are mounted on tall towers with grids located on both sides of the wing. The grids suck the air from the outside to the inside of the wing. There is a fan mounted inside the tower to create the necessary suction. This creates a lift that can propel the ship forward. 
 It works on the principle of boundary layer suction. Based on the design, the drag is minimal. It can be used in conjunction with the main engine. A low lift-to-drag ratio ensures good performance in upwind conditions, especially for ships sailing at high speeds.
 The wing section can also rotate around a vertical axis to adjust to wind direction and optimize the operational performance.
 #alternativeenergy #engineering #offshore
2nd August 2022

We all know about Hybrid cars.
 But did you know that there are Hybrid ships too?
 In fact, this is one of the most promising technologies that can change the landscape of marine carbon emissions and help achieve the IMO targets for carbon emissions.
 Not to mention that the addition of batteries can increase the overall engine efficiency between 50% to 90% (according to the DNV GL Annual report 2015)
 Hybridization can also reduce the total fuel consumption of the ship from 15% to 30%. 
 But what is hybridization?
 To put it simply, hybridization is the addition of batteries as additional power storage and transfer medium.
 There are three ways in which hybridization of ships can happen practically:
 1. First is when ships go fully electric, using the addition of batteries and charging them while using shore power, a vessel can completely let go of conventional marine fuels. An excellent example of this is ferries. ABB has presented a concept of a completely electric ferry to transport travelers outside of Oslo to nearby Islands.
 2. Plugin Hybrid ship: Another use case is when ships add batteries and charge them using the existing engines and shore power. A comparative example is plugin hybrid electric vehicles.
 3. Conventional hybrid ships: These use batteries to offset the loads and don't require shore power to charge them. 
 There are four main benefits of hybridization:
 1. Spinning reserve: Most large marine vessels use multiple generators to reduce redundancies in a power failure. This means that there is more power being generated than necessary. The addition of batteries as a spinning reserve eliminates this additional need for power since batteries can handle power fluctuations. This means fewer generators and hence less fuel.
 2. Peak shaving: Most engines run optimally at a constant rpm; this means that when additional power is needed (for example, using onboard cranes), the engine's power has to be increased temporarily. The addition of batteries can handle such peak power needs. 
 3. Energy Harvesting: As said above, batteries can also be used as an energy storage medium. In the previous example of a crane, the additional power was supplied by the batteries when the crane was going up. However, when the crane is going down, this energy can be similarly stored in batteries. 
 4. Backup power (UPS): In the event of multiple engine failures, the batteries can provide an alternative energy source for critical systems on board.
 #offshore #maritime #alternativeenergy #sustainability