• 2019 September 17

    Environment-conscious shipping

    Global climate changes, tougher environmental requirements in the shipping industry, emerging-market economic development and growing urbanization present new challenges for the transport industry of the future and today. ABB, leading supplier of maritime equipment, told IAA PortNews about the latest energy-efficient technologies and projects featuring conscious attitude to environment.

    Electric, digital and connected future for shipping

    The maritime industry represents about 3% of the world’s GHG emissions. Therefore, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) pledged to reduce the GHG emissions by at least 50% by 2050 versus the year of 2008. Electrification of vessels is to become a crucial driving force to achieve such an ambitious goal.

    ABB has provided electric systems for vessels for more than 110 years. Today, well over 1300 ships employ ABB’s electric system. Modern ships are equipped with electric propulsion systems allowing for expansion of the range of sources used. Amid the marine fuel requirements toughened by international legislation, ships running on liquefied natural gas (LNG) are getting more and more popular. Another alternative for the development of sustainable shipping is the use of electric batteries on ships.

    Efficient and innovative technologies of ABB for sustainable marine transport are in use worldwide. In spring, Niagara Falls tour operator Maid of the Mist ordered two new passenger vessels sailing on pure electric power, enabled by ABB’s technology. The new vessels will benefit from ABB’s zero-emission technology when they start operating later this year, allowing guests to experience Niagara Falls undisturbed by engine noise, vibration or exhaust fumes from a conventional diesel engine.

    Energy efficient solutions

    Maritime transportation group Louis Dreyfus Armateurs (LDA) will add a second 83-meter windfarm service operation vessel (SOV) to its fleet, featuring an extensive range of ABB’s technology, with the award-winning power distribution system Onboard DC GridTM at its core. The vessel will support operations at Hornsea Project Two off the UK coast.

    Onboard DC GridTM solution enables variable speed technology to dynamically optimize system energy use in line with the load situation, which results in a 20% cut in fuel consumption. Power from the dual batteries on board will be introduced to maximize efficiency, and the energy stored can come from a variety of sources, including renewables. DC distribution also provides a unique platform for digital solutions, so that data from equipment sensors can be transmitted between systems instantaneously, and bridge or shore-based systems can monitor and optimize vessel performance. 

    In Russia, ABB projects involving Onboard DC GridTM include Atomflot’s ice-class tugboat Yuribey.

    ABB also provides its Power and Energy Management System (PEMS), which allows battery power to act as backup for running generators, again cutting the need to run spare capacity, and reducing maintenance and fuel consumption in the long-term.

    Reduction of fuel consumption and emissions with Azipod® propulsion

    Azipod® propulsion was first introduced in 1990, since then becoming an industry benchmark in environment-friendly vessel technology. The Azipod® system, which extends below the hull of a ship, can rotate 360 degrees to increase maneuverability, efficiency and space available on board.

    In Russia, Azipod® propulsion is applied on ice class ships. It ensures their independent navigation in high latitude waters without icebreakers’ assistance. The propulsion system offered by ABB lets reduce fuel consumption by up to 20% as compared with conventional vessels equipped with shaftline. Azipod systems’ improved maneuverability allows ships to operate and dock in more confined spaces and in more challenging sea conditions, and the near elimination of noise and vibrations is a comfort to passengers, especially on luxury cruise liners.

    Efficient control of ships with ABB Ability™

    Today, as the global fleet is growing and environmental regulations are getting tougher, the significance of efficient ship operation is increasing.  ABB Ability™ platform - a portfolio of ABB’s comprehensive cross-divisional digital solutions and services allows ship owners shift some of operational decisions off crewmembers’ shoulders onto automated units.

    ABB Ability™ Marine Pilot Control and ABB Ability™ Marine Pilot Vision ensure making efficient decisions and offers instruments to improve situational awareness of the crew. ABB Ability™ Marine Pilot solutions make a considerable contribution to environmental sustainability of marine regions. The product of АВВ contributes to optimization of marine operations, helps reduce the concentration of hazardous substances in the Global Ocean, secure vessels from human factor emergencies, optimize route planning and ensure compliance with environmental standards of the EU and IMO.

    Business with no environmentally detrimental impact

    The role of АВВ as a green transportation leader is in development and introduction of technological solutions allowing for realization of the shipping industry’s and vessels’ fullest potential without any environmentally detrimental impact. АВВ solutions contribute to safe and energy efficient shipbuilding. Regular investments in state-of-the-art solutions and efficient involvement of digital technologies are in the best interests of all stakeholders of the shipping market. Believing that the process management without any harm to the planet is possible, the company applies all its technological experience to confirm that for the entire world. 


    Sophia Vinarova