Clean shipping has developed into one of the biggest themes in the maritime industry—and it’s not set to slow down. With environmental regulations tightening, the whole industry is being put under increasing pressure to go green. To deal with this challenge, OEMs and suppliers have been investing heavily in developing innovations. A few key areas currently at the forefront of green innovation in shipping include:
Technology is helping operators comply with tightening regulations on air pollution, such as the revised MARPOL Annex VI. The market for marine exhaust gas cleaning systems, or scrubbers, has seen rapid growth with many companies adopting them in preparation for the 2020 global sulfur limit. “Sniffer drones” will likely take to the skies in the future to monitor emissions, and these will require systems and software to collect and store data. Implementing a continuous emission monitoring system (CEMS) helps ensure a vessel is in compliance with MARPOL, provides data as evidence for authorities, and prepares ship operators for future advancements.
Ballast water management
The IMO Ballast Water Management Convention (BWM Convention) entered into force in 2017 to reduce environmental damage as a result of wastewater. Complying with the BWM Convention can be a challenge for ship operators, but new technologies simplify responsible ballast water treatment. One technology uses ultrasound and UV to treat wastewater before it is discharged.
Traditional fuels are one of the biggest culprits for environmental damage. In shipping, technology is paving the way for more sustainable methods of propulsion such as wind or electricity. Nearly all methods of propulsion include moving parts such as propellers, gears, or drive shafts, which rely heavily on lubrication. Governmental organizations, the US Environmental Protection Agency in particular, are increasing efforts to protect marine life from harmful lubricants entering the water—such as through the use of environmentally acceptable lubricants (EALs). However, technological advancements like water-lubricated systems could achieve environmental requirements without the need for lubricant at all.
These methods for environmentally friendly shipping will likely become more widely available in the future, helping the maritime industry to achieve its green ambitions.
SKF is returning to the SMM trade fair this year with a range of products related to greener shipping. At the exhibit, visitors can learn more about the SKF Dynamic Stabilizer Cover, EcoMode software, and the Simplex BlueRun portfolio. Visit stand 210, Hall A1 to learn more and talk with our specialists.
Green innovation at SKF
Keeping up with industry demands, SKF is also innovating its product portfolio with green solutions. The SKF Dynamic Stabilizer Cover, for instance, improves overall efficiency by reducing drag while the stabilizer is stored in the fin box, therefore lowering fuel consumption as a result. In addition, EcoMode software delivers recommendations for operating fin-stabilizers in the most efficient way possible based on retrospective movement analysis. While using the stabilizers, the technology has been shown to decrease fuel consumption by two percent—which represents a huge reduction in environmental impact and costs.
Keen to learn more about green tech?
The Global Maritime Environmental Congress (gmec) at SMM 2018 will provide the ideal platform for innovators to present their solutions for the sustainable future of shipping. Visitors to SMM can see the latest in green technology along the Green Route as part of gmec.
Stay tuned for more articles about SMM on Engineering at Sea. We will be covering digitization and the passenger ship sector: two major themes at the upcoming event.