Project CHEK is leading the way in Maritime Decarbonisation by assessing a wide range of potential decarbonisation technologies in agreement with the IMO World Maritime theme 2022: New technologies for greener shipping.
The aim of the project is to demonstrate a combination of innovative ship design and technologies operating in symbiosis. Wind propulsion, hydrogen propulsion, waste heat recovery, battery electric power, hull air lubrication, innovative anti-fouling technology, and digitally-led operational improvements will be used in combination to demonstrate a possible reduction greenhouse gas emissions by 99%, and achieve at least 50% energy savings.
Following the detailed outlook of the various technologies and shipping aspects developed during the first year of CHEK, the installation of these technologies has started taking place. At design level, the digital master (2nd generation model) of future-proof Kamsarmax and Meraviglia vessels has been built based on real operational data of the Kamsarmax bulker and Meraviglia cruise ship, targeting the optimisation of ship performance with regards to emissions through digital design means. The combination of this digital master with real-life data will lead to the development of a ‘Digital Twin’ which will include the design of experiments to be conducted in real vessel demonstrations.
As for the hydrogen engine prototype construction, the engine hardware components have now been made available. The final design of the Wind Wing has been completed and the automated software and control system solution for positioning of the WindWing according to the live local weather conditions is nearing completion. The WindWing is currently under manufacturing and assembly, and will be ready for installation on the Kamsarmax bulker in Q1 2023.
The automated routing/sailing innovation has been developed, integrating data from navigation, speed, propulsion and auxiliary systems for the bulk carrier, allowing the ship to support the crew with efficient decision-making in routing and sailing. The digital tools take into account factors such as company planned route (including potential re-routing options), weather conditions, speed request, emission reductions, machinery performance and vessel trim. Additionally, a novel, automated and streamlined cruise itinerary planning and adoption tool has been developed and tested focusing on the automation and streamlining of many itinerary planning tasks currently delivered manually. The preparation of deployment of both operational technologies on real vessels has taken place during these past six months including class approval, and relevant safety studies.
The waste heat recovery system converting low-temperature heat into electricity in order to create a bespoke WHR-system for the future vessel design has been optimized, updated and tested. In-lab testing will now begin in order to test the parameters obtained by the real vessel demonstrations.
Ultrasound antifouling prototypes with different hardware-software-combinations and transducers have been manufactured and transducer protecting covers have been designed and prepared for installation on both vessels during a scheduled dry dock stay. The ultrasound antifouling test patches have been created by first removing the antifouling paint from the hull and replacing them with hard paint (with no antifouling properties). Half of the six test patches have been positioned towards the vessel bow, whilst the remaining three at the stern. Finally, ultrasound transducers have been attached inside the protecting covers.
Final design of the air lubrication system (ALS) to be installed on both vessels has taken place, including the full description of the system, the specification of key system components, the Shipyard Installation specification, the Life Cycle Cost analysis associated with the installations that provide certainty to the ship Owner/Operator as to the form, function and cost associated with ALS.
A report on new business models for GHG reductions, analysing their pros and cons, has been conducted along with a report reviewing the methodology for benchmarking GHG emissions for operating a bulk carrier and a cruise vessel and proposing feasible ways to present actual fuel consumption and GHG emissions to vessels crews in comparison to peer vessels as a way of benchmarking.
Finally, a student competition on future sustainable shipping technologies was organised in summer that led to a competition report detailing the winners and their proposals.
In the coming six months CHEK will continue with the installation of future technologies and the deployment of decarbonisation technologies for its real vessel demonstrations. The two CHEK vessels will start sailing around the end of 2022, and will have completed their journeys in 2023 collecting important data on technology performances. Project CHEK is expected to be completed by June 2024.
Further progress and updates about these developments are communicated at www.projectchek.eu
As part of the project CHEK’s wing sail technology the bulk carrier Pyxis Ocean has set sail to demonstrate for the first time the unique three-element Wind Wings technology as part of project CHEK.