Technology outlook

Press Release
May 30, 2022

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 project, which commenced in the preliminary stages in June 2021, was initiated by the consortium partners University of Vaasa (coordinator), WMU, Wärtsilä, Cargill, MSC Cruises, Lloyds Register, Silverstream Technologies, Hasytec, Deltamarin, Climeon, and BAR Technologies. 

The aim of the project is the development of two bespoke vessel designs – a wind energy optimised bulk carrier and a hydrogen powered cruise ship – equipped with a combination of innovative energy technologies working in symbiosis. The ambition of the project is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 99%, while achieving a reduction of energy consumption by at least 50%.

The Project has developed a detailed outlook over the following technologies and shipping aspects.

  • Hydrogen Engine Specification
  • Hydrogen Fuel System Specification
  • A Wing Sail Design Specification
  • Numerical Ship model and Digital Prototype (1st Generation)
  • Waste-Heat-Recovery System
  • Over-the-air software update algorithm
  • Drag Reducing
  • Air-Lubrication Technology
  • Shipping GHG reduction Business Models
  • Cost Comparison for Fuel Options
  • Analysis on Operating Profiles and Existing Infrastructure
  • Analysis on Current and Upcoming Legislation
  • Ultrasound Antifouling

A flexible fuel handling system, particularly specified for a hydrogen-driven marine engine is being developed including the design and location of hydrogen tanks, pressure reduction, closing valves, pipelines and safety-related issues and aspects. In this way, clear instructions will be provided on how to build a safe fuel-flexible handling system for marine applications, primarily intended for hydrogen and also serving fuel cells. An aerodynamic design and specification for a Wing Sail has been developed. Moreover, the optimization and testing of a Waste heat recovery (WHR) system will improve the understanding of system and component behaviour under the future vessel specific operating points on component degradation and performance.

A report on potential benefits from the combined use of on-board energy storage systems and cold ironing has been conducted and these benefits have been calculated over the expected operational profiles of both concept vessels. A preliminary design of the Air Lubrication System (ALS) applicable to each of the target vessels has been completed. CHEK provides information to the ship owners/operators of the indicative space, power and service demands associated with the installation of the ALS. The ALS preliminary design also provides direct input as to the auxiliary power demands aiding with design of integrated power systems for each vessel. This permits a better understanding of the total power regime required for each vessel. Complementary ultrasonic antifouling is used on the hull, propellers, and the so-called niche areas of the vessels. This avoids the growth of algae and mussels, which has a positive effect on flow efficiency and ultimately on fuel consumption. At the same time, the spread of invasive species is prevented.

Besides the various technologies developed in CHEK during this period, the supply costs of the fuel options considered in the project have been compared and a review of shipping GHG business models suitable for implementing energy saving devices on vessels has been conducted. Additionally, a new methodology for benchmarking GHG reductions taking considerations of all systems, sea trials and operating profile has been proposed along with associated processes to implement it and, in this way, provide a validated prototype from which a real-world solution can be developed and deployed.

In the coming six months CHEK will continue to develop its technological options and make preparations for 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 by 2023. Project CHEK is expected to be completed by June 2024.

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