Scalable power train

With wind assistance increasing the variation in propulsion thrust demand, a more flexible engine power plant is required to avoid compromises

The novel bulker power train concept builds on a modular configuration of 4-stroke dual fuel engines combined with a controllable pitch propeller. Together these provide a step change in flexibility enabling highly efficient propulsion from full thrust in conventional laden conditions down to zero thrust in conditions with favourable winds and ballast operation. Furthermore, the power train provides inherent redundancy and improved manoeuvrability.


Just like in land-based applications, the introduction of alternative propulsion methods such as wind assistance increases the fluctuations in the propulsion demand from the propeller shaft line. This calls for a flexible power plant, which is capable of optimal operation in an increasingly complex operating environment. In the CHEK project, this challenge is addressed through hybridization and a scalable power plant. To enable further onboard energy savings, also shore power is enabled. A technology review of the current and future energy storage and shore connection systems for marine applications is presented. The technologies are evaluated in terms of efficiency, functionalities, and technological readiness. The subsequent parts are related to the specific applications considered in the project, namely the Meraviglia class ship cruise vessel and the Kamsarmax-size bulker. For each vessel, the operating profile resulting has been used as reference for determining the power requirement in each operating phase, with a focus on the expected power requirements in all phases of port operations, including the power transients when the shore connection is coupled and uncoupled, the average hotel power on board and the power transients related to the equipment in use during loading and unloading. The main result of the task has been a preliminary study of the optimal match between the operating profile and the available technology with their related functionalities. The analysis of the operating profile of Meraviglia class ship and the review of the available technology shows that the most promising short-term solution to achieve zero emission operations in port would be to use an onboard BESS in combination with a Shore Connection supplying carbon-free electric energy. In upcoming work, more emphasis will be put on the identification of the optimal power plant, taking into account the expected changes in operating points due to the introduction of energy saving devices.

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