How do energy efficiency and digitalization affect the marine sector?


The 2017 European Shipping Week is taking place this week from Monday 27 February to Friday 3 March 2017 in Brussels. The occasion brings together all the relevant stakeholders and policy-makers from the industry to share their expertise and discuss the future of the marine sector.

With the marine industry high on the list of their priorities, the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU organized a workshop related to energy efficiency and digitalization. Martti Alatalo, Global Director of the marine segment, Danfoss Drives was honoured to be one of the speakers at the workshop on Monday, and we have asked him two questions on how energy efficiency and digitalization affect the marine sector.

Why do energy efficiency and emission measurement matter?

Maritime transport emits around 1000 million tonnes of CO2 annually and is responsible for about 2.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Shipping emissions are predicted to increase between 50% and 250% by 2050 due to more vessels operating globally.

These emissions and energy consumption as a whole could be significantly reduced by 15-30% by leveraging energy efficiency, implementing existing hybridization technologies and digitalization.

Recent decisions by the International Maritime Organization and the European Union on stricter limits for sulfur (SOx) and nitrogen (NOx) pose the question of how to effectively enforce these regulations. Digital solutions can help ships to comply with the limits and facilitate reporting to the authorities. They support effective market surveillance and ensure a level playing field in the shipping sector. The latter is also in the interest of shipping companies. Compliance with, for example, the new 0.5% sulfur cap starting in 2020 will cost billions of dollars annually. So it’s important to ensure that all companies are accountable, and that changes are implemented across the board to avoid situations where some companies make the massive investments and others do not. Compliance with the regulations is vital to ensure a cleaner, greener and sustainable future for the world.

What is Danfoss’ vision and role in respect of energy efficiency and digitalization in the marine sector?

Danfoss is working hard every day to revolutionize the maritime transport sector. We are innovating solutions that enable better use of energy in order to increase the sector’s efficiency, competitiveness and sustainability.

AC drives optimize energy efficiency all over the ship by controlling the speed of electric motors in a wide variety of applications, such as fans, pumps and heating and cooling systems. Additionally, our solutions include, for example, electric propulsion technology, hybridization and the integration of renewable electricity and energy storage. These solutions significantly improve power quality and upgrade performance and overall efficiency.

Simultaneously, digitalization creates new opportunities for performance optimization and compliance with emission limits. Danfoss DrivePro® services collect data from the installed AC drives to proactively improve productivity, performance and uptime.

Emissions monitoring is also a hot topic in the industry. Robust digital solutions are needed to provide the necessary overview of a ship’s emission performance both at sea and while on shore. The Danfoss IXA emission sensor contains advanced software algorithms that ensure optimum performance. Live data can be accessed from the sensors and made available for the engine control room, on the bridge and for technical staff on shore. The sensor combined with our intelligent software platform will enable trouble-free overview and reporting of emissions for relevant stakeholders. Everything which can lighten administrative burdens in the maritime sector is very much welcome, and we believe that our system will contribute to this.

Thanks to a change in the mindset of the sector, and innovative solutions from companies like Danfoss, the marine industry is moving from being associated with a massive environmental footprint to being a high-tech industry with a promising outlook. And, with new solutions and digital technologies being continuously created, the industrial waters look calm, and we can power ahead into a brighter future.

You can read more about Danfoss solutions for the marine and offshore industry here and about hybridization here. And don’t hesitate to use the comments box below to let us know what challenges you may be facing and how we can help you overcome them.

Author: Gina Dyrvig Mentz, Branding and Market Communication Director, Danfoss Drives

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