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New flow management technology leads to pump energy savings of up to 60%

Is it possible to find energy savings of 50 to 60 percent on newer vessels, which in principle already should be energy optimized? Yes, it is, that is the reality we have seen documented in a EUDP project testing new cooling and ventilation technologies in the marine industry.

Comprehensive measuring on a ship's cooling water system in operation is not something seen in the maritime industry before. But in a EUDP project, where leading engineering, equipment suppliers and owners jointly have tested new technologies, we have measured and quantified the efficiency of a cooling water system when the ship is in operation. And the initial test results demonstrate a substantial energy saving potential that can help ship owners and operators to reduce their fuel consumption as well as their CO2 footprint.

What is the EUDP project?

Two years ago, the EUDP[i] decided to support nine projects to lower the climate footprint of shipping and create growth and jobs in the maritime industry. Frese's marine division is heavily involved in one of these projects together with A.P. Møller-Maersk, Novenco Marine & Offshore A/S, and Odense Maritime Technology A/S, as well as the Danish Institute of Technology, who acts as project manager.

The DKK 5,3m EUDP grant, has assisted Frese in developing a new energy-efficient flow management solution for cooling systems onboard ships. This new patent-pending system is called Frese FUELSAVE®

[i] The EUDP is a public grant scheme under the Danish Energy Agency that supports new energy technology that can contribute to achieving the Danish energy and climate goals.

With new flow control technologies, pump energy can be reduced with up to 60% on board Vaga Maersk’s cooling systems’

Vaga Maersk was the first ship where we measured the cooling water system in operation. She is a container ship built in 2019 with a capacity of 3.596 TEU and an optimized cooling water system, sailing in the North and Baltic Seas. Our task was to find untapped potential to obtain further energy savings.

One of the most exciting findings in our measurements was that even though Vaga Maersk has a cooling water system, with variable frequency drives installed on the pumps and latest conventional valve technology, there is still a lot more water pumped through the system than required.

Based on the collected measurement data, the Danish Institute of Technology estimates that Vaga Maersk can reduce pump energy on the freshwater cooling system when sailing from 27,1 kW to 10 kW, a 60% reduction. When Vaga Maersk is in port, she can reduce pump energy by 50% from 16,9 kW to 9 kW.

Is there a similar potential at Mumbai Maersk?

We recently set up measuring equipment at Mumbai Maersk, which was the largest container ship in the world when built in 2018. She is a triple E-class ship with several cooling water systems and a capacity of 20.568 TEU, sailing in Europe and Asia.

As the two ships' cooling water systems are slightly different, we have made minor adjustments in the measurements we are collecting at Mumbai Maersk. At Mumbai Maersk, we focus more on flow measurements and total flows than the specific consumers. This should give us a better understanding of the under- or overconsumption of unregulated cooling water consumers.

When Mumbai Maersk has been at sea for three months, we will demount the measuring equipment and finalize the data analysis. Having the test results from both vessels, will allow us to provide a well-informed assessment of the impact of applying our technology on different ship sizes, both on seawater and low temperature fresh water-based cooling systems. It will, also assist us in the validation of already completed detailed flow simulations, performed in numerical software.

Ways to halve greenhouse gas emissions

Developing and implementing new solutions is critical to reach the IMO target to halve greenhouse gas emissions from shipping by 2050 compared to 2008 levels, and we can only achieve this with new innovative technologies.

The EUDP project provides valuable data about the cooling water system in operation, and we can already see that the cooling water requirements are heavily overestimated. When we measure the temperature and flow in operation, we see that in part load conditions only a cooling need of 5-10% compared to what the ship was designed for and how it operates is required.

Want to learn more about how to optimize your cooling water system?

Check out Frese FUELSAVE or get in contact with us.