Project CHECK – deCarbonising sHipping by Enabling Key technology – will look at low carbon energy sources and systems, including hydrogen fuel, wind power, electric batteries, heat recovery, air lubrication, and anti-fouling technology.
The project involves a consortium led by the University of Vaasa in Finland, and includes Wärtsilä, BAR Technologies, Cargill Ocean Transportation, Climeon, Deltamarin, Hasytec Electronics, Lloyds Register, MSC Cruises, Silverstream Technologies and World Maritime University.
The initiative, which will receive €10 million in funding from the EU as part of its Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, will design two concept vessels: a bulk carrier, which will utilise sails to capture wind energy, and a cruise ship that will operate with a Wärtsilä designed engine running on hydrogen fuel.
It is estimated that by combining new and innovative technologies, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions can be reduced by 99%, energy savings of up to 50% can be achieved, while black carbon emissions can be cut by more than 95%. A number of ‘key enabling technologies’ will be demonstrated on operational ships, according to the project partners.
‘CHEK represents another significant step in Wärtsilä’s commitment and efforts to decarbonise marine operations. There is no silver bullet to meeting the challenge of combating climate change, you need to exploit a number of parallel paths, and that’s exactly what we are doing together with our partners here. What makes the project so exciting is that we are stretching what can be done,’ said Jonas Åkerman, Director of Research and Technology Development at Wärtsilä.
Both vessels in the project will also feature Silverstream Technologies’ air lubrication stems aand CEO Noah Silberschmidt commented: ‘Bold and progressive vessel designs that combine the most effective clean technologies with the cleanest future fuels are an obvious and necessary next step for a sector that needs to tackle decarbonisation today.
‘This project recognises the central role that efficiency technologies will play in that decarbonisation journey. It also reflects the fact that only by uniting the best efficiency ideas and practices in integrated and intelligent designs will we achieve our goals.’
The CHEK project is scheduled to begin in spring this year. With the new vessel design method, it is anticipated that the results of the two test vessels can also be applied to other vessel types, such as tankers, container ships, general cargo vessels, and ferries.
The project will also undertake the preparation of future scenarios, and an analysis of factors affecting the development potential for low-carbon shipping, such as the current infrastructure.