Alternative fuel sources used to power cargo ship

January 14, 2015 0 By Amanda Giasson

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A ship has been designed to run off of wind power and gas.

Norwegian engineer, Terje Lade, is working on a new method for ships that will lower emissions, fuel consumption, and bunker expenses, in an effort to make ships more eco-efficient, and has designed a cargo vessel – Vindskip – that relies on alternative fuel sources for power, instead of on heavy fuel oil for propulsion.

The sea vessel makes use of wind energy and LNG.

Lade, the managing director of the company Lade AS, has developed a new type of cargo ship that uses the propriety Vindskip technology and includes software created by Fraunhofer researchers. This software will help to make sure that available wind energy will be used optimally at any time.

According to the Lade As website, “Vindskip is a hybrid merchant vessel for sustainable sea transport, driven by the wind and LNG.” Vindskip benefits from free-blowing wind, which makes it highly energy efficient. The freighter’s hull acts as a wing sail, which allows it to make the most of the wind on the high seas. However, to be able to maneuver the ship on the sea and maintain a steady speed, the vessel has been equipped with propulsion machinery that runs on LNG (liquefied natural gas). This makes the machinery both cost-effective and friendly for the environment.

Alternative fuel sources like wind and LNG could cut down on fuel costs and emissions.

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Clean Energy Quotes To Remember - “For example, a breakthrough in better batteries could supplant hydrogen. Better solar cells could replace or win out in this race to the fuel of the future. Those, I see, as the three big competitors: hydrogen, solar cells and then better batteries.”

- Bob Inglis, Politician

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The International Maritime Organization (IMO) wants to lower the impact that ocean liners, which run on heavy fuel oil, have on the environment. Reducing the pollution is important, considering 90% of all goods in the world are transported via international shipping.

The problem, however, is that higher quality fuel is more expensive than the heavy fuel oil that is currently used. This means that shipping companies are faced with a huge challenge because, by 2020, in certain areas, ships will only be permitted to use fuel containing 0.1% sulfur. Since this high-quality fuel with reduced sulfur is more expensive, it will be difficult for these companies to lower their fuel costs and meet the new emission regulations.

That being said, according to the Norwegian company’s calculations, with Vindskip’s combination of the alternative fuel sources, wind and LNG, the average approximate fuel consumption is only 60% and carbon dioxide emissions are lowered by 80%. Lade predicts that the ship will set sail as early as 2019.