Green Ship machinery

Olympic Shipping and STX Norway Offshore sponsor a Professoriate in environment at Høgskolen i Ålesund . The professoriate shall contribute to encourage further development of the future's "green" ships. Both Olympic Shipping and STX Norway Offshore have had a strong focus on environment throughout the entire life cycle of the ship, from design to construction to operations of the vessel. An important task for this Professoriate will be to make use of research results from the research environments and companies from all over the world and turn them into practical solutions on board ships. Shipping today is the far most energy efficient alternative compared to road transportation and aviation. Marine transportation consumes 15% of the total transport energy on a global scale, while road transport dominates by 72 %, aviation 11 % and rail 2 %. This distribution is highly cost driven, and increasing energy prizes will favor shipping. Since most ships are designed for minimum 30-50 years lifetime in operation, ship designers and engineers today must find efficient and flexible solutions prepared for future challenges. There are two major concerns regarding future transportation. The most in focus are the environmental problems caused by emissions from fossil fuel combustion, and secondly the fact that liquid fuel will become a very scarce resource in the near future. Prognosis show that crude oil production will decrease by 50 % within the next 20 years. This scenario will cause a major increase in fuel price in a "seller's market", and push forward an urgent request for alternative fuels and more efficient machinery systems. For automotive applications the development of alternative solutions has already been in focus for a long time, mostly due to environmental restrictions. Transportation at sea has (so far) only had local environmental restrictions, but international marine organizations are now preparing legislation regarding exhaust emissions from ships. To meet these challenges there are several research approaches optimizing existing machines, finding alternative fuels and developing new energy systems. A major research front optimizing existing technology we find in the automotive industry, developing highly efficient engine technologies and alternative fuels. Hybrid systems are being developed, where the best of several different technologies are combined. These systems are designed to recover and store "waste energy", and allow energy converters to operate at their optimum performance. Norwegian maritime industry and research institutes are in the research front for alternative fuels, developing LNG fueled ship designs and fuel technology. Natural gas has proven to have excellent properties regarding efficiency and emission reduction. Natural gas also provides a relative simple conversion from liquid fuel oil, even as multi-fuel systems giving operational flexibility. The time window for natural gas goes beyond oil, and will be an important alternative to existing marine fuels. Research challenges related to the use of LNG are engine optimization, fuel handling systems/logistics and heat recovery systems. Beyond oil and gas there are significant challenges to develop new technology. Sustainable energy from solar, wind and waves must be explored, together with biomass, synthetic fuels, nuclear energy and energy sources/carriers of today unknown source and technology. The maritime industry must continue to focus on applied research and systems design, where basic research results are adapted and converted to marine system applications. The future marine engineer will have a strong system focus and knowledge to design for optimum system performance. This includes the understanding of the complete value chain from design to operation.