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Mitsui OSK completes first hybrid car carrier vessel Emerald Ace; 2 new LNG carriers

Mitsui OSK Lines, Ltd. (MOL) has completed the hybrid car carrier vessel Emerald Ace, designed to generate zero emissions while berthed, at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) Kobe shipyard.

Emerald Ace. Click to enlarge.   Conceptual diagram of system. Click to enlarge.

The Emerald Ace is equipped with a hybrid electric power supply system that combines a 160 kW solar generation system—jointly developed by MHI, Energy Company of Panasonic Group, and MOL—with lithium-ion batteries that can store some 2.2 MWh of electricity.

Conventional power generation systems use diesel-powered generators to supply onboard electricity while berthed. On the Emerald Ace, electricity is generated by the solar power generation system while the vessel is under way and stored in the lithium-ion batteries. The diesel-powered generator is completely shut down when the ship is in berth, and the batteries provide all the electricity it needs, resulting in zero emissions at the pier.

The vessel’s hybrid system represents a step forward in realizing ISHIN-I, the concept for the next-generation car carrier that MOL announced in September 2009.

LNG. Separately, MOL signed a long-term contract for two new liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers with Kansai Electric Power. The ships are slated for launching in 2016 and 2017. MOL will manage and operate the vessels, with which transport LNG for Kansai Electric Power.

The first vessel is a Moss-type carrier with a 164,700 m3 cargo tank capacity, based on a new design from Kawasaki Heavy Industries. It will be the largest ship in its class that can pass through the expanded Panama Canal which is scheduled for completion in 2014, while maintaining a hull size allowing it to call at major LNG terminals around the world.

The second vessel has a 155,300 m3-class cargo tank capacity, and is one of the Sayaendo series carriers developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, featuring a continuous cover over its four Moss-type spherical tanks. The peapod-shaped continuous cover is integrated with the ship’s hull, achieving weight reduction while maintaining overall hull rigidity. This will increase fuel efficiency. (Earlier post.)

Both vessels adopt a new steam turbine engine that reuses steam for heating. This will also reduce fuel consumption. They also feature an advanced heat insulation system that offers the lowest LNG vaporization rate—0.08%—of any LNG carrier. Its economically-advanced design also effectively controls surplus boil-off gas.



Alternately, they can just run power from the shore to the ship, enabling the engines to be shut down.

I suppose the hybrid system is more flexible and means you can generate power to run the ship while underway as well as at shore.

With the low cost of solar panels and a large, flat, unused deck area, you might as well do it.


Solar panels on big ships could be even economical at current havy fuel oil prices. 1 kWh at curent heavy fuel oil price is arraund 20 ¢ when efficiency arround 30%.


The (assumed) main engine generators + the diesel-powered generators + the solar panels seems a bit much.

Good for evaluation though and good for the air around the port either way.


You have it - is it worth adding complexity to increase efficiency ? (Or How much is it worth ....)

To use Solar, you need the panels, + a large battery storage unit, but you still have to keep the diesel generators for prolonged dull times, so you end up duplicating everything for a few percent efficiency improvement.

I guess that is why it is called "Alternative Energy" - it always needs an alternative.

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