BMT Defence Services Limited, a subsidiary of BMT Group, is heading a consortium of 30 companies to investigate the commercially effective application of electric ship technology in a $30.3m European Union funded project.
The ultimate aim of this study, which will begin in January 2009, is to provide a working guide on how to improve efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of the combined European commercial shipping fleet.
The Power Optimised Ship for Environment with Electric Innovative Designs ON board (Pose2idon) project will see BMT Defence Services co-ordinate the activity of the 30 company consortium which includes Converteam Technology Limited, DCNS, DNV, SAM, Sirehna, GICAN, EMEC and BALance. It is one of the first major EU research projects lead by maritime equipment companies.
The project will aim to enhance the electric ship concept so that it can be applied to a wider range of vessels than is currently the case. The principal barrier to adoption of the electric ship concept in smaller merchant ships is the size of the generating equipment and propulsion motor. Additionally electric auxiliaries, wireless technology and fail safe power distribution will be studied.
The Pose2idon consortium is focusing on achieving size reduction through the development of new technologies across all aspects of marine electrical engineering. A key element of this will be the application of state of the art High Temperature Superconductivity (HTS) technology, provided by Converteam Technology , that will allow for smaller principal electrical components and an increase in efficiency.
Another important area being studied is the application of harbour shore electrical supplies. Currently the common practice is for merchant ships to run lightly loaded mechanical generators in harbour, threatening the environment in a sensitive zone. The lack of any propulsion load prevents loading the generators more effectively. The answer is to supply the ship with electricity from shore connections. This does not need technological innovation but the widespread adoption of shore supplies and standardisation of connectors.
Professor Chris Hodge (Chief Electrical Engineer) of BMT Defence Services said: “We are very proud to be leading this consortium of such distinguished companies. Through our combined knowledge and expertise we are confident that we will provide the European Union with the most up to date and appropriate recommendations to reduce the environmental impact of the European commercial shipping fleet.”
Paola Lancellotti (Secretary General European Marine Equipment Council) said: “We are very pleased with this project which is one of the first projects in which marine equipment suppliers are leading a similar large initiative. The consortium consists of very valuable companies in the marine equipment sector and can deliver high tech results. EMEC’S role in the consortium is to support the marine equipment companies and to promote, at European level, the results of the project.”