New Pumps Save Millions at Sea
A Grundfos project aboard a Lauritzen Bulkers cargo ship shows that large vessels could be losing money on wasted energy.
A pilot project between Grundfos and Danish shipping operator Lauritzen Bulkers shows that better technology and a sharp focus on pump efficiency can mean big savings on the bottom line.
The project, carried out on the 19,889-ton Durban Bulker, focused on efficiency in ship’s pumps.
“Ships often use oversized pumps that consume too much power,” says Kim Kirkegaard, Business Development Manager at Grundfos. “After doing an energy audit we realized that a lot of energy could be saved with an improved pump system.”
The project paid off. Kirkegaard estimates that approximately 35,000 USD per year will be saved with the Durban Bulker’s new system. For larger container ships, the savings can amount to 500,000 USD per year.
Pump-audits at sea
The Durban Bulker project focused on the energy used in cooling off the ship’s engines. This means the electricity used to power cooling pumps and thereby the fuel used to power the generators that create the ship’s electricity.
The ship uses pumped seawater to cool its engines, but the previous system did not take into account the temperature of the water. When the Durban Bulker is sailing in colder seas, the energy needed for cooling water is reduced. Grundfos’ new system uses controls, frequency converters, motor valves and sensors to control the temperature of the cooling water and heat transfer, in order to save energy and keep constant operating temperature on the engine and equipment.
“I was surprised when I found out how significant the energy savings were,” says Søren Roschmann, technical superintendent at Lauritzen Bulkers. “By my estimates, the pumps on our ships can reduce energy use by 30 to 50 percent with new Grundfos systems.”
New systems for old ships
Roschmann says that Lauritzen Bulkers plans to install Grundfos energy-saving systems on a number of other ships. For each vessel, Grundfos will design a unique energy-saving solution.
Kirkegaard says that the project shows that there is great potential for Grundfos in the shipping industry.
“Roughly 60,000 ships are sailing the oceans and there is room for energy improvements on most of them,” he says. “On top of that approximately 2,000 ships are built each year. They don’t need just one pump; they need a lot of pumps. This shows potential for Grundfos to increase business and help with energy savings on ships worldwide.”