The second phase will study the technical concept in depth and provide insight into the commercial feasibility of fuelling ultra large container vessel (ULCS) with LNG.
“We are working on the concepts and the theoretical models and will have detailed results available mid 2017,” Michael H. Brau, strategy and business development manager at Caterpillar, told LNG Fuelling.
Phase to explore LNG propulsion scaling issues
In particular it is expected to examine the complex issues surrounding the use of LNG propulsion in larger container ships. To date the technology has been widely used in smaller marine applications but changes required to the hull structure for LNG engines can cause problems when scaled to the size of ULCS.
“It has never been done to put a LNG powered Turbine power plant including steam turbine plus an electric propulsion system on a Very Large Container Ship (VLCS). The Group, ..identified this layout as a chance to increase the total economy of a VLCS,” Braun explained.
The position of the engine relative to the aft of a vessel can be vital for hull integrity but phase one research in the PERFECt project has already shown that minor changes required by LNG engines can be successfully accommodated.
“The COGAS system with electrical propulsion gives us a great deal of freedom in the general arrangement and in tailoring the installed power to the real operational requirements we are facing. New partners will bring their expertise to go further than the initial concept,” Ludovic Gérard, Executive Vice President CMA Ships, said.
Cost analysis to drive savings
The next phase of research will now focus on integrating these findings into technical specifications and producing more detailed costing to understand the commercial implications.
"The PERFECt Ship consortium is unique in that it brings all parties together towards one common goal of efficient cargo transportation," Ennodio Ramos, Vice President at Solar Turbines said.
Solar Turbines is a subsidiary of equipment manufacturer Caterpillar and experts from the group’s Caterpillar Motoren operation in Kiel, Germany will also contribute to the development of engine specifications for LNG-fuelled solutions.