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DNV GL reveals LNG-powered, electric engine, boxship concept design

DNV GL reveals LNG-powered, electric engine, boxship concept design
DNV GL unveiled an LNG-powered, electric turbined powered mega-containership, which would have a box capacity, at Gastech 2015 in Singapore on Tuesday.

A feasibility study carried out with CMA CGM and GTT on a 20,000 teu containership has resulted in the Piston Engine Room Free Efficiency Containership, or not quite so perfect acronym PERFEC(T).

While one of the issues with installing LNG power on containerships is the loss of box capacity by replacing the two-stroke engine with three electric motors, capacity on the concept vessel would actually be increased by 300 teu to 20,300 teu, as the electric motors effectively do away with the engine room.

The vessel would be fitted with two 10,960 cu m LNG tanks located below the deck house, which would allow it to make a voyage from Asia to Europe and back without refueling.

“The impulse behind this study was our interest in seeing how a modern ultra large container ship design could benefit from utilizing COGAS, which is a system for combined gas and steam turbine power generation,” said Gerd Würsig, business director for LNG-fuelled ships at DNV GL – Maritime.

“A modern, land-based combined cycle LNG-fuelled power plant will reach fuel-to-power efficiency ratios of up to 60%, which is higher than conventional diesel engines, which can achieve up to 52%. In addition, the power density by volume and weight is much higher for a COGAS system.”

Würsig added that with three independent electric motors redundancy was increased. Also being an electric motor-powered vessel it would lack a very familiar feature – a funnel.

The system while both more environmentally friendly and increasing capacity is, however, more expensive. Würsig said the aim now was to improve efficiency and greater added capacity to cover the additional cost.

Meanwhile closer to reality is the previously revealed next generation LNG carrier concept developed by DNV GL, Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), GTT and Gaslog.

The design which claims an 8% gain in efficiency and a 5% increase in capacity could quite quickly become a reality. An undisclosed owner has already approached about the price of a newbuilding to the concept design and it was described as “competitive”.

There is also a retrofit concept is also available for existing ships that would bring the 8% efficiency savings but not the increased cargo capacity.