Fathom World

Mapping the transformation of shipping and the oceans

Design, Engineering & Safety

Study Examines Diesel Electric LNG Carrier Propulsion

ABB has undertaken a comprehensive study with DNV GL that examines the potential for efficiency improvements for dual fuel diesel electric (DFDE) propulsion.

As part of the study commanded by ABB, DNV GL undertook an analysis of DFDE propulsion under realistic operating conditions for liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers. They used three representative operating profiles based on distance specific trade route for a typical 174,000 twin skeg LNG carrier, including laden/ballast sailing modes and non-sailing modes, while considering propulsion power, electricity and steam demand.

When taking into consideration the round trip data, operating profiles and fuel costs, the study indicated that DFDE can potentially be a more fuel-efficient solution among the alternatives considered when optimally operated and combined with energy recovery technologies. Depending on the specific speed profile and fuel costs, annual fuel savings can be considerable.

“This study is very important because it reflects the complexity of an LNG carrier and includes realistic operating profiles rather than hypotheticals,” explained Heikki Soljama, Managing Director of ABB’s Marine and Ports.

He continued, “It shows that DFDE configurations have the potential to be a fuel efficient solution. Combine this with its proven track record, flexibility in operation and adaptability to energy storage, it can be a competitive business case for ship owners.”

First-ordered for an LNG carrier in 2003 and established on 180 ships, DFDE comes with an established record of reliability. Its compatibility to future technologies is also key, as Soljama pointed out, “Its better capacity for integration with fuel cells and advanced energy storage mean that, after over a decade of proven operational performance, DFDE remains a technology of the future.”

About Author

fathom-news is an online news and analysis service dedicated to providing insight and knowledge on the transformation of shipping.

Comment here