Carnot use case – Decarbonise marine auxiliary power

Zero emission auxiliary engine

As society becomes increasingly aware of our environmental footprint, global industries are coming under unprecedented pressures to chart a course to a sustainable future. Shipping, the backbone of the global economy, delivers over 90% of global trade or 11 billion tons of goods annually and does so at incredibly low cost & high reliability but is no exception to the transition.

Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) and Light Fuel Oil (LFO) accounted for 82% of all fuel used by the marine industry in 2020 according to the IMO, contributing to 940 million tonnes of CO2 emitted annually by the industry, more than 2.5% of global emissions.

The maritime industry must join the battle to reduce environmental pollution by adopting new innovative technologies. However, the challenge lies with a highly cyclical and competitive nature of the sector where profit margins are often low and the need to comply with the regulations that can’t keep up with the latest decarbonising technology is mandatory. It takes a company with the vision to commit to the change and we have partnered with the UK based Carisbrooke Shipping Ltd. for the advancement of our project.

Decarbonising with Carisbrooke Shipping

Carisbrooke Shipping Ltd. Is a family-owned business with over 50 years in business and has a long-standing commitment to innovation. The company’s philosophy is to lead the industry by building new, more efficient vessels to replace the existing ones and around 100 vessels were built at shipyards all over the world. Their previous project featured optimised bow design improving fuel efficiency by 20% compared to the existing similar ships on the market at that time.

Currently their Fleet Operation Centre uses wide range of tools from AI assisted Weather Routing, Voyage Optimisation and Just-In-Time arrival concept to in-house sea-going and engineering expertise in order to successfully maximise performance and reduce emissions in line with the CII-related targets.

When further exploring decarbonising, Carisbrooke evaluated a wide range of technologies for their auxiliary fuel systems, such as fuel cells, batteries, hybrid fuel and emission removal of fossil fuels. However, each of them had significant drawbacks and could not meet the stringent space, cost and maintenance requirements. In comparison, Carnot’s technology high reliability, ease of maintenance, low cost of ownership lead to the selection of the Carnot solution as the powertrain of choice.

With Carisbrooke and Concept Green Solutions, we co-developed a zero-emission auxiliary power unit to be used onboard the Kimberly C, a 6,805 DWT general cargo vessel. The system is containerised within a 20-foot container, mounted on the bow. One container has the 200 kW Carnot Engine and core generation machinery with fuel stored separately. See below a snapshot of the core configuration of the system.

Hydrogen : Ammonia fuel blends

We also worked closely with the University of Southampton to review numerous different fuel combinations. What we were exploring was the most practical, economical and zero emission fuel types. Ultimately what we identified was a specific hydrogen and ammonia fuel blend. This combination results in a lower cost of operation when compared to diesel, is easier to store and manage the fuel, emits zero emissions and provides the best path to approved certification from IACS registered regulatory bodies.

For this project we partnered with DNV & Concept Green Solutions to develop & review a safety concept for the low flashpoint plant, fuel storage and operation onboard an existing vessel. They provided their expertise on how to best configure the system to comply with Classification Society regulations. This project enables us to set this technology on the path to full Type Approval and widespread utilisation within the industry.

Shipping is a highly regulated industry with a unique set of technical challenges. Whilst ammonia is becoming more common, the guidelines for hydrogen as a fuel are far less defined. Carnot is currently partnering with the class societies to design the new approved framework which the key and is ongoing part in our development program.

Decarbonising marine power systems

The core objective of this project however was emission reduction. To quantify our impact, we worked closely with the University of Strathclyde who calculated that for each Carnot Engine replacing an equivalent diesel-powered unit, the annual savings are as follows:

1,740 tons of CO2e
470 tons of PM 2.5
375 tons of SO2
178 tons of NOx

One of the main advantages of the Carnot solution is in the tremendous scaling opportunities. For example, if we consider that there are 55,000 vessels worldwide with two zero emission auxiliary engines onboard, this represents saving of 191,400,000 tons of CO2e per annum, or 20% globally.

Our ambition is to deliver this solution for harbour & sea trials onboard. We look forward to sharing the results from these trials in the next 12 months!

This hugely exciting project will demonstrate our ability to help decarbonise a hard to abate sector, whilst reducing OPEX and meeting the IMO’s challenging regulatory framework. We anticipate delivery of a cost-effective power plant, at scale and in a very short space of time.

If you would like to find out more about this project, interest in utilising such technology or discuss collaboration opportunities, please reach out to us via the form below or via the socials