AURELIA’s green retrofit package gets RINA’s nod

A green retrofit package solution designed by Dutch ship design company AURELIA in partnership with Econowind, Wattlab and Vertom has secured an Approval in Principle (AiP) from the Italian classification society RINA.

Image credit AURELIA

The solution incorporates rigid sails, solar panels, batteries, optimized weather-routing, and a smart decision support system developed by Hydrographic and Marine Consultants (HMC). The package has been devised to slash emissions of an existing Newcastlemax bulk carrier.

The challenge for the Newcastlemax bulker was to meet EEXI and the CII index for the reduction of CO2 emissions. The 203,000 DWT bulk carrier has a length of 300 m, a beam of 50 m and a range of 24,500 nautical miles.

AURELIA developed a CII calculator used to assess the status of the vessel and give an overview of what was needed to comply with the CII index based on five annual sailings between Brazil and China.

The initial estimates showed that the cost of the retrofit plan would be around $10 million.

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The resulting solution proposes two investment steps for shipowners looking to comply with the CII index. The first, to be done in 2023, involves the installation of Solar Flatrack technology, batteries, and the SafePlan software developed by HMC.

The SafePlan software will optimize the vessel’s route, while the solar panels and batteries will help reduce the hours of functioning of the auxiliary engines.

Any surplus energy not consumed by the vessel is used to charge the battery bank. This first stage of the retrofit of the auxiliary engine, reduces the total CO2 emissions by 6.1%, or 3305 tons, and MGO fuel of the auxiliary engine by 97.5%.

The second stage of investment, required by 2025, includes the installation of six rigid, 30m high sails to provide supporting wind propulsion, along with switching from fossil to biofuels. The added wind propulsion provides power to the vessel and lowers the load of the main engine (2T), thereby reducing fuel consumption and was shown to reach 1237 kW at 67% operation per day. With the use of biofuels to further lower emissions, this investment stage reduces CO2 emissions by 10.3% or 5560 tons of CO2 per year.

AURELIA said that its retrofit package solution can be applied to almost any kind of vessel, regardless of cargo type, and that it doesn’t interfere with operational aspects, such as loading and offloading cargo.

Vertom’s MV Anna: Applying the retrofit solution to a general cargo vessel

Dutch short-sea shipping company Vertom Group joined the retrofit project with the general cargo vessel MV Anna.

In 2022, Vertom started the retrofit process for efficiency improvements and carbon reduction of MV Anna by installing two 16 m Econowind VentiFoil on the bow.

For a more powerful and complete retrofit, Solar Flatrackare is being tested this year and will be added to existing Vertom vessels in 2023. This aims to show that this combined solution is possible not only for bulk carriers with available space decks but also for general cargo vessels.

The Solar Flatrack is a modular solar energy system, that comprises movable, stackable, thin plates with integrated solar panels and inverters and acts as a sustainable generator.

“Working with sails experts, Econowind, and leaders in PV technology, Wattlab, AURELIA has shown that big steps towards decarbonization can be achieved today with practical, viable solutions for the marine industry,” RINA said.

“Using a series of innovative solutions, the retrofit design meets CO2 reduction targets in compliance with CII and speeds the path to decarbonization for the shipping industry.”