DNV confirms energy efficiency gains for LNGCs enabled by ABB-MAN DFE+ solution
The new Dual Fuel, Electric+ (DFE+) solution developed by Swiss technology company ABB and German engine manufacturer MAN Energy Solutions is a more energy-efficient alternative to current conventional designs for liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, classification society DNV found in a study.
Comprising MAN’s four-stroke 49/60DF dual fuel engine and ABB’s Dynamic AC power distribution and control system, the solution has been developed to overcome efficiency challenges that are specific to the vessel type.
DNV’s Maritime Advisory assessment concludes that the DFE+ concept is “a competitive and more energy efficient alternative to even the most efficient conventional dual-fuel LNG carrier propulsion designs.”
Smaller machinery space requirements could deliver “a conservative estimate” of 5 percent greater cargo capacity. Combined with other steps to optimize performance, the DFE+ concept could contribute to overall energy savings of 6 – 7.5 percent considering the ship’s increased transport work, DNV says.
From January 1, 2023, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has required shipowners to report vessels into an Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), an Energy Efficiency Existing Ships Index (EEXI) and an operational Carbon Intensity Index (CII).
These tools benchmark ships so that owners know what they must do to meet IMO targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
As the newest addition to MAN’s four-stroke portfolio, the MAN 49/60DF engine is optimized for LNG. It is also highly compatible with ABB’s Dynamic AC system, which combines the merits of conventional AC with those of variable frequency to allow the engines to operate on optimal speeds – significantly improving total fuel consumption.
“Owners of LNG carriers face specific challenges in complying with the regulations, given their reliance on propulsion solutions with limited potential for efficiency gains,” George Dimopoulos, Scientific Advisor, DNV, said.
“The ABB – MAN propulsion concept aims to offer a highly effective way for LNG carriers to meet progressively tightening emissions regulations while also reducing fuel costs.”
“With the current global orderbook for LNG carriers including more than 200 vessels, and emission regulations continuing to tighten, owners need new technologies to meet the requirements that apply to this specific class of ships,” Rune Lysebo, Strategic Market Development, ABB Marine & Ports, noted.
“DNV’s testimony on the gains available to LNG Carriers with the new solution developed by ABB and MAN Energy Solutions proves the time is right to explore the next-generation technologies for this vessel type.”
DFE+ could be installed with an energy storage solution to operate as a spinning reserve or come coupled with ABB’s Azipod electric propulsion. ABB and MAN will also explore integrating fuel cells as the technology matures.