MOL, Kobe Steel install binary cycle power generation system on VLOC

A binary cycle power generation system for ships, jointly researched by Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and compatriot steel manufacturer Kobe Steel, has been installed on a very large ore carrier (VLOC) newbuild.

Launched on 28 October, the ship is owned by Shunzan Kaiun Co., Ltd. and chartered by MOL.

As informed, the project marks the first application of a binary cycle power generation system on a VLOC. The test will confirm the system’s performance and durability under actual operating conditions at sea.

Specifically, the system relies on waste heat when cooling scavenging air for the vessel’s main engine, an approach that has rarely been used in the past. It can generate up to about 100kW of power by heating and evaporating the working medium, which has a lower boiling point than water, and using the resulting steam to drive a turbine and generate electricity.

Photo: MOL

Effective use of the electricity generated by the system as an auxiliary power source for the ship’s engine contributes to reduced CO2 emissions lower fuel consumption by the power generator engine, according to MOL.

MOL has used various waste heat collection systems as the underlying technology of ISHIN-III. The project is examining new ways to collect waste heat from ship engines by proactively adopting the Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC), which can generate power even at medium and low temperatures.

The project is said to be a key element of “NEXT -MOL SMART SHIP PROJECT-“, and knowledge and expertise gained through the development process will be fed back to various ship types, seizing opportunities presented by efforts to reduce the environmental impact of the global shipping industry.