As the maritime industry steps up its pursuit of viable carbon-alternate fuels, a ship named Cape Flamingo will be used as testing grounds for the viability of offshore windpower aboard commercial fleets.
An autonomous wind-monitoring system from Totempower has been installed where the best wind conditions and most relevant environmental data (wind speed, direction, and turbulence) could be expected on the ship, which is owned by Zodiac Maritime Agencies.
The project, administered by Lloyd’s Register’s Strategic Research Group, is expected to identify and measure the potential generating capacity from wind power for the ship’s trading patterns. The data will be used to support the development of computational fluid dynamics-based simulation models that may be suitable for predicting the energy yields on other Zodiac ships.
“The data-collection phase is expected to last four to six months,” says Simon Turpin, environmental superintendent for Zodiac. “When the field trials are completed, we hope to have a better understanding of the feasibility of implementing wind turbines onboard our ships and the associated economic and environmental benefits.”
Public demands for industry to lower its CO2 emissions and rapidly rising fuel costs are driving research and development into increased energy efficiency and cleaner propulsion systems. Supplemental wind power is one of the clean energy options being explored by the marine team at the Lloyd’s Register in concert with shippers. Others include research into LNG as fuel, nuclear propulsion systems, solar and tidal energy and the potential of fuel cells.
“To save fuel and maximize the understanding of alternative sources of power, we need good data,” says Spyros Hirdaris, a senior specialist at Lloyd’s Register. “This project is designed to provide the information that Zodiac needs to evaluate the effectiveness for effective wind-energy solutions.”