Both the market and industry are incorporating decarbonization into their business model in the coming years. The international maritime organization aims to reduce CO2 emissions from the maritime industry by at least 50% by the year ending 2050.
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The pressure and demand on the maritime industry to decarbonate will exponentially grow over the next three decades. The maritime sector is a critical aspect of international trade accounting for 80-90% of the world’s business. This results in emissions of around 3% of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Decarbonization of the Maritime Industry
The decarbonization of the maritime industry could be accomplished through the utilization of various alternative fuels for example methanol, ammonia, hydrogen, and methanol, or traditional renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, or biofuels.
Deep decarbonization requires huge financial incentives and investment but also a shift in policies at international and regional levels. Two common measures can reduce emissions, namely managing operating factors such as waste heat recovery systems and speeds. The other measure is technical and involves the ship size, engine design and efficiency, ship port size and location, and the interface. However, both have notable and significant challenges such as social acceptability, resource availability, and cost.
The advancement and maturity of the operational strategies, techniques, and technology of the internal combustion or fuels cells of new or existing ships will assist in the reduction of fuel consumption consequently assisting in decarbonization.
Introducing Artemis Technologies to Support Maritime Decarbonization
Artemis Technologies enables the design and development of emission-free vessels.
The team has versatile knowledge and capabilities due to their developments in the racing world. This has led to the newly established and innovative product the Artemis eFoiler, a scalable zero-emission vessel. The system is based on electric propulsion and integrates technology from the yacht racing, motorsport, and aerospace industries.
The International Transport Forum has acknowledged that further measures can help achieve decarbonization. However, electrical ships would be more than a stop-gap to this issue which is what the company Artemis Technologies is trying to achieve.
Specifications of the Artemis eFoiler
The vessel has a maximum propulsion speed of more than 30 knots, with a cruising speed of approximately 25 knots. The range at cruising speed is 60 nautical miles or 110 kilometers, making it suitable and scalable for various applications.
The Artemis eFoiler is designed to fly over the waves for a quieter and faster ride. This also minimizes the wake generated by the vessel that could potentially cause damage to fish, wildlife habitats, shorelines, and other vessels.
The ‘T’ section of hydrofoil integrated into the design of the drivetrain removes the need for a driveshaft in the structure. The specific alteration to the mechanical system enables greater efficiency and the vessel can operate at higher speeds. The component exhibits a high aspect ratio, and the shape is optimized for performance depending on different vessel characteristics.
To manage the ability for the vessel to fly over the waves, the technology incorporates an autonomous multi-layered control system meaning it operates like autopilot. The height of the vessel is also managed through the flight control system.
The vessel is fueled by a power electronic control unit enhanced with Silicon Carbide modules, transforming electrical power with high efficiency. Silicon Carbide modules are currently being used in the electric vehicle industry and can operate at higher temperatures and voltages, and have low switching losses. They are also beneficial in reducing costs and overall improving the system.
The Artemis eFoiler Vs Traditional Diesel Vessels
The Artemis eFoiler vessel is fueled by an electric propulsion system and differs greatly from the design of traditional diesel vehicles. The eFoiler is expected to be more efficient than traditional diesel vessels.
The eFoiler can operate at higher speeds than other vessels for two specific reasons. The first is the wake created is limited and does not cause damage. Other vessels are forced to limit speeds through regulations. The second is that less power is required to maintain and reach top speeds, adding to the efficiency of the design.
Finally, like other electronic transportation developments, fuels costs are significantly lower at approximately 90% less than traditional vessels.
Optimizing the Design Process with Simulations
By developing the Artemis eFoiler, the company generated a simulation tool called eSim to aid vessel improvements. This allows the vessel to be scalable in terms of type and dimensions while optimizing the design. More specifically, the technology encompasses modeling tools such as fluid-structure interaction, section shape, and detail optimization while ensuring project efficiency.
The eSim improves the ability to select hydrofoil modules, manage the hybrid structure, correct the flight control system, and optimize other design components.
The simulator can be adapted for different applications, from workboats and ferries to leisure craft prior to anything being built. Another advantage to the technology is it can train crew and skippers on how to sail the vessel through realistic and immersive experiences.
What is Next for Artemis Technologies?
While the company is working to bring its technology to market, several opportunities for scalability have arisen.
Artemis Technologies is leading the Belfast Maritime Consortium ferry project. The project aims to decarbonize maritime transport through autonomously controlled electric hydrofoiling vessels to be established as a water taxi service. The expected completion of the project is March 2024 and hopes to bring education, policy change, and job opportunities to the region.
The company was an exhibitor at the COP26 summit in Glasgow, UK, in 2021. This is a great opportunity for the company as a market leader in decarbonization vessels to showcase their designs to world leaders and businesses.
Video Credit: COP26/YouTube.com
References and Further Research
Artemis eFoiler - Zero-Emission High-Speed Maritime Transport (2021) Available at: https://www.artemistechnologies.co.uk/efoiler/
Mallouppas, G. and Yfantis, E. (2021) Decarbonization in Shipping Industry: A Review of Research, Technology Development, and Innovation Proposals. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, 9(4), p.415. https://encyclopedia.pub/10263.
Haun, E., 2021. New Emissions-free Workboat Features Electric Propulsion, Hydrofoils. [Online] MarineLink, Available at: https://www.marinelink.com/news/new-emissionsfree-workboat-features-484863