Concept: Swedish company Alfa Laval has launched a self-contained solution named E-PowerPack that can generate electricity from many different heat sources onboard ships using Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) technology. The company claims that E-PowerPack reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions and creates a simple, cost-saving tool for complying with new sustainability requirements.
Nature of Disruption: E-PowerPack system uses heat energy to generate electricity. A typical ORC design includes thermal energy sources feeding an evaporator to drive an expander or reverse compressor which in turn generates the electricity. Heat exchangers are one of the critical elements in the ORC system and are used in several stages of the cycle. They function as evaporators, condensers, and regenerators or economizers. E-PowerPack can convert waste heat from different sources, including exhaust gas waste heat and liquid sources at lower temperatures including engine jacket water, into electrical power. Exhaust gas waste heat accounts for 50% of the energy from combusted fuel and converting it to electrical energy helps to reduce the CO2 emissions. Regardless of which fuels they operate with, fleets can use the E-PowerPack to reduce their fuel consumption, emissions, and costs. Ships have moved to low-sulfur fuel, and this has created a surplus of steam that can be transformed into electrical energy by the E-PowerPack. The company claims that E-PowerPack can become a vital component on ships as energy recovery becomes key in transitioning to green methanol and ammonia.
Outlook: According to International Maritime Organization (IMO), the shipping industry is responsible for about 2.5% of the total global carbon emissions. The shipping companies are looking to reduce their carbon footprint and decarbonize their shipping operations. Alfa Laval claims that E-PowePack can help shipping companies reduce their fuel cost and carbon emissions by converting waste heat energy to electrical energy. The company claims that the versatility and fuel savings can make the E-PowerPack a useful choice for shipowners to improve a vessel’s Energy Efficiency Index and Carbon Intensity Indicator.