Considerations of Energy Efficient Low Voltage Motors in Marine Industry

 In Blog

In 2013, the International Marine Organization (IMO), introduced new regulations for CO2 emissions on all new build ships with the Energy Efficient Design Index (EEDI) and Ship Energy Efficient Management Plan (SEEMP). These new regulations are forecasted to reduce emissions by 200,000,000 tons of annual CO2 per year from an industry that currently accounts for 2% of global CO2 emissions.

Electric motors provide a significant opportunity to improve energy efficiency because they are used in a variety of ancillary applications including: seawater cooling pumps, chilled water pumps, ballast pumps, thrusters, compressors, heating, ventilation and air conditioning for passenger ships as well as ballast and crude oil pumps on tankers.

Jukka Hannuksela, ABB’s global certification manager explains Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) and considerations for upgrading efficiency in a recent Marine Professional article:

What new motor technology is available?

According to the final MEPS stage rolled out in 2017, motors are required to be IE3 standard, with IE4 technology also available. The other way to greatly improve efficiency of motors is with the implementation of variable speed drives to operate the motor at only the necessary speeds.

How can energy efficiency improve operations?

Not only are energy efficient motors better for the environment, they also can be more reliable because of lower losses from heat, vibration and noise. Sizing electrical motors appropriately and adding variable speed drives to operate only at speeds necessary vs. constant speed have showed significant cost savings for vessels.

ABB helped Pummantur Cruises to optimize the cooling systems for four propulsion engines on its Sovereign luxury cruise liner. The current pumps were driven at full power whenever the ship was in operation even though they were only required to operate at 40% capacity.  By installing new high-efficiency electric motors controlled by VFDs to drive the pumps according to current system requirements, Pullmantur Cruises was able to reduce energy required by 100,000 kWh per year.

Elite Controls, Inc. partners with ABB to provide high-efficiency electric motors for the marine industry. The team has system design expertise to help customers figure out a new solution to optimize their energy efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions. Visit our website to learn more about our experience with the marine industry.