The Triple-E is the latest in a long succession of Maersk Line vessels, including the Emma Mærsk class of vessels, to be equipped with an energy saving advanced waste heat recovery system. The purpose of the waste heat recovery system is simple: to reduce the engine’s need for fuel and therefore its CO2 footprint.
Instead of being transferred to the propellers, approximately 25 percent of the energy contained in a vessel’s fuel is lost when the engine’s hot exhaust gas escapes into the atmosphere. But with a waste heat recovery system, the heat and pressure contained in the exhaust gas is captured and used to move turbines creating mechanical energy that operates an electrical generator.
For the Triple-E, the effect of the waste heat recovery system is a reduction in the engine’s fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by approximately 9 percent.
At 75 tonnes and with a 35 square metre footprint, it is a large piece of complicated mechanical machinery. And for a cost of approximately USD 10 million per unit, it isn’t cheap. But the long-term benefits of installing these systems on vessels dramatically outweigh the initial cost. In fact, depending on the price of oil, Maersk Line estimates the return on investment of the waste heat recovery system is in the range of 5-10 years. If oil prices rise, it pays off closer to 5 years and vice versa.
Of course, oil prices will fluctuate in the future as they do now. But because of the energy savings and reduced emissions the system provides, Maersk Line plans to continue to install this technology on its vessels. Currently, 20 Maersk Line vessels, including the 8 Emma Mærsk class vessels, have the system already on board. Including the 10 Triple-E vessels, a total of 48 Maersk Line vessels currently on order from shipyards will have the waste heat recovery system.
“The waste heat recovery system is an integral part of the Triple-E’s industry best efficiency and we’re committed to installing it in many more of our vessels. There will be costs associated with any steps we take to reduce our fuel consumption and emissions, but they don’t compare to the long-term benefits to us, our customers and the environment from taking them,” says Eivind Kolding, CEO of Maersk Line.
FACTS: Waste heat recovery system
The waste heat recovery system fitted on each Triple-E vessel will ensure what would be waste on other ships is a further source of power and will reduce CO2 emissions
Maersk Line is the first in the industry to install waste heat recovery systems as a standard on all new buildings of ships
20 Maersk Line vessels, including the 8 Emma Mærsk class vessels, already have a waste heat recovery system. The 38 Maersk Line vessels on order plus the new Triple-E class vessels will all have waste heat recovery systems
With the system installed the Triple-E is saving about 9 percent CO2/ fuel in a speed range of 18 - 23 knots
The price of a waste heat recovery system depends on size of main engine. For the engine to be installed on Triple-E the waste heat recovery system cost a significant USD 10 million — for each vessel
The return on investment time is about 5-10 years depending on fuel price and service speed
How the waste heat recovery system works:
The waste heat recovery systems capture the hot exhaust gas emitted from the engine to produce extra energy for propulsion
When exhaust gas leaves the engine, it has a very high heat potential. Utilising this potential in an exhaust gas boiler, it is possible to generate steam. The waste heat recovery system then supplies the steam into a turbine connected to a generator which then recovers electrical energy
The engine’s waste heat has been changed into valuable electric power, thus reducing CO2 emissions from the ship