At Posidonia 2016 LR launched its 'Big Question' interactive campaign, using a digital survey to look for insight into the challenges facing the marine industry. We received hundreds of 'Big Questions' and have chosen three worthy winners.
Today, LR welcomed the first winner to their Global Technology Centre in Southampton. James Bishton, an engineer at Caterpillar Marine in Wimborne, Dorset, described one of the key challenges facing our industry as it seeks a pathway to reduced carbon emissions with his question. He asked: "What will be the disruptive technology that replaces the internal combustion engine for marine power?"
James met Joanna Pohorski, LR’s UK and Ireland Area Manager, Marine & Offshore who handed James his prize, and Jospeh Morelos, LR's Technology and Innovation Strategic Marketing Manager, and they talked engines, fuels and the challenges facing the industry. Additionally, James was given a tour of the campus and the 140m towing tank.
(L-R) Joanna Pohorski, Joseph Morelos and winner James Bishton
Luis Benito, Head of Strategic Innovation in LR’s Marine & Offshore business had provided a brief answer to James’s question:
"Right now there is no available and commercially viable disruptive technology that we can see replacing the internal combustion engine for the vast majority of the world’s shipping.
"To some extent disruption in our domestic lives is already happening with the incorporation of alternative sources energy from renewables. And in shipping storing that energy effectively on board in batteries and delivering that energy through hybrid diesel-electrical and pure full-electrical propulsion systems is a reality. But this is only probably suitable for ferries and tugs right now. However, given the very high power demand and very long duration of deep sea voyages ships, energy storage density requirements and trading range, and the current charge capacity of current battery technology, the majority of the energy requirements for these applications will still need to be generated on board ship by conventional means.
"Challenges to the internal combustion engine are likely to develop through an evolving mix of solutions. We expect natural gas and methanol to play an ever growing share part in that mix but, at some point, with the right regulatory drivers demands and market incentives, significantly reduced carbon emissions, possibly even zero carbon emissions will be enabled by the adoption of fuels such as hydrogen supplying hydrogen fuel cells."
Further winners will be announced shortly and look out for the launch of the next phase of the ‘Big Question’ campaign on 30 August – a week before SMM 2016 in Hamburg.