Thursday, 17 November 2011

The EMax Deliverance: The green supertanker

Head designer Richard Sauter of Sauter Carbon Offset Design (SCOD) released his team's design for a new solar-hybrid supertanker last week. The 2 million barrel, 330DWT Post Panamax vessel, when built, will pay for itself in four years, Sauter claims, saving up to 60 million dollars a year in fuel costs- a staggering USD 1.5 billion over its working life.  Besides being the greenest supertanker around, SCOD claims.

Named 'EMax Deliverance', the 'DynaWing Solar Hybrid Supertanker' will reduce fuel consumption and GHG emissions by up to 75%; half her 20MW power generation will come from LNG and the other half from the latest technology in solar and wind power. It will be longer, narrower and less deep drafted compared to the VLCC's of today, and is designed for the recently enlarged locks of the Panama Canal, whose restricting dimensions are 426m length, 54m beam and 18m draft. The Deliverance will cost about 15% more than a conventional 330,000DWT Supertanker to build.

The special design of the hull, SCOD says, will produce less drag, and so allow an approximate 10MW lower power requirement than a conventional VLCC of similar size. The vessels twin CRP Hybrid Propulsion Pods will reduce fuel consumption and GHG emissions by 35%; another reduction of up to 30% will be made using DynaWing boom furling sails that will cover 500,000 sq. meters. Finally, the Solbian Silar power-generating array will save another 15-20%. Helping these staggering savings will be Mitsubishi's Bubble Hull design and Wartsila's Coded LNG Hybrid power system.

SCOD says that the Deliverance-a major Certified Carbon Offset Project -will achieve Carbon Offset in GHG emissions of 110,000 tons of CO2 per year. Assuming a 25-year working life, that will translate to 3 million tons of CO2. The Deliverance will store solar power in a 5MW lithium ion UPS bank, ensuring a 'zero carbon docking', besides guaranteed power for domestic use. The Solbian marine solar panels used will come with a 25-year warrantee, and have the highest rated efficiency in their class.

Richard Sauter says, "A Solar Hybrid Post Panamax VLCC presents us with a major win-win scenario, for apart from safeguarding the planet, oil companies can look forward to savings of up to 60 million dollars a year on the purchase of fuel, which at today's prices not only pays for the Emax Supertanker in under 4 years, but increases their earnings over her service life by over 1.5 billion US dollars."

 SCOD agrees with the IMO, Richard Branson and Wartsila that a 75 percent reduction in GHGs is a realistic goal. The company has designed and rolled out many smaller boats and vehicles already; the design of the Deliverance, however, is a huge difference in scale compared to those. The irony of a 2 million barrel supertanker designed to save the planet while carrying fossil fuel must be appreciated along with the design.

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