NauticExpo e-Magazine - #20 – Recovering WasteNauticExpo e-Magazine
April 19, 2018

Your Monthly Dose of Nautical and Maritime Innovation

#20

Slashing Plastic Pollution

Reinventing the Houseboat

La Grande Motte is Back!

The Online Boating and Maritime Exhibition

Reducing Waste




Dear readers,

 

Did you know that by 2050, the oceans could contain more plastic than fish in the oceans? In order to raise awareness and offer solutions to prevent such a catastrophe, the vessel Race for Water, powered by a solar-hydrogen-wind energy mix, is on a bold five-year global circumnavigation.

In this issue, you’ll read about the concept of houseboats which has been completely revisited with cutting-edge contemporary design, innovative eco features and an exceptional level of comfort. We also tested the more than pleasant Leopard 45 catamaran for you. And we went to La Grande Motte, where Europe’s largest multihull boat show is currently taking place, to find out about the latest trends and models. Enjoy!

 

Celia Sampol, Editor-in-Chief

 

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Around eight million tonnes of plastic waste end up in the ocean annually. By 2050, they could contain more plastic than fish.
The Race for ​Water vessel will raise awareness and offer solutions to prevent plastic waste from reaching waterways. (Courtesy of Race for Water)

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Unlike any other vessel afloat, and powered by a solar-hydrogen-wind energy mix, Race for Water is on a bold five-year global circumnavigation, backed by UN Environment, to raise awareness about the urgent need to reduce plastic pollution in the oceans.   Owned by the Swiss Race for Water Foundation (RWF), an...


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Hot Topics
These pioneering new models combine aesthetic appeal with high technology to meet the demands of modern lifestyle and leisure.
Boathome has rethought the concept of the houseboat. (Courtesy of Boathome)

Cutting-edge contemporary design, innovative eco features and exceptional levels of comfort—the houseboat has been reinvented for the 21st century.

 

Much more than simply floating homes, these pioneering new models are on the water combining aesthetic appeal with high technology to meet the demands of modern lifestyle and leisure.

Based in Portugal, nautical innovation company Friday has launched its striking Floatwing for those seeking an alternative to traditional on-board living. CEO Professor Fernando Seabra Santos explained: “It came from a desire to meet a growing need in people to move away from the day-to-day life of big cities and their willingness to engage in leisure activities, enjoy the weekend spirit and approach nature without giving up comfort.”

Floatwing Portugal (Courtesy of Friday)

The result was an electric motorized houseboat—6 m wide and 10 m to 18 m long—providing modularity, comfort, eco-consciousness, transportability, mobility and autonomy. 

“Although separately these concepts are not new, taken together they result in a very innovative product: a floating house that produces up to 80% of all the energy it requires and reduces by 90% the organic load of its waste water.”

Across the Globe

Floatwing has a compact sludge wastewater treatment plant, equipped kitchen, heat pump and AC generator, barbecue, wine cellar and pellet stove. It has two small outboard motors and moves at a speed of five knots; when fully charged, it is self-sufficient for at least seven days.

    

Although manufactured in Portugal, its modular design means its components can be stored in two standard containers and shipped across the world. “So far, we have completed six Floatwings—one in Portugal and the rest in Zanzibar (Tanzania), Beijing (China) and central France,” he said.

“Each project is very different as the product is very customized. Costs depend on specific equipment and dimensions, but prices start at about €70,000 and can go up to €260,000 (plus about 20% for assembly).”

Floatwing China (Courtesy of Friday)

Based in Grosbliederstroff, France, newly launched Boathome has also rethought the concept of the houseboat. CEO Sarah Zins explained that her father, Guy Zins, a mechanical engineer with expertise in steel, and architect Tristan Fuhs put their prototype on the water 12 months ago.

“Our goal was to find the perfect marriage between the freedom offered by a boat and the comfort offered by a house while proving it could also look beautiful and be sustainable and autonomous,” she said.

Technology and Comfort

Boathome’s electric boats can be inhabited all year round; they are made from recyclable materials and include features such as solar panels as well as marine heating and air conditioning systems functioning with water, pellet stoves and high-density insulation.

Marriage between the freedom offered by a boat and the comfort offered by a house. (Courtesy of Boathome)

There are also energy-saving household appliances and water purification and sewage treatment systems that leave waterways clean. Batteries can be recharged by solar panels, as well as on-shore power outlets, but the boats have an electrical 18 kW generator as a backup.

“The boats are 100% autonomous with energy and water,” she said. “Technology and comfort are important, but so are aesthetics. What makes us different from other manufacturers is the contemporary look, with lots of space, high ceilings and natural light.”

“Our architect pays attention to every single detail to make the boats look beautiful, on the outside and on the inside.”

Floating New Ideas

Boathome offers four different models: from 44 sq m to 71 sq m for the motorized version, and up to 135 sq m for floating houses without motors. Costs range from about €180,000 up to about €400,000 (including 20% TVA tax), depending on the specification of the finish.

    

    

Boathome is working on several projects with potential clients, including floating houses in France and Germany; a floating co-working space in Nantes and a floating restaurant in Dubai.

“Boathome is a big project and each big project takes time—but I think we are on the right track and that we will sign our first orders within the coming months,” Ms. Zins said. “If we can help people to realize their dream to live on the water then that is all we ask for.”

 

Read more about Houseboats on NauticExpo website.


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  • Utrecht University is carrying out research. (Courtesy of Utrecht University)

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    A Dutch consortium of six companies and research institutes are designing and will construct and operate the world’s first offshore floating solar energy farm.

     

    Led by Leiden-based offshore renewable energy specialists Oceans of Energy, the consortium consists of the Netherlands’ largest energy-related research institution, ECN; the Maritime Research Institute of the Netherlands (MARIN); independent research organisation TNO; global energy and water company TAQA; and Utrecht University.

    Estimates currently suggest it will consist of about 2,500 m2 of floating solar panels.

    All six will collaborate over three years, with financial backing from Dutch Enterprise Agency the Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO). “Of the total cost of 2 million euros, RVO is contributing 1.4 million,” Oceans of Energy CEO Allard van Hoeken told NauticExpo e-magazine.

    RVO’s financial support is via Topsector Energie (TSE), a department of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. TSE backs innovations needed to make the energy transition from fossil fuels to an affordable, reliable, safe and sustainable energy system. It focuses on goals set out in the Dutch National Energy Agreement, the Energy Agenda and by EU member states. The aim is to achieve a fully sustainable energy supply—and a CO2 reduction of 80-95%—by 2050.

    The power yield of photovoltaic solar modules at sea should 15% higher compared to on land (Courtesy of Oceans of Energy)

    “This is an important innovation project, as it has a high potential for replicability,” stated RVO energy innovation manager Frank Witte. As he pointed out, it’s ideal for remote regions of the world and where land space, such as in the Netherlands, is limited. “We are looking forward to the results, including the power yields and the system’s lifetime given the challenging sea conditions.”

    Van Hoeken continued: “Together with Utrecht University, Oceans of Energy will carry out scientific research to compare the electricity production of a floating at-sea solar farm in comparison to one on land.”

    30m2 of Rugged Solar Panels

    That pilot, about 15 km off the Dutch coast and boasting around 30 m2 of rugged solar panels, will test equipment, weather conditions, environmental impacts and energy output. “The power yield of photovoltaic solar modules at sea is expected to be about 15% higher compared to on land. The reason for this is that there is more diffuse sunlight at sea, due to reflections, and because the panels will be cooled by the water,” Van Hoeken explained.

    Oceans of Energy CEO Allard van Hoeken at TEDx 2012

    He does not underestimate the challenges. But his confidence stems from the fact he was previously responsible for the realization of tidal energy unit BlueTEC, which gave Dutch island Texel clean energy. He was named “Engineer of the Year 2015” and received the “Prins Friso Ingenieursprijs.”

    “At the end of the three years we expect to see a pilot farm in operation.”

    “At the end of the three years we expect to see a pilot farm in operation,” he stated. Estimates currently suggest it will consist of about 2,500 m2 of floating solar panels—and Van Hoeken has other money-saving initiatives up his sleeve.

    “We plan to use the space available in between wind turbines, and we’re currently talking to owners/operators of existing and/or under development wind farms with that aim,” he said. “Offshore wind turbines’ power output is typically fed to, and collated by, an offshore sub-station before being sent ashore. We see solar units’ power being fed to the same sub-stations—‘piggy backing’ on wind farm developments.”

    Waves and Storms

    He is not so forthcoming about the significant challenges faced in designing and building an offshore solar energy farm able to stand up to the North Sea’s volatile conditions, however. “The challenges include waves and storms, of course, but we cannot yet share information on how we will overcome them. What we will do in this project has not been done before and is exceptional. But with the competences of the project partners, and building further on Dutch offshore expertise, we are convinced that we will be successful.”


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    Wärtsilä guests at Trieste (Courtesy of WinGD)

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    Swiss company Winterthur Gas & Diesel (WinGD), in collaboration with Finnish technology solutions giant Wärtsilä, have just successfully demonstrated they can run dual-fuel marine engines using a VOC waste gases fuel mix.

     

    VOCs—volatile organic compounds, the gases evaporating from oil cargo tanks—are a waste product from crude oil handling and transport that represent both a hazard and a loss of revenue to oil and gas producers and shippers. Typically, VOCs are either discharged into the atmosphere or burned off. But with the development of this new fuel mix for dual-fuel (LNG and diesel) engines, VOCs can be turned into a viable source of energy.

    The potential is savings of around 4,000 tonnes of fuel per year for a shuttle tanker.

    The first application of what WinGD and Wärtsilä describe as “ground-breaking technology” will be to power two 125,000 dwt shuttle tankers being built by Samsung in South Korea for Singapore-based AET Tankers.

    Under a contract worth over 30 million euros, WinGD will supply the two-stroke X-DF main engines, while Wärtsilä’s scope for each ship includes the VOC recovery plant, fuel tank, and fuel mixing unit, plus two four-stroke 34 DF dual-fuel auxiliary engines.

    The equipment is scheduled for delivery to Samsung’s yard this fall; the vessels will be delivered in 2019 and 2020.

    Reduction in CO2 Emissions

    The 277-meter-long tankers will operate on long-term charter for Norwegian state-owned energy company Statoil in the North Sea. They will use LNG as their primary fuel, with VOCs mixed with the LNG. WinGD and Wärtsilä have proven that this fuel mix will not only run the former’s X-DF main engines, but also the latter’s 34 DF auxiliary engines.

    LNG dual-fuel vessel (Courtesy of AET)

    Speaking to NauticExpo e-magazine, a Wärtsilä spokeswoman confirmed: “Yes, of the six new VOC recovery systems, four are with Wärtsilä dual-fuel engines. In terms of fuel saving and payback, the potential is savings of around 4,000 tonnes of fuel per year for a shuttle tanker. Assuming the current LNG fuel price of USD 500/tonne, a payback of six to seven years is possible.”

    “This is in addition to the environmental benefits,” she added, “which include a significant reduction in CO2 emissions. We believe that this technology will ignite the interest of tanker fleet owners around the world as well as the oil & gas industry.” She explained that the new fuel mix underwent full-scale tests: “We used our facility in Bermeo, Spain, for the four-stroke tests, and our Trieste, Italy, facility for the X-DF two-stroke engine tests.”

    New Fuel Technology

    Using up to a 20% VOC mix, those tests demonstrated the engines’ capabilities under various load scenarios. “They sustained high performance throughout transfers from pure LNG to the VOC mix, as well as transferring to diesel mode and back again. Notably, while maintaining efficiency, NOx emissions remained significantly below IMO Tier III levels while operating on the LNG-VOC mix.”

    VOC recovery module (Courtesy of Wärtsilä)

    Wärtsilä and WinGD invited representatives from AET and Samsung, as well as from the OSM Maritime Group, Statoil and Hyundai Heavy Industries to Trieste to witness the tests. WinGD’s DF technology R&D senior project manager, Marcel Ott, commented: “An early finding on the first X-DF engines with low-pressure gas admission was that their inherently stable combustion gave scope to run the engines on gas. Working with our partners from Wärtsilä Gas Systems and the team at Trieste, we’ve applied this knowledge to develop the new fuel technology.”

    “Importantly, to burn the LNG-VOC mix, the X-DF engine concept remains unaltered with no significant changes in performance and emissions behaviour—the engines are fully IMO Tier III compliant burning the LNG-VOC mix. Neither hardware modifications nor application-specific control functions are required, and standard tuning can be retained.”

    Ott concluded: “It was also established during the project that, in contrast to a high-pressure system, the X-DF engines’ low-pressure gas admission is beneficial for mixing VOC with the natural gas fuel, since condensation of the heavy hydrocarbons in the VOC can be avoided.”

    Award

    WinGD has won the Marine Propulsion Emissions Reduction Award at the Sulphur Cap 2020 Conference on 17-18 April in Amsterdam. Sponsored by DNV-GL, the award is given for an innovation: “that can demonstrate actual or potential reductions in emissions as a result of its implementation.”


    CONTRIBUTORS



    Monica Hutchings

    Monica Hutchings is a Canadian writer and translator who has worked on everything from technical descriptions to academic journals. She is also our in-house English translator.


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    Abigail Saltmarsh

    Abigail Saltmarsh is a freelance journalist with 25 years’ experience for national magazines (The New York Times, International Herald Tribune).


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    Kevin Green

    Kevin Green is a Sydney-based yachting journalist who contributes to international boating publications.

     


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    Celia Sampol

    Celia Sampol has been a journalist for more than 15 years. She worked in Brussels and Washington for national medias (Agence France Presse, Liberation, Europolitics). She’s the editor-in-chief of NauticExpo e-magazine and MedicalExpo e-magazine.


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    Tony Slinn

    Formerly editor-in-chief of IHS Maritime, Tony Slinn is an independent maritime journalist.


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