From the docks to the sea - a field report
Join us on our journey from the docks to the sea: follow the integration of the first marine efficiency PACKs – the efficiency upgrade for vessels that uses waste heat. The Veerle, an inland push boat owned by the Dutch shipping company Ruijven, is the first inland waterway vessel that is outfitted with efficiency PACKs. A weekly ‘behind the scenes’ update by Bas Flipse - Sales coordinator marine applications.
step 01: It all started with the pusher Herkules VI being renamed to Veerle, having its engines replaced and an empty engine room – where the efficiency PACK will fit right in/be installed.
step 02: Here you see three steel frames and heat exchangers for three efficiency PACKs waiting to be installed in the engine room – Because the Veerle only spent a brief period of time at the yard, the installation had to be carefully planned and we started with installing just the frames and the heat exchangers. Even though we were dealing with tight lead times, we managed to deliver our components to the yard in time.
step 03: And it fits! Engine room floor space is always limited, but by focusing on compactness during the development phase we managed to make it fit in virtually any engine room and to even install three efficiency PACKs on board the Veerle. On this picture you can see the steel frames being lowered onto the engine room floor with chain hoists. Even though the drawings told us it would fit, we were still happy to see them bolted to the floor in practice.
step 04: What to do with the energy recovered from waste heat? We can either feed it back to the on-board grid as electricity or as mechanical power supporting the propulsion driveline. In this case we opted for the latter, since inland waterway vessels don’t consume too much electricity. So the three newly installed CAT engines are going to share the load with the efficiency PACKs.
step 05: While the Veerle got its engines replaced, we installed our heat exchangers in the exhaust gas funnels. The heat exchangers extract waste heat from the exhaust gases and feed it to our efficiency PACK, causing the refrigerant inside (already being preheated by the jacket cooling water) to vaporize and drive the expansion machine. Here you can see one of the heat exchangers before (left) and after installation (right). Of course everything has to be well insulated. Another important step completed!