Engines and fuels keep evolving to meet the more and more demanding environmental goals, which include the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the standards of the International Maritime Organization and national legal frameworks. These growing regulations will also have a significant impact on turbochargers, whose manufacturers are currently under pressure to get more energy from smaller units that generate less noise and emissions.
The OECD has acknowledged in a recent report about “Future Green Ships” that turbochargers “radically affect fuel efficiency”. For this reason the sector is using these devices to improve the energy consumption ratios.
Another conclusion of the report is the need for companies to keep working on turbochargers’ efficiency, which is possible to achieve by being up to date with the programed maintenance services, and in the case of old devices, replacing them for last generation turbochargers by retrofitting them, allowing for a more complete fuel combustión and thus significantly reducing the formation of NO.
It is also possible to reduce the environmental impact and reduce cost by optimizing the low load systems, helping to bring down emissions up to 25%.
On the other hand, sector spokespeople like Lars Robert Pederso, Under Secretary General of BIMCO, have highlighted how a sustained increase in shipping demand hasn’t translated into more pollution, “with a projected increase of between 50% and 100% in demand by 2050, while the emissions remain 10% under 2008 levels. Showing that with the help of zero emissions ships we are on the right path to accelerate the decoupling between commerce and pollution”.
Another leader who spoke about this recently was the International Maritime Organization’s Secretary General, Kitack Lim, who expressed that shipping “needs to ensure its own sustainabilty” highlighting that one of the main goals of his institution is to make sure that the sector “continues to help the world economy without altering nature’s delicate balance”.
For this reason, turbochargers are working on laying the foundations for a more sustainable future in the shipping industry, that must start with greater efficiency, a policy for which turbochargers are a key element as a way to achieve more powerful and efficient engines with lower fuel consumption and less emissions, said Li, “in order to face the industry’s challenges in the next decades”.