Size is not the whole thing

Providing successful service with a small offshore vessel

Even the most fuel-efficient offshore vessel cannot do without fuel. Ships that use the electricity from the wind farm they service (the “maritime charging station”) are in the planning stage but not yet available.

The consumption of a diesel engine is linked to easily calculable laws. Depending on the type and age of the engine, 190 to 220 grams of diesel fuel are consumed per kilowatt hour. In recent years, many optimizations have been made to the units, which have led to significant fuel savings, especially in the case of high-speed and medium-speed diesels. But at some point, the end of the possibilities has been reached here too. The carbon content of the fuel is released back into the environment as carbon dioxide, soot and in other forms. Reducing this in an engine is not possible, the laws of physics do not allow it.

A typical utility vessel like the widely used UT-755 usually needs around 15 tons of diesel fuel per day in cruise. It is a lot of steel that is moved through the water in the process with a displacement of about 4,500 tons. Modern OSVs in a wind farm are not much smaller and hardly have weaker propulsion systems. However, they tend to tread water and require somewhat less energy input. But mass remains mass. If you want to use less energy, you must act at this point.

But in offshore shipping, these ship sizes are often not needed at all to transport a few technicians, divers or ROV pilots with their equipment to the scene. A much smaller ship can also do this very well and does not need thousands of kilowatts of power and high investments for its construction.

Accordingly, many savings become possible: fuel expenses, charter rates and personnel costs are reduced accordingly. Climate protection is helped by low CO2 emissions. The new catamaran “CC-ONE” can offer all of this through its overall concept and compactness, without leaving anything to be desired in terms of service. Size alone does not count. You wouldn’t drive a heavy truck to a small construction site on land either.

New offshore service catamaran

“CC-ONE'” is the name of the new project from ELBE-SEA-SERVICES. The 38-metre long and 12.2-metre wide catamaran has been specially designed to fulfil the needs of the offshore wind power industry and other sectors such as fish farms or shore conservation. The vessel is designed to have unique manoeuvrability and Dynamic Positioning (DP 3) capabilities through four separate azimuthing drives.

The three planned diesel generators and an additional power system contribute to safety. The vessel is to be fitted with a 12 t crane, two smaller folding hydraulic cranes and an A-frame at the stern. The large working deck can accommodate several containers as well as an Ampelman L-Type gangway system. Connections for the supply of electricity, compressed air and pressurised water will be provided.

“CC-ONE” is to become a floating workshop for any kind of offshore work in the North and Baltic Seas. Even dry dropping in the tidal flats will be possible.

All diesel generators are designed for the environmental standard TIER III and can be exchanged for new types of power generators such as fuel cells or similar as soon as technical progress permits, because “CC-ONE” is designed to be completely modular.

ELBE-SEA-SERVICES is currently seeking partners who are willing to operate such a ship.

SO2 and NO2 – smoke signs at sea

SO2 (sulphur dioxide) and NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) are very harmful gases for nature and humans. They are emitted by diesel engines without any flue gas filtering. Especially the heavy oil burning marine diesel is harmful. After all, they emit many cubic metres of the gases per minute. Only the ban on heavy fuel oil can help here.

NO2 is harmful to humans and other living beings. You can tell just by the pungent smell and the scratching of the throat. SO2 develops sulphuric acid in contact with water. It is certainly not good to have constant contact with it. Both gases have a very damaging effect in continuous exposure and shorten life.

Shipping is responsible for about 13 % of all SO2 and 15 % of all NO2 emissions worldwide. There are ports where every breath makes you sick.

The “highways” of world shipping can be easily traced by their SO2 emissions. Under “” the routes are easy to find if the world map is adjusted accordingly. Wide brown-coloured paths that stretch across the oceans. It’s time to do something about it.

In a first step, liquid natural gas can be used to make a ship’s exhaust emissions much cleaner. In the second step, we can then switch to using only stored electricity or clean hydrogen. The technologies are developed and available. Only the purchase decisions of the ship operators are still missing.

(Picture by Roberto Venturini)

Firefighting saves the nature and the climate

The fire disasters in East Australia, in Brazil and even in other parts of the world are not only just triggered by a period of hot summer seasons – they are a direct result of the global warming. If one believe in the statements that the human civilization is not the originator of this situation or not something is happening. The result is that thousands of acres of woods, bushes etc. have been burned down. The forests may recover themselves, if they would have enough time. But the next fire season is coming and the sparsely growing green in the burned areas will be destroyed again.

We have no chance to protect the forests from lighting strikes or other natural causes for fires. But we can prevent that humans are the arsonists. No open fire, no cigarette or any other careless behavior. Also we can fight against criminals, who uses fires for their own business objectives or set fires just for fun.

Arial firefighting is an important part of the actions against wildfires. Just aircraft can react as fast as required and can transport a large amount of fire retardants into the flames. This does not mean, that any other way to fight fires is wrong – quite contrary to this the complete force is a team. Ground units block the fire, create firebreaks and extinguish any remains of the fires or prevent a reinflammation. The helicopters assist this by a selective precise water bombing and the fixed wing forces extinguish larger areas in short time. Even in rough terrains this mixture of forces is essential.