Shipping represents one of the worst polluting industries in the world. If we consider a typical ship consuming 10,000 tonnes of fuel in one year, less than 5,000 tonnes is transformed into ”usable” energy. By our estimates, roughly $40bn / year is therefore lost in heat energy through the exhaust. At the same time, shipowners are under pressure to improve energy efficiency of equipment and engines to comply with IMO’s Energy Efficiency Design Index standards for vessels, as well as International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations to reduce sulphur emissions to 0.5% for global marine fuels. There is, in other words, a perfect storm of pressures driving increased efficiency in shipping.
Traditionally to generate electricity from heat it is necessary to first convert it into mechanical energy and drive a turbine. The state of the art process is the Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC),