Conventional fuels and fossil-fuel free alternatives are not yet competitive on a cost basis. Taking into account however the wider societal impact as well as future regulations and technological developments, they will become competitive on certain routes sooner than you may think.
The THRUST Impact Model allows for a comparison between renewable, alternative and fossil fuels on various shipping routes to see when more sustainable alternatives will become competitive.
The Model is an online software tool which can help users select the optimal fuel and technology onboard a variety of vessels for different routes and in different transition scenarios and timelines. The scenarios are stated vary from an accelerated to a conservative transition to a more sustainable industry.
Users can create an operational profile according to their needs and preferences. Various routes are available from and to a variety of deep sea and short sea voyages. For instance, the distance from Rotterdam to Piraeus is considered a short sea voyage and from Los Angeles to Shanghai as a deep sea one. Furthermore, users can proceed on the selected voyage with different kinds of vessels. Power requirements and cargo data are based on average values of the main categories, i.e.; Tanker, Container, Bulk carrier, Cruise, Roro, Auto carrier, General Cargo, Ocean Tug and Reefer.
Users can also select the onboard fuel and technology combinations to examine and further investigate its potential in terms of the voyage costs and the environmental impact. Conventional fuels, proven alternatives and promising renewables applied in other transportation sectors are embedded in the model; Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO), Marine Diesel Oil (MDO), Liquid Natural Gas (LNG), Methanol, Ammonia and Hydrogen.
In terms of propulsion technologies, both Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) and Fuel Cells (FC) can be selected. For either ICE or FC the model automatically determines the most suitable combination of fuel and technology for each timeframe: for instance in 2040 green Ammonia as a fuel is tied to Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC) and green Hydrogen in 2030 is tied to Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell. Furthermore, the production process of ‘green’ fuels is based on renewable energy and the production of ‘brown’ fuels is based on fossil fuels.
The model automatically calculates the comprehensive voyage costs for the selected operational profile. These costs are broken down into the cost of the fuels, based on commercial prices with future estimations according to the selected scenario, the Societal Benefit Impact and the Harmful Emission Mitigation. More information about the last two is given in the demo version. The design of this model was structured based on different timeline and transition scenarios, varying these two parameters cause significant change to the voyage cost graph and indirectly to the most preferable option in terms of costs.
Another important aspect our model calculates is the environmental impact. The main four pollutants (CO2, SOx, NOx, PM) are calculated and relevant regulations applied. The first graph illustrates the selected pollutant’s quantity for the selected fuel and technology onboard. Two main types of emissions are calculated, the emissions during the propulsion stage for either ICE or FC and the emissions during the production process of the required quantity of fuel for the selected journey. The second graph provides a comprehensive illustration of the selected emission potential and the future regulations. Future regulations are varying according to the selected scenario.
Finally, an overview of the overall climate change impact of a specific journey is presented with the aim to sensitize user’s environmental and sustainability concerns.
The purpose of this tool is to inform users about the great need for a fossil fuel free maritime industry and to prove that a transition to renewables is feasible and has a strong potential.Online you can find our first demo-version. Please get in touch with Kostas in case you have any suggestions to improve it further, if you would like to gain access to the full model or if you would like to work together on this or a related topic!
Check out the demo version here.