Date: 18th August
The growing popularity of sustainability and eco-friendliness is focusing marine companies on their carbon footprint. Coupled with the evidence of global warming spotlighted in the news, the movement to be greener is gathering momentum. Shipping ports and marinas are jumping on the bandwagon, implementing new guidance to reduce adverse effects on the environment. The Port of Rotterdam in the Neverlands supplies liquified natural gas for ship refuelling, encourages the use of shore power, and includes renewable energy in its electricity mix.
Boat owners’ enthusiasm for greener practices is fundamental to this movement. They foster environmentally conscious attitudes that ripple throughout the industry and place pressure on suppliers and manufacturers. After all, if we wish to continue yielding the benefits of the ocean, there must be a unified attempt to combat the climate issue. If we do nothing, we risk ocean warming, ocean acidification, sea-level rising, extreme weather events, and changes to marine ecosystems.
Some of the environmental controls implemented in marinas worldwide include investment into greener shore power, energy-efficient LED lighting, energy tracking meters to monitor usage, and port-sponsored clean-up events. But more needs to be done. The real potential for positive change remains onboard the vessel, and therefore arguably with the boat owner themselves.
The Cruising Association says “most cruising boats are powered by diesel engines. Most would be difficult and expensive to convert to cleaner power. There is significant development taking place on alternative power sources but scrapping diesel engines within their useful life is not sustainable. [However] hybrid power, which marries diesel power for battery charging with electric drive, could provide the autonomy needed for cruising.” There are very few who doubt the potential of hybrid systems for their role in decarbonizing the industry, given that the technology to go fully electric isn’t quite there yet. So, could hybrid technology be the answer?
One thing is certain, making our boats more sustainable is paramount to our ocean’s health. Statista – the online platform specialized in data gathering and visualization – reports that ships and boats in the United States produced 32.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2020 alone. With every boat owner’s environmentally conscious intent, we make steps towards a healthier, cleaner ocean and more sustainable industry.
We can regard hybrid technology as a better alternative, but there are other advanced systems available to boat owners that can reduce carbon emissions. The Integrel System is a ‘souped-up alternator’ which completely replaces a diesel generator. Integrel is designed to generate up to 9kW of electrical power without compromising the engine’s performance. A sophisticated power management system oversees the output of the engine to ensure it is always running in the most fuel-efficient fashion and is charging the batteries in the most efficient manner possible.
Ken Wittamore, co-founder of Integrel Solutions (formally Triskel Marine), says, “we ended up with a product super-efficient at power generation, but that’s not why we started all of this. We developed the technology as a means of decarbonising the maritime sector”. This powerful alternator harvests the spare energy produced by your propeller engine, subsequently saving you up to 25% on fuel costs.
In our unceasing pursuit of technological advancement, the Integrel team remains focused on enhancing efficiency and championing environmental sustainability. This unwavering commitment has led us to the creation of Integrel E-Drive which achieved broad recognition by winning an esteemed Dame Category Award in 2022.
With a robust power generation capacity up to 30kW, Integrel E-Drive opens the doors to a realm of possibilities since it also offers a seamless transition to electric propulsion. Imagine cruising through marinas, propelled by clean and emission-free electric drive – a testament to the harmonious blend of cutting-edge technology and environmental consciousness. Integrel E-Drive is currently undergoing testing in preparation for volume production in 2024.
To learn more, please come and see us at the Cannes Yachting Festival, where will have the Integrel System and Integrel E-Drive on display. Alternatively, you can reach us on our website or through our social media.