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Siemens backs concepts and solutions for sustainable ship operation

Rising costs, greater competitive pressure and ever stricter environmental regulations are driving new developments in shipping and shipbuilding that are designed to protect the environment and increase energy efficiency.

Profitable trading and environmental compatibility are not mutually exclusive, but a competitive factor. Siemens Marine Solutions will be showcasing solutions for shipyards and ship operators at the SMM 2010 Trade Fair, under the motto "Navigate to new horizons - Get on course with green returns", that will sustainably increase the environmental compatibility and commercial efficiency of overall shipping operations. Siemens is presenting EcoMain, the first technical and economical operational management system that helps ship operators and shipping companies to optimize their use of energy and resources in a wide range of on-board processes.

Environmental protection, energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness are becoming more and more important, not only on land but also at sea. Siemens is developing EcoMain – a technical and economical operational management system for ships and fleets – to offer shipyards and operators solutions that follow the ecological trends in shipbuilding, and increase the cost-effectiveness of overall shipping operations in the long run. EcoMain is designed to optimize operating processes on board, not only saving money and energy, but also reducing emissions. The basis of the new ship management solution is a platform on which all the operating data is collected and saved in a standard format. Existing system modules, for example for energy management and heat recovery, as well as new and third-party systems, such as container management, can also be installed on the platform, and fed with the data it collects. There is a separate process simulation behind each module, which visualizes potential operating processes, and gives the operator recommendations such as for optimizing marine navigation and reducing fuel consumption. Up to now, such systems have managed individual processes successfully, but the data pooled from all the system modules has not been further processed or used optimally.

EcoMain provides a data platform and modules which can be used to monitor and optimize the entire operation of the ship. Standardized interfaces also facilitate data exchange between the individual systems.

Additional, newly developed modules will be added in due course. Among other things, Siemens is planning a communication tool specifically for the exchange of information among the ship's crew and for safeguarding expert knowledge. Siemens will be demonstrating EcoMain at the SMM 2010 using a range of applications for everyday ship operation.

Nowadays, almost 90 percent of the world's commercial goods are transported by ship – and the trend is rising. Ships regulate their stability, trim and draft using their ballast tanks. The tanks contain sea water, which is pumped out during loading and pumped in again during unloading. However, this can let animals and plants, such as algae and mussels, escape into foreign waters. The Siemens Sicure ballast water management system treats this water effectively, reducing the burden on the environment, and ensuring the safety of the ship and its crew. The system is based on a physical separation of organisms and a special treatment process which uses biocides obtained from the surrounding sea water. A control system developed by Siemens regulates the system parameters, so that the water is efficiently cleansed of invasive organisms.

Other major Siemens exhibits at the SMM 2010 Trade Fair are diesel-electric drive systems and hybrid drive concepts that have considerable potential for increasing energy efficiency. This particularly applies to vehicles with frequently changing modes of travel and speeds. The company is also showcasing the Siship SSP (Siemens-Schottel Propulsor), another innovative drive concept. This pod drive has a power rating of up to 12 megawatts per pod and has been designed for ferries, supply ships, product tankers and other ships which need to be highly maneuverable.

Siemens will also be providing information about the waste heat recovery system which enables power to be generated from the waste heat from the ship's engines. The exhaust gas generates steam which then drives turbo-generators through a steam turbine and can also generate up to an extra six megawatts of power for the on-board power supply. This reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 12 percent. Energy costs fall by some 10 percent, making ship operation more economical. The reduced emissions of nitrogen and sulfur oxides also lower the impact on the environment.

The Siemens Industry Sector (Erlangen, Germany) is the worldwide leading supplier of environmentally friendly production, transportation, building and lighting technologies. With integrated automation technologies and comprehensive industry-specific solutions, Siemens increases the productivity, efficiency and flexibility of its customers in the fields of industry and infrastructure. The Sector consists of six divisions: Building Technologies, Drive Technologies, Industry Automation, Industry Solutions, Mobility und Osram. With around 207,000 employees worldwide (September 30), Siemens Industry achieved in fiscal year 2009 total sales of approximately €35 billion.

The Siemens Industry Solutions Division (Erlangen, Germany) is one of the world's leading solution and service providers for industrial and infrastructure facilities comprising the business activities of Siemens VAI Metals Technologies, Water Technologies and Industrial Technologies. Activities include engineering and installation, operation and service for the entire life cycle. A wide-ranging portfolio of environmental solutions helps industrial companies to use energy, water and equipment efficiently, reduce emissions and comply with environmental guidelines. With around 31,000 employees worldwide (September 30), Siemens Industry Solutions posted sales of €6.8 billion in fiscal year 2009.

Rebecca Zapfe | Siemens Industry
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