Big data and new technology are driving the development of HVAC solutions for ferries
Ferry operators are realising that energy efficiency among their HVAC systems has never been more important than it is in today’s competitive market.
And while ferries remain slightly behind the cruise market in terms of using the most sophisticated HVAC systems, the sector is catching up as more large ferries and cruise ferries are built. This is the opinion of Koja Marine director Esko Nousiainen, who said "The bigger the ship, the more energy that is being used”, making energy efficiency more of a priority. He added that ferry operators were increasingly concerned with passenger comfort, meaning that their interest in HVAC systems has increased.
Koja Marine is providing the HVAC system for the new Molslinjen Ferry being built at Rauma Marine Construction. Mr Nousiainen said “The design is very reliable and easy to use.”
Previously, the company provided the entire HVAC system to Viking Line’s Viking Grace. The contract included air conditioning for all passenger and crew spaces and cargo space ventilation, together with automation design. Energy efficiency was a key priority; the system included energy conserving frequency converters, direct driven fans and nanotech sorption wheels for cooling recovery.
“As well as being very energy efficient, the system was very quiet. There is very little noise on the vessel and they did not want the HVAC system to spoil that,” he said.
Mr Nousiainen said that to create such a quiet system, the company overcame the challenge of using very low pressure in the system to create very quiet cabins.
Koja also provided the HVAC system for Tallink’s LNG-fuelled Megastar high speed ferry, delivered at the start of last year. Again, energy efficiency was key and a variable air volume system was selected to make it as energy efficient as possible.
Meanwhile, Callenberg Technology Group is focused on “turning big data to smart data”, HVAC marine conversion director Magnus Hansson told Marine Propulsion.
To this end, it uses an advanced process involving several algorithms to qualify the data it collects from HVAC equipment. Another important part of this process is to make sure all parts of HVAC work as one seamless system.
“It is very easy for sub-systems to counteract each other as very often different parts are provided by different suppliers," Mr Hansson said. "Therefore, smooth co-operation between the different systems is of great importance.”
Callenberg’s accumulated annual HVAC energy savings have hit 300M kW hours annually. “Every year, we achieve an improvement on digitalisation and improve return on investment,” said Mr Hansson.
Halton Marine has been developing a completely new HVAC technology that promises to provide substantial savings in ventilation lifecycle costs.
The cabin HVAC solution, called CaBeam, uses chilled beam technology as opposed to the usual fan coil. While it has been used on land in hospitals and hotels, this is the first time it has been applied in the marine sector.
Halton Marine director Sami Piirainen explained the benefits to Marine Propulsion: “There are not so many components in the product compared to fan coils. For example, there are no filters that require changing, or a fan with electrical consumption and maintenance needs.”
The efficient mixing of the chilled beam ventilation system results in uniform air quality inside the cabin. Supply air is diffused from linear slots on the product. Chilled beams use the primary air to induce and recirculate the room air through the heat exchanger of the unit, resulting in high cooling capacities and excellent thermal conditions in the space without a fan.
The CaBeam concept was launched at SMM 2016 and has been undergoing cabin integration testing. It will be launched later in 2018.