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10 minutes with WinGD on sustainable solutions

Written by Heather Ervin
10 minutes with WinGD on sustainable solutions

[Credit: Shutterstock]

Winterthur Gas & Diesel (WinGD) is a developer of low-speed gas and diesel engines for marine propulsion. Utilizing the most advanced technology in emissions reduction, fuel efficiency, digitalization, service and support, and with its two-stroke low-speed engines at the heart of the power equation, WinGD aims to set the industry standard for reliability, safety, efficiency and environmental design. Marine Log spoke with Stefan Goranov, WinGD general manager and leader in sustainability solutions. 

Goranov’s career in the maritime industry started 17 years ago, after graduating with a master’s degree in engineering, with emphasis on marine and offshore electrical engineering. He then sailed for a number of years on various vessel types. His last position on board a 5-star cruise ship was chief electrical engineering officer.

In 2009, he joined Wärtsilä Switzerland as an Automation & Control Expert. When Wärtsilä’s Two-stroke Product Development Unit was acquired by CSSC and WinGD was established, he led an R&D team of engineers, responsible for the development of systems for machinery control and system integration. Presently, his focus is on sustainability through efficiency optimization of propulsion systems with Two-stroke main engines through electrification and digitalization. 

Marine Log (ML): Can you begin by describing what sustainability means to WinGD, both broadly and in the context of the maritime industry?

10 minutes with WinGD on sustainable solutionsStefan Goranov

Stefan Goranov (SG): Sustainability is built into our vision as a company: Powering transformation to a sustainable future. We see this as both a deep commitment to the IMO 2050 targets and as a commitment to sustainability within our company. 

We have been a part of this industry since the inception of the diesel engine, seeing it through incredible growth and change. The change facing the industry today is perhaps the most important change of all and one we have a significant responsibility to help accelerate. Together with our customers, this responsibility impacts some of the biggest decisions we face. The complexity of this landscape for our customers requires thoughtful guidance and expertise. Expertise, we have at WinGD.

Our role, as marine power system integrators, is to be ready for the fuels of the future while incorporating the innovative propulsion solutions that will emerge in the broader technological context over the coming years.  Understanding the combustion characteristics of the sustainable fuels of the future is the pathway to developing the optimized technology solutions needed to operate vessels safely and efficiently regardless of the fuel of choice. 

We recently created a customer focused Global Sustainability Solutions business unit. The goal of this team is to leverage our system-wide expertise and capabilities to provide custom-made solutions for our customers’ own sustainability journey that extends beyond propulsion technology.  

ML: Can you talk about the WinGD X-DF dual-fuel engines, and how they have set a new standard in environmentally sustainable propulsion?

SG: More than 400 X-DF engines have been ordered since the introduction of the technology in 2013, spanning across multiple vessel segments, amassing well over a million operating hours. The standard choice for LNG carriers and favoured choice for large container vessels, the benefits of our low-pressure LNG fuelled system is clear. They offer the cleanest overall environmental footprint available today so are the clear choice for customers who prioritize clean air and reducing impact on climate change.  

The benefits beyond exceptional fuel efficiency extend to low NOx emissions, close to zero SOx emissions, IMO Tier III compliant without exhaust-gas after-treatment and particulate matter emissions reduced to almost zero.

ML:WinGD’s newly acquired capability to run X-DF engines on the NG/VOC reduces fuel cost– in what ways are economic and environmental sustainability interconnected?

SG: Any fuel blend that reduces the total percentage of fossil-based fuels will in-turn, reduce the impact of GHG emissions. WinGD’s X-DF engines successfully run on fuel blends including bio and synthetic LNG, and NG/VOC without any modifications. Using these non-fossil based drop-in fuels means that ship operators can immediately reduce their emissions footprint without the need for engine or vessel upgrades, without the delay due to the necessary investments in infrastructure for transportation, storage, bunkering and safety involved with some future fuels. 

In the case of NG/VOC, first tested on a WinGD engine in 2018, there is capacity to substantially reduce fuel costs. VOCs are a waste product from crude oil handling and transport which represent both a hazard and a loss of revenue to oil and gas producers and shippers. Historically, they were either discharged into the atmosphere or burned off. Now, with the development of the X-DF engine’s new fueling mode, VOC can be turned into a viable source of energy while reducing the environmental footprint of the vessel.

ML: Relatedly, what is the importance, both environmentally and economically, for companies to invest in vessels fitted for future fuels?

SG: The time to act is now—the global climate targets need real action today, across industry. A significant reduction in greenhouse gases is available to ship-owners right now. The use of LNG as fuel provides a 23% reduction in greenhouse gases over the use of traditional marine oil. Moreover, a shaft generator and in some cases battery-hybrid configurations, reduce the GHG emissions further. WinGD’s X-DF engine provides this reduction to greenhouse gases as well as the best overall emissions footprint with the lowest possible NOx, SOx and particulate matter, keeping toxic emissions out of the atmosphere. 

X-DF engines are already burning both renewable synthetic LNG and BioLNG from sustainable biomass resources which is increasingly available with exceptional potential to scale which is certain to be a big contributor to shipping’s decarbonization. By blending such renewable synthetic LNG and BioLNG it is possible to reduce the greenhouse gases emissions even further.

Flexibility in fuel type will be essential for shipowners as the future is certainly a multi-fuel solution. A platform such as X-DF offers the option to burn either liquid or gaseous fuel, giving the ship-operator flexibility in the fuels they choose. 

Economically, the more ship-owners that commit to decarbonization, the sooner the infrastructure for the fuels of the future can be scaled up to meet the demand. With the bold action from the biggest players is a strong signal to the industry that the support for these fuels is needed. Demand at critical mass is what is required to ensure that these fuels can become an economical choice. 

ML:What is the relationship between efficiency and sustainability? Can you talk about how WinGD’s WiDE (WinGD Digital Integrated Expert) works to ensure the lowest emissions and best fuel efficiency over an engine’s lifetime?

SG: Energy efficiency refers to different technologies and strategies aimed at solving issues related to the use of energy to minimize emission of greenhouse gases which cause global warming together with reducing financial costs associated. Consequently, energy efficiency is considered an important pillar in WinGD’s overall sustainability strategy. In this context, WinGD introduced WiDE (WinGD Digital Integrated Expert) in 2018 and since then more than 150 vessels are already digitally connected to WinGD. 

WiDE is a comprehensive digital solution providing ship owners and operators full awareness of the operating condition of their vessels. WiDE constantly collects both engine and ship data which is analysed in real time by advanced analytics and machine learning algorithms. Combined with WinGD’s deep understanding of the engine’s capabilities , WiDE provides valuable insight of the engine’s components for optimum engine performance while anticipating potential  issues that could limit the operational efficiency of the engine. 

WiDE enables and enhances WinGD’s remote support and troubleshooting capabilities is a key advantage for ship owners and operators in terms of availability and reliability. Remote support can help to reduce operating costs of both fuel consumption and maintenance through the optimisation of data, preventing problems before they occur while gaining insights into what caused the anomaly in the first place.

WiDE is a flexible digital platform that can grow over time by incorporating the new technology or components introduced by WinGD such as iCER technology for our X-DF2.0 engines or the systems associated with new fuels. New functions such as fleet monitoring and benchmarking ensure that the learning and optimization can be applied across an entire fleet. These capabilities make WiDE the perfect platform to support ship owners and operators in the most important journey in the maritime history, the decarbonization journey. 

ML:WinGD has stated that although critical, solutions such as hybridization, sustainable assisting energy sources, and strengthening the EEDI, will not be enough to reduce carbon emissions. Thus, can you talk about WinGD sees as the necessity for changes to be made to the fuel used for ship propulsion?

SG: Today’s ship power and energy systems benefit from hybridization in multiple dimensions. The fuel consumption and carbon emissions are reduced, and the level of redundancy is increased.  

We have developed and implemented an agile process for deploying hybrid energy solutions. We leverage our distinctive capabilities in engine design to efficiently integrate the main engine and control the energy flow among the energy resources within the system. 

The WinGD Energy Manager ensures that the optimization objectives are fulfilled, given the real-time constraints. It creates an ecosystem that functions as one to maximize the ship’s overall efficiency. As a result, the usage of the main engine is maximized, which leads to Increased propeller efficiency by utilizing the Light Running Margin for electrical energy production via a shaft generator. The CO2-eq emissions from the ship are reduced by minimizing the running hours of the Auxiliary Engines or operating them with maximized efficiency when required. The control ensures safe no-auxiliary-engines operation en-route and optimal energy production for safe maneuvering. 

Moreover, on applications with a controllable pitch propeller, the Energy Manager’s advanced control enables safe maneuvering without auxiliary engines online (subject to the battery’s spinning reserve at the time). 

While such technologies have the potential to significantly reduce carbon emissions, they cannot bring them to zero if the fuel burned in the main and auxiliary engines onboard is not carbon neutral. However, these are necessary steps for incremental improvements. The radical one will come with the introduction of carbon-neutral fuels.

With their introduction we do not see a scenario when the electric and hybrid setups are omitted—on the contrary, we believe that they will be standard in shipping, regardless of the fuel in use. Such technologies contribute to increased system efficiency and assuming higher cost for the future fuels, efficiency will be the key to sustain shipping as the most economically viable mode of transportation.

Categories: Engines & Fuel, Perspectives, Q&As, TechnologyTags: decarbonization, digitalization, marine digitalization, marine engine, marine propulsion, marine sustainability, shipping emissions, Stefan Goranov, sustainability, sustainable shipping, WinGD, Winterthur Gas & Diesel
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Read source:  https://www.marinelog.com/perspectives/qas/10-minutes-with-wingd-on-sustainable-solutions/

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