Wärtsilä has installed a hybrid power system combined with a PV solar energy system on board the bulk carrier Paolo Topic, built in 2016. The installation was carried out at the Onomichi Dockyard in Japan and managed by Marfin Management. The combination with solar panels is said to be an industry first.

The retrofit was executed by Wärtsilä in collaboration with Marfin Management and Solbian. The HY Module solution includes an energy management system and batteries that deliver auxiliary power to the grid. When coupled with other sources of energy such as the PV panels the benefits are enhanced.

The Wärtsilä HY Module for bulkers is a compact containerised solution that cuts a vessel’s emissions by optimising the onboard power production, consumption, and management. The HY module can combine and integrate an energy storage system and additional energy sources, such as solar power, with an Energy Management System (EMS) to deliver auxiliary power. The EMS has overall control of the engines, batteries, power distribution, and with the installation of solar panels on the weather deck, it’s a maritime industry first.

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The containerised solution has been placed on the ship’s deck to save space and has been installed without the need for dry-docking.

The PV panels installed on board the M/V Paolo Topic (by Marfin).

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The solution is said to achieve reductions in fuel consumption and maintenance needs, while offering cleaner, safer, and more efficient operations. It also contributes to placing the vessel in a positive position regarding the industry’s Energy Efficiency Existing Ship (EEXI) and Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) indexes.

‘This installation represents a truly significant breakthrough in enabling the bulker fleet to increase both its economic competitiveness and environmental performance,’ says Giulio Tirelli, Director, Business Development, Wärtsilä Marine Power. ‘The decarbonisation of shipping is a major priority for stakeholders throughout the maritime sector, and this unique solution helps us take a long step towards reaching this goal.’

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Picture (top). The compact and containerised Wärtsilä HY Module for Bulkers installed on board the M/V Paolo Topic (by Marfin).