Black Magic for Green Vessels

By Keith Henderson at September 05, 2010 18:43
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Following on from the design of his hybrid megayacht Transcendence, Richard Sauter the founder of Sauter Zero Carbon Design, is showing a way forward for commercial ships of the future featuring a design for a zero carbon vessel with greatly reduced emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG). Called Black Magic, she is a 4,000 ton solar hybrid vessel that claims to reduce GHG by 75 to 100 per cent compared to present vessels of this size by using currently available technology to capture energy from the sun, wind and waves.

The unusual wave piercing pentamaran hull is powered by several propulsion methods solely or in combinations. A large solar cell area of 2,000 square meters is sufficient to produce enough electrical power to the banks of lithium batteries to run the hotel load as well as allow the vessel to operate at her maximum speed of 16 kts. It also permits running in controlled areas such as harbors or inland waterways with zero emissions.

A high efficiency azimuth propulsion system drives counter rotating Contracted Loaded Tip (CLT) propellers. (These are propellers with a plate on the tip, perpendicular to the blade.)

Wind propulsion produced by three pairs of fully rotational wing sails can propel the ships at 10 kts and using an optional Sky Sail increase this to 12 kts.

Contributing to the low emission claims is the use of Mercedes-Benz BlueTEC® exhaust treatment on the diesel generators of the diesel electric propulsion system. It reduces NOx by using a two stage catalytic converter. The first converter traps the NOx, and then passes it to the second converter which then converts it to nitrogen (N2) and water (H2O). According to specifications there is an optional particulate filter and a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) catalytic converter to convert remaining nitrogen oxides to nitrogen and water.

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