Making ‘Waves’ in Reducing Maritime Carbon Emissions
The volume of world sea trade is projected to grow at a rate of 3.8 percent across the next year. As such emissions from the shipping industry are likely to increase correspondingly unless measures are undertaken to uncouple this growth in traffic from emissions.
In island nations such as the Philippines, this is especially cause for concern as they rely on boats, ferries, and cargo ships to transport goods and people across its 7000 islands. These fleets are considered one of the major contributors to the Philippines’ greenhouse emissions.
In order to combat this, considerable research and work has been dedicated towards a new design of their traditional Bangka: a trimaran with bamboo outriggers either side of its main hull. The project aims to develop a low-carbon alternative by working with the power of waves rather than against them.
Waves are energy-dense, and at coastlines, waves can reach power densities of 60–70 kilowatts per metre in areas with deep waters.
The hybrid ship will, in principle, convert the upward and downward movement of the wave into electrical energy. Though multiple internal combustion engines are required for initial propulsion, the ship will switch to wave energy while cruising in open waters.
The vessel will transform mechanical energy from ocean waves and convert it into electricity through mechanisms in its double outriggers that act as hydraulic pumps. As the ship sails through rough waters, the pumps absorb the waves’ energy, providing extra power to the vessel.
The bigger the waves, the more power is produced.
Wave energy powered vessels are considered emerging technology, as further testing and research is required to determine the best way to draw power from the sea. While some prototypes use foils to harness wave energy for propulsion, the most common designs use fins that attempt to mimic dolphin kicks and movements of whale tails to propel the boat.
The Hybrid Trimaran is a revolutionary development in green transportation, as it has the potential to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emissions associated with shipping cargo across the Pacific. It is also expected to be more cost-effective than traditional cargo ships, as it will require less fuel and maintenance.
Though currently under testing, the vessel could be used to transport cargo to other parts of the world, and its design could be adapted for use in other types of vessels. This makes its development a revolutionary game-changer for green transportation across the globe. For island nations such as ours, in particular, this project colours the vision that the future of public sea transport will be safe and green.