AsianScientist (Nov. 12, 2015) – Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) has launched Southeast Asia’s first advanced maritime energy test facility that aims to be a platform for scientists and engineers to develop innovative eco-friendly maritime technologies.
With more stringent regulations on ship emissions and energy efficiency standards in years to come, the new Maritime Energy Test Bed will be a boost to the maritime industry by developing cleaner and more sustainable maritime energy solutions.
These include advanced filters called scrubbers–devices that curb harmful ship emissions–and alternative energy sources such as biodiesels, a form of renewable, clean-burning diesel. Such clean energy solutions are aimed at delivering cost savings and competitive advantages, and enhance the reputation of maritime companies for championing sustainable technologies.
The S$8 million (~US$5.6 million) facility will also serve as an educational platform for polytechnic students, undergraduates, and PhD candidates to get hands-on experience in sustainable maritime technologies and innovation.
It was officially opened by Mr. Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).
“MPA is pleased to partner NTU Singapore, Singapore Maritime Institute and our industry partners in this strategic undertaking. The fruition of the Maritime Energy Test Bed represents a successful collaboration between the research sector and the industry, and is a timely development as the maritime sector looks to green and sustainable technologies to save on costs, mitigate the effects of climate change and address growing environmental regulations,” said Tan.
NTU Chief of Staff and Vice President for Research, Professor Lam Khin Yong, said, “The maritime industry is a crucial economic pillar carrying about 90 percent of the world’s trade. This new facility puts NTU at the forefront of global maritime energy research, developing sustainable maritime energy solutions and raising Singapore’s maritime R&D capabilities and expertise.”
The Maritime Energy Test Bed is jointly funded by NTU Singapore and the Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI). SMI will contribute S$4.7 million (~US$3.3 million) over the next ten years, while NTU provides S$3.4 million (~US$2.4 million), with support from other maritime leaders such as ClassNK.
Shipping has been recognized as the most fuel efficient mode of freight transportation. However, ships typically use low quality fuel, especially heavy fuel oil, which emit harmful atmospheric pollutants, including sulphur oxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon dioxide, and other particulates.
Moving towards a new era of green shipping, the Maritime Energy Test Bed at NTU Singapore will conduct research and development (R&D) in areas such as alternative sources of energy or clean fuels, fuel additives to increase energy efficiency, and technologies for cleaner emissions.
To achieve this, the facility comes equipped with a fully-fledged 1.5 megawatt diesel ship engine, which can run on most of the conventional liquid fuel types for energy research such as biodiesel, gas-to-liquid, and synthetic diesel. It will also be installed with advanced sensors and monitoring devices to facilitate research innovation in energy storage, noise pollution, and waste heat recovery.
The facility will also serve as a training platform for engineers by equipping them with the skills for the 21st century green maritime industry. Polytechnic students, undergraduates and even PhD candidates will be able to advance their knowledge and expertise in maritime sustainability and innovation.
“As Singapore is primarily a global trade hub, education and training are important aspects of the new Maritime Energy Test Bed at NTU. With highly skilled manpower, Singapore will be able to attract overseas investments to the nation’s maritime industry,” Lam said.
Source: Nanyang Technological University.
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