Thursday, 2 February 2012

Energy management system for new Viking Line ferry

Switzerland-based power and automation technologies company ABB is to provide an energy management system for what is described as one of the world’s most environmentally-friendly cruise ferries. The ship, which is being built at the STX Yard in Turku, Finland, is due to be delivered to Viking Line in 2013. It will have the capacity to carry 2,800 passengers and will run between Turku and Stockholm in Sweden.

imageThe new ferry will be powered by liquefied natural gas, a first for a passenger vessel of this size. The fuel will ‘have extremely low emissions and virtually zero marine emissions’.

What ABB brings is its energy management system for marine applications software – EMMA – to help manage energy-related processes, practices and decisions on the ferry. The EMMA software compares and analyses the historical and current operational data of the vessel, then calculates and advises on areas for improvement. It also includes an energy management tool that models energy consumption and calculates optimal operating conditions.

EMMA is based on ABB’s process automation software for energy management, which already has more than 60 process industry customers.


It’s a good example of how technology can contribute to reducing the energy use and emissions across a business. In the case of the ferry, the fuel is the main factor in reducing emissions, but the ABB technology will be able to maximise those savings.

This is where the ICT focus should really be, rather than endlessly trying to reduce emissions from data centres. That’s only really useful for internet/IT services companies who have little business outside these facilities.

Remember, ICT is responsible for 2-3% of global CO2 emissions (depending on which figures you believe). So if we reduce ICT’s emissions by 50%, it will only make a difference of 1-2% to the global figure. But the Smart 2020 report (and other similar research) has found that the effective use of ICT could help reduce global emissions by as much as 15%. That’s where the focus should be, but it’s not an area that is talked about much by the ICT companies themselves. So I don’t get to report on it much.

© The Green IT Review

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