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The University of Southampton
Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

Evaluating the risks and safety of future clean maritime power options.

Published: 21 February 2022
The CMDC Zero-carbon base team
Some of the CMDC Zero-carbon base load power for large ships team enjoying late winter sunshine.

Liam Blackmore, Tim Kent, Alex Pedgrift and colleagues from Lloyd’s Register (LR) welcomed partners in the Department For Transport Clean Maritime Demonstrator Competition (CMDC) “Zero-carbon base load power for large ships” to their current offices on the Boldrewood Innovation Campus.

A two day face-to-face and online hybrid meeting was held to evaluate the risks and safety of new technologies aimed at substantially reducing CO2 and other pollutants from large cruise ships.

This project, led by Carnival plc, is a collaboration with Ceres Power, Shell Shipping, LR and researchers from the University of Southampton.

The feasibility of deploying fuel cells on a large cruise ship is being investigated, to establish whether this electricity generation technology can be used, together with batteries, to provide the required power for these ships when they are in port, as well as supporting the “hotel load” whilst at sea.

These systems have the potential to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions, as well as eliminate other pollutants such as SOx, NOx and atmospheric particulates, particularly important for air quality in port cities.

The meeting took the format of a “structured what-if” Hazard Identification workshop, to develop recommendations to reduce risks, improve safety and inform the proposed ship systems and layout.

The workshop was attended by most Southampton researchers involved in this CDMC project, with a range of experiences from Professors, post-docs, RAs, PhDs and senior undergraduate students, and provided a fascinating insight into the development of safer designs and the challenges of integrating new technology in the extremely complicated engineering environment of a large cruise ship.

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