Ships are not what they used to be and utilise many cutting edge technologies in order to move more goods with fewer people using less fuel. Ships have carried gas as a cargo for half a century and the cryogenic technology is welll understood, yet how do we now apply that knowledge as we now use that same cargo as a propulsion and power generation fuel on board?
Once the Fuel is in the tanks it is relatively safe yet when we move it how do we do that safely. As a fuel we move it much more frequently so the safety and reliability of the systems are paramount. How do we handle a cryogenic ship fuel safely and reliably every time? What are the best ways to connect and disconnect systems? How do we make the most of the time a ship has in port and with these systems can we reduce it? These are some of the many questions to answer and technology is not always about exotic materials or super sophisticated control systems but the careful prescription of safe reliable systems that are economically viable.
Other industries liquefy, transport and then supply gas in many forms, but when that gas is a fuel on board a ship things are different. What can be learned from other industries in this respect and what is next for ship propulsion?
Ships have to be autonomous by thier very nature, they have to be super reliable not only in terms of safety and availability but to allow the owner to focus on the business of transportation rather than the technology on board the asset.
At SGMF we are proud of the technology found on board ships but maritime should not be so constrained as to not embrace applicable technology from other industries to help make gas as a ship fuel the best solution yet.