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BC Ferries cuts fuel consumption with pilot project

Queen of Oak Bay's energy savings the equivalent of 30 sailings from Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay.



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Updated on 07 Dec 2016 08:44 GMT

BC Ferries has released the results of a pilot project that is said to have reduced the Queen of Oak Bay's energy consumption by the equivalent of 30 sailings from Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay.

The process initially started in 2013 with an audit to assess electrical energy usage. In a follow-up project through to 2015, BC Ferries partnered in the development and demonstration of an energy optimization software tool. This software was deployed to collect and manage electricity data for more than 20 areas on board the ship and provided generator metrics as well.

The benefits of the initiative, according to BC Ferries, were a reduction in fuel consumption, cost and associated carbon emissions, as well as improved asset life and reduced maintenance costs.

A number of initiatives from the initial energy audit have recently been implemented, including:

- Installation of variable delivery pumps to improve the efficiency of steering hydraulics, resulting in an estimated savings of 38,000 kWh per year;

- Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) to improve control of accommodation fans, which is estimated to save approximately 200,000 kWh annually;

- Replacement of car deck lighting with more efficient LEDs, likely to save over 115,000 kWh per year; and

- Additional projects including air conditioning plant upgrades and solar film coating for windows.

Consumption reductions from the above initiatives are being monitored in the new software and are said to be on target for a reduction of more than 272 tonnes of CO2 emissions. The company intends to roll out similar measures on other existing vessels.

The project was carried out with the support of Transport Canada and is a joint initiative with 3GA Marine, Clearlead Consulting and Panevo Services. The objective was to develop and demonstrate a ship energy optimization software tool that would provide an audit function to determine major ship service power consumers and enable an optimization function from both a technological and operational perspective, thereby reducing emissions.

"BC Ferries is committed to safeguarding the environment, as well as finding new ways to improve the sustainability of our operations," said Mark Wilson, BC Ferries' Vice President of Engineering. "Thanks to the Transport Canada-sponsored initiative and deployment of the new energy software, not only can we actively measure energy usage, we can also put control variables inp lace across the system to ensure savings. We've implemented a number of successful energy reduction initiatives over the last couple of years and will continue to do so where possible."

This energy conservation initiative falls within sustainable operations under BC Ferries' SeaForward program. SeaForward's goal is to reduce BC Ferries' environmental footprint and improve the sustainability of its operations.






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