Executive Briefings

New Wave Energy System Could Propel Ships

Wave energy technology is ready to pair with solar and wind power to create zero emission ships, according to ZShips International.

ZShips is a Canadian company readying a proprietary wave power system that uses oscillating water columns integrated into a ship's hull. ZShips' concept involves converting wave energy into stored energy in the form of compressed air. The compressed air can be stored as potential energy or used on demand to generate electricity. 

The company is initially looking to retrofit its technologies on fishing vessels. Global fisheries burned almost 50 billion liters of fuel in 2000, representing about 1.2 percent of the global oil consumption, says José Luis Gutiérrez-García, CEO of ZShips. In doing so, fishing boats emitted more than 130 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere to land around 80 million tons of fish and invertebrates. “This means that for each ton of live-weight landed fish product, 1.7 tons of CO2 are emitted.”

For retrofit, the wave energy system will be tailor-made to match the hull’s existing shape. Depending on the vessel's dimensions, the wave energy system will cover a large part of the total energy demand.

“We chose a large fishing vessel as a pilot project because fuel costs represent 60 percent of the OPEX for these vessels,” Gutiérrez-García said. “Fishing vessels are numerous compared to other larger vessel types, and the cost to obtain one for demonstration purposes is reasonable.”

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ZShips is a Canadian company readying a proprietary wave power system that uses oscillating water columns integrated into a ship's hull. ZShips' concept involves converting wave energy into stored energy in the form of compressed air. The compressed air can be stored as potential energy or used on demand to generate electricity. 

The company is initially looking to retrofit its technologies on fishing vessels. Global fisheries burned almost 50 billion liters of fuel in 2000, representing about 1.2 percent of the global oil consumption, says José Luis Gutiérrez-García, CEO of ZShips. In doing so, fishing boats emitted more than 130 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere to land around 80 million tons of fish and invertebrates. “This means that for each ton of live-weight landed fish product, 1.7 tons of CO2 are emitted.”

For retrofit, the wave energy system will be tailor-made to match the hull’s existing shape. Depending on the vessel's dimensions, the wave energy system will cover a large part of the total energy demand.

“We chose a large fishing vessel as a pilot project because fuel costs represent 60 percent of the OPEX for these vessels,” Gutiérrez-García said. “Fishing vessels are numerous compared to other larger vessel types, and the cost to obtain one for demonstration purposes is reasonable.”

Read Full Article