BC Ferries Pilot Project Reduces Energy Consumption

December 7, 2016

VICTORIA – BC Ferries recently released the results of a pilot project that 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 this initiative 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 initiatives are being monitored in the new software and are on target for a reduction of more than 272 tonnes of CO2 emissions, which is equivalent to removing approximately 57 passenger vehicles per year. Similar measures will be rolled out to other existing vessels where possible. Energy efficiency measures can be designed into new build vessels.

This project was possible 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 Service 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’ Environment and shipboard Engineering teams led the energy conservation initiative, which falls within Sustainable Operations under BC Ferries’ SeaForward program. The program, which brings together the company’s existing environmental activities, conservation efforts, community investments and new sustainability endeavours, was recently announced.

SeaForward’s goal is to reduce BC Ferries’ environmental footprint, improve the sustainability of our operations, and support coastal communities.

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