Kobe Steel Ltd announces that it will conduct joint research with Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd on a binary cycle power generation system currently under development. The binary cycle power generation system has been installed on a bulk carrier - 215,000 metric tons, built by Imabari Shipbuilding Co Ltd. in October 2020 owned by Shunzan Kaiun Co Ltd. The two companies will conduct joint research on the ship over the next three years to verify the durability and performance of the equipment under real operating conditions.
The binary cycle power generation system, installed on a capesize carrier for the first time, can produce electricity up to 100 kW from the waste heat generated in the cooling process of the scavenging air from a turbocharger of the main engine of a ship. Usually, a large part of the generated heat is discarded. By effectively utilizing the waste heat to generate electricity that serves as auxiliary power for the ship, the system contributes to reducing CO2 emissions and fuel for the generator engines.
In 2011, Kobe Steel developed a binary cycle power generation system called Microbinary and began marketing for use on land. Kobe Steel has delivered this equipment to many customers that utilize heat sources such as factory waste heat and terrestrial heat. Based on its knowledge and experience, Kobe Steel began developing a binary cycle power generation system for ships in 2014 focusing on the waste heat from ships. In 2016, Kobe Steel completed sea trials of a prototype and is working to commercialize the system in the future.
The binary cycle power generation system has received basic approval from Japan's ship classification society Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (also known as ClassNK), UK’s Lloyd's Register of Shipping, Norway’s DNV GL, and the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS).