RH Marine upgrades Rhodium EMS with sustainable heat recovery functionality to reduce electricity demand

24 February 2022

Optimally using the recovered waste heat from the diesel generators on board can reduce the costs for power generation and the number of operating hours. To achieve this, RH Marine has added a functionality to the award-winning Rhodium Energy Management System (EMS), which optimizes energy generation for electrical energy and heat. The new functionality results in cost savings in energy consumption and makes ships more sustainable.

More efficiency, less costs
RH Marine installed its first Rhodium EMS in 2012 on a hybrid ferry and after that many other vessels, including superyachts, followed. The system drives all hybrid energy sources on board as optimally as possible, both diesel generators and batteries. By combining batteries with the Rhodium EMS, it becomes possible to optimize electrical energy generation. This reduces the number of starts of the diesel generators. The Rhodium EMS ensures fuel savings and reduction of operating hours.

Harvesting and reusing heat
In addition to electricity, heat is also required on board. It can be used for the water in the swimming pool of a yacht, the accommodations, or preheating the diesel generators. The conversion of diesel oil into electricity and then heat is very inefficient. Martijn Wittingen, Consultant at RH Marine: “About 35% of the energy from diesel oil is converted into electricity, the rest is converted into heat. The heat can be collected with a heat recovery installation in the exhaust system of the diesel generators. The new functionality of the Rhodium EMS matches the heat supply with the heat demand. This way, it prevents the electric heaters from being started up, saving electricity and fuel. The system is also used to prevent an imbalance in electricity generation.”

Flexible configuration
The Rhodium EMS monitors which diesel generators are linked to the heat recovery installation. As a result, the heat demand is still matched to the heat supply, even if a diesel generator is not equipped with an economizer or when it is unavailable. The new functionality of the Rhodium EMS also has an intelligent link with the Rhodium Power Management System (PMS). In this way, the systems inform each other of the optimal starting order of the diesel generators and can also act when diesel generators do not provide usable heat.

First installation of new functionality on a superyacht
The optimization algorithm will be installed for the first time on a superyacht. This technology can be applied to all vessels with diesel generators, batteries and a heat recovery installation in the exhaust system on board. With the new EMS functionality, operators can precisely see how much heat is being recovered and how many kilowatt-hours the system saves on the intuitive control screens.

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