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Innovating for sustainability


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Wärtsilä’s purpose is to enable sustainable societies with smart technologies. As a global leader in complete lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets, we play a key role in providing our customers with sustainable solutions and services that maximise their environmental performance. This is the cornerstone of our commitment to sustainability, and it is supported by our strong focus on responsible business conduct.

The call for climate action, together with the world's growing energy demand and scarcity of natural resources, is increasing the need to speed up the transition towards clean and flexible energy and low-emission and smart transportation. Wärtsilä continuously invests in developing technologies for a 100% renewable energy future and a Smart Marine Ecosystem. Sustainable innovation and product development, added with our strong emphasis on digitalisation and smart technologies, are essential for meeting current customer needs, future requirements, and for remaining an industrial frontrunner.

Creating a sustainable future through R&D

Wärtsilä develops sustainable solutions across a broad front, including technologies related to efficiency improvement, fuel flexibility, the reduction of gaseous and liquid emissions, waste treatment, noise abatement, hybrid and energy storage systems, as well as effluent and ballast water treatment. Our proactive approach to meeting future demand has resulted in the development of both primary and secondary abatement technologies and has broadened the range of usable fuels. Moreover, Wärtsilä actively develops digital innovations and advanced data analytics systems for the maritime and energy sectors. We offer intelligent digital solutions and services to collect, analyse, monitor, and report data in order to optimise operations and reduce emissions.

Our commitment to investing in research and product development benefits our customers as well as the environment, both in the short term and over a longer time span. The key features of our environmental solutions and services include:

  • Compliance with environmental regulations
  • Lifecycle support and optimisation
  • Reliability, safety, and a long lifespan
  • High efficiency
  • Digital intelligence
  • Low emission levels
  • Renewable energy integration with engines and storage systems
  • Fuel flexibility
  • Dynamic capabilities
  • Low water consumption

By combining these key features, and understanding the system level benefits of our offering, we are able to provide solutions that enable the development of sustainable shipping and power systems.

Improvements in efficiency

Fleet efficiency
Wärtsilä Fleet Operations Solution (FOS) is designed to achieve the highest level of safety at sea, increase fleet efficiency and simplify everyday tasks both ashore and on board. FOS unites all navigational processes and voyage data on a single platform, making the crew and the operations centre work as one. FOS offers improved operational processes relating to fleet performance, voyage planning and execution, weather routing, and ship-to-shore reporting in compliance with environmental regulations such as EU-MRV and IMO-DCS.

Total vessel and voyage efficiency
An efficient and low emission system for the entire vessel is achieved by combining optimised ship design with Wärtsilä's knowledge of automation, machinery, propulsion, and control systems. Wärtsilä has developed numerous efficiency concepts, such as the Electric Propulsion Systems Low Loss Concept (LLC) and Low Loss Hybrid (LLH). Wärtsilä also offers vessel and voyage efficiency optimisation services that improve energy efficiency, reduce emissions and costs, and help make the best possible decisions for asset management and voyage performance.

Power plant efficiency
Wärtsilä engine-based power plants offer the highest single cycle efficiencies with outstanding flexibility using a broad range of fuels. Total plant efficiency can further be improved and optimised by adding hybrid solutions, FlexicycleTM solutions (steam combined cycles), combined heat and power (CHP), trigeneration (power, heat and cooling), and also through Wärtsilä lifecycle solutions, which ensure that the power plant operates in the most energy-efficient way and in accordance with regulations. Wärtsilä also offers tools for the smart integration of energy production and storage at the system level.

Engine efficiency improvements
A long-term focus on improving engine efficiency has resulted in Wärtsilä engines having the highest efficiency ratings among existing prime movers. A key success factor has been the development of integrated engine functionalities that enable low emissions and high engine efficiency. The Wärtsilä 31 engine has the best 4-stroke engine fuel economy in the world. The Wärtsilä 31SG is the newest gas engine we offer, taking efficiency to a new level for internal combustion engines.

Propulsion efficiency upgrades
Propulsion products incorporate environmental features and are critical to the overall environmental impact of the vessel. Wärtsilä’s generation propulsion units and energy saving solutions, such as the Wärtsilä EnergoFlow, result in significant fuel efficiency improvements by up to 10% and reduce NOx and CO2 emissions.

Reducing emissions to air

CO2 and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
Wärtsilä focuses on the development of technologies that reduce GHG emissions in numerous ways. These include, among others, gas and multi-fuel engines, as well as solutions for environmentally advanced vessels, voyage optimisation, and energy storage. Wärtsilä's flexible energy solutions enable a transition towards a 100% renewable energy future. At the system level, GHG emission reduction is achieved by enabling the optimal integration of renewable energy sources and the use of renewable fuels.

SOx emissions
Wärtsilä provides several solutions to help customers reduce emissions of SOx and comply with local and global regulations. Wärtsilä's technology development supports solutions that enable the use of fuels with different sulphur contents, as well as systems that clean sulphur from exhaust gas and enable the use of alternative fuels with close to zero sulphur content, e.g. natural gas. Wärtsilä exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS) not only reduce SOx emissions but also remove large levels of particulate matter (PM) and black carbon. The Wärtsilä EGCS can be customised for both the 0.1% limit in Emission Control Areas (ECA) and the global 0.5% cap agreed within the IMO. 

NOx emissions
All Wärtsilä marine engine portfolio products are IMO NOx Tier II compliant. Wärtsilä solutions for IMO NOx Tier III compliance are Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR), dual-fuel engines in gas mode, and pure gas engines (Wärtsilä 31SG). The NOx emission levels of Wärtsilä stationary engine-based power plants are low enough to meet the most current environmental regulatory requirements. To comply with even the strictest environmental regulations, Wärtsilä offers solutions such as SCR.  

Protecting the marine environment

Ballast water management systems                           
Wärtsilä's Aquarius range of IMO and USCG approved Ballast Water Management Systems (BWMS) limit the spread of ballast water related invasive species and prevent their introduction to aquatic ecosystems. The Aquarius BWMS range offers both Ultraviolet UV (USCG type approved) and Electro Chlorination EC technology (USCG type approved).

Waste treatment
Wärtsilä offers a complete, fully integrated wet and dry waste treatment system suitable for all vessel types and sizes. Wärtsilä’s innovative advanced waste water treatment technology, with external membrane separation, is based on biological degradation. The system allows for the high purity treatment of black and grey water in accordance with the most stringent global legislation, including the removal of nutrients such as phosphorous and nitrogen compounds, as required for special areas such as the Baltic Sea and Alaskan waters. Wärtsilä’s waste management product range also includes vacuum toilets and collection systems, food waste collection & treatment systems, solid waste handling, drying and incineration, and sewage treatment plants.

Sustainable Innovations in 2019

The Wärtsilä 31 engine application range was expanded during the 2019, with the Wärtsilä 31SG pure gas engine being made available to the marine sector and the Wärtsilä 31DF multi-fuel engine to the power generation markets. The development of these engines is a direct result of Wärtsilä's on-going commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its gas engines by 15% by 2020 from 2015 levels. For the energy market, Wärtsilä also launched a hybrid energy solution for isolated and remote grids and a Modular Block power plant solution. For the marine markets, Wärtsilä launched several solutions in support of its Smart Marine Ecosystem vision, including new navigation solutions, hybrid solutions, and offering aimed at smarter performance and greater profitability.

Smart Energy Systems

Launch of Engine+ Hybrid Energy: As with a hybrid vehicle, the solution pairs engines with energy storage to form a fully integrated, automated system that provides reliable and environmentally sound power generation with improved efficiency for isolated and remote grids, such as mining operations and other self-generation systems. The solution enables greater efficiencies, maintenance optimisation, emission reductions, and a more streamlined addition of renewables into power systems.

Introduction of the Modular Block power plant solution: This pre-fabricated, modularly configured, and expandable enclosure for Wärtsilä medium-speed 34SG gas engine generators enables the reduction of on-site installation time from several months to a few weeks. It also makes Wärtsilä’s advanced medium-speed engine technology available for applications where it would not otherwise be viable. Medium-speed engine technology has inherently higher efficiency and lower lifecycle costs than containerised high-speed engines or gas turbine solutions. The Wärtsilä Modular Block is easy to integrate with renewable energy and storage systems. It is ideal for providing grid stability and balancing when integrating renewable energy sources with intermittent production.

Introduction of the Wärtsilä 31DF multi-fuel engine to the energy industry: Wärtsilä’s latest engine and power plant solution to the power generation markets offers high efficiency and reduced fuel consumption and costs, while minimising carbon emission levels. The level of efficiency is retained even in partial load conditions, and the engine can resist output de-rating when operating in hot and humid conditions.

Smart Marine Ecosystems

Launch of RS24 high resolution radar: The RS24 is the world’s first commercially available K-band maritime radar. By detecting far smaller objects and at a much higher radar resolution than conventional S or X-band radars, the RS24 enables small vessels and other potential hazards close to large ships to be visible. This promotes safety, especially in congested shipping lanes and busy ports. The technology was developed by Guidance Marine, a Wärtsilä company.

Launch of the Wärtsilä HY for Dredger: This new product is based on Wärtsilä’s HY hybrid propulsion technology. It is aimed specifically at enhancing the efficiency and sustainability of dredging operations. The Wärtsilä HY for Dredger features a combination of different power sources, including engines and energy storage systems, power distribution equipment, and the Energy Management System (EMS). Sustainability is enhanced with reduced emission levels in all modes, with zero emissions attained when running in full battery mode.

Unveiling of the new Navi-Planner voyage planning and optimisation solution: Developed by Transas, a Wärtsilä company, the new Navi-Planner makes use of the connected Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) to significantly shorten voyage planning and to provide a minimum navigational safety standard for less experienced crews.

Introduction of the new digital version of Operim – Operational Performance Improvement & Monitoring: Operim provides owners and operators with constant, real-time data on Wärtsilä products and solutions installed on their vessels and utilises the latest digital technology to provide the data needed to allow the vessels, and the machinery driving them, to be operated at optimal efficiency at all times. It monitors performance constantly so that adjustments can be made as operating conditions, including external factors such as sea and weather, change.

Upgrade and redesignation of the LJX series of modular waterjets to the Wärtsilä WXJ series: The development is based on a new axial pump design, which boosts performance with an increased thrust of as much as three percent, while the improved cavitation margins help reduce the environmental impact by lowering noise levels.

Launch of the Wärtsilä 31SG pure gas engine for marine market applications: The Wärtsilä 31SG engine further reduces the total cost of ownership and the environmental footprint of vessels operating in regions where there is a developed gas infrastructure.

Launch of Wärtsilä Dualguard – a new sealing solution for oil-lubricated vessels: The solution alleviates the risk of operational oil leakages and related non-compliance. It withstands extreme conditions, safeguards against fishing lines and other debris, and lessens the likelihood of a bonding failure, delivering enhanced operational and environmental efficiency.

Partnerships enhancing sustainability

In 2019, Wärtsilä signed several new partnership agreements and joined initiatives with leading and pioneer companies, universities, and other organisations to put the company’s purpose and strategic goals for a 100% renewable energy future and a Smart Marine Ecosystem into action. These partnerships aim to enhance new research and cooperation on innovative sustainable solutions, improve efficiency, and accelerate the development of close to zero emissions shipping and clean fuels.

University partnerships enhancing research
Wärtsilä signed a partnership agreement with Aalto University in Finland to strengthen and broaden current cooperation, and to create solutions to challenges related to climate change, scarcity of natural resources, and digitalisation. Wärtsilä also signed a research agreement with Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology (LUT) in Finland on strategic power system modelling, with the aim of understanding and developing paths towards 100% renewable energy systems. Under the agreement, LUT University’s solar economy research group will support Wärtsilä’s development work and provide access to LUT University’s power systems database.

Improved efficiency
Wärtsilä and Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) signed a joint development project agreement aimed at improving the efficiency of LNG carriers and shuttle tankers. The joint development with SHI supports Wärtsilä’s commitment to creating greater efficiencies, better environmental sustainability, and improved safety for its customers.

Towards close to zero emissions shipping
Wärtsilä, together with five other leading Nordic industrial companies, joined forces to explore the fastest routes to achieve zero emissions shipping under the Zero Emission Energy Distribution at Sea (ZEEDS) initiative. In addition, Wärtsilä joined the Getting to Zero 2030 Coalition, which is committed to getting commercially viable deep-sea zero emission vessels powered by zero emission fuels into operation by 2030. Along with 74 other organisations, Wärtsilä is committed to the decarbonisation of deep-sea shipping and its energy value chains, in line with the most ambitious interpretation of the IMO’s carbon emissions reduction strategy and the latest relevant IPCC climate science.

Moreover, Wärtsilä and Singapore-based PSA Marine agreed to collaborate in the co-creation of smart technologies for the marine sector, including the use of electric or hybrid technologies that further the use of low-emissions energy and propulsion systems. The intention is to integrate the deep capabilities developed in the IntelliTug project with new configurations and concepts of hybrid, electric, and other clean energy sources. Wärtsilä also signed a strategic five-year development agreement with Chinese state-owned shipbuilder CSSC Huangpu Wenchong Shipbuilding Company Limited to develop jointly a hybrid powered dredger, but possibly extending to other hybrid vessels as well.

Clean fuels
Wärtsilä provided seed funding to Soletair Power Oy, a Finland based start-up company operating in the field of Power-to-X. Soletair Power Oy has developed a unique concept to improve air quality in buildings by capturing CO2 and converting it to synthetic renewable fuel. In addition, Wärtsilä and Q Power Oy, a Finnish pioneer in biomethanisation, signed a cooperation agreement to accelerate the development and commercialisation of renewable fuels. The companies will work closely together to further develop the market and to find business opportunities for biomethanisation and synthetic fuels globally. The collaborations with Soletair Power and Q Power are a continuation of Wärtsilä’s way of working with start-ups and other energy players to develop and scale up technologies and business opportunities that support a 100% renewable energy future.


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