Maersk Line is aiming at a 60% reduction of CO2 emissions per moved container in 2020, relative to 2007 standards. A state-of-the-art waste heat recovery system can recover up to 8% of the main engine brake power, but is not able to recover the energy in the jacket water cooling system and lubricant oil system. An organic Rankine cycle (ORC) can convert the low temperature heat of these heat sources into electric power producing the equivalent to about 5% of the main engine brake power.

The PilotORC project aims at evaluating the prospect of using an ORC unit for maritime applications. Endurance tests were performed on an ORC unit recovering heat from the main engine jacket water cooling system on one of Maersk’s container vessels. The results of the tests were used to further validate and develop the simulation tools at DTU. Research is carried out on methods for the design optimization and control of ORC units installed on ships. Moreover, models are being developed for the estimation of the thermophysical properties of novel working fluids suitable for maritime applications. The potential for introducing the ORC technology for retrofitting purposes as well as for new-buildings is addressed.

Arnold Maersk at Lindø shipyard in 2003. On April 2016 the ORC unit was installed in this vessel.


Fredrik Haglind
DTU Construct
+45 45 25 41 13