The technology group Wärtsilä has achieved a new technology benchmark with the introduction of the marine sector’s first hybrid installation for a bulk carrier.

This innovative system will be installed on the bulk carrier Paolo Topicbuilt at Onomichi Dockyard in Japan and managed by Marfin Management S.A.M. The project agreement was signed on July 8 in Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Wärtsilä’s hybrid power module, the Wärtsilä HY, will ensure the seamless integration and control of the technologies to be installed, with the ship’s various existing power production systems.

This is made possible by the use of a dedicated Energy Management System (EMS) that will have overall control of the engines, batteries, power distribution and, for the first time in the maritime industry, solar panels to be installed on the weather deck.

‘This new technology development, utilising a combination of engines, solar power and batteries, represents a milestone for the industry and is made possible by the Wärtsilä HY integration,’ said Giulio Tirelli, Director at Wärtsilä Marine Business.

‘Thanks to the fully integrated solution, we are able to raise the bar in terms of economic competitiveness and environmental performance.’

The integrated solution is expected to deliver a drastic reduction in fuel consumption and maintenance costs.

This, combined with the highly advanced level of environmental sustainability, will make Paolo Topic the global fleet’s most technologically advanced bulk carrier. Furthermore, operational stability and increased efficiency will be ensured in all operating conditions, including loading and unloading.