An honest story about sustainability
– by Jeroen Fijan – 15/03/21
Everyone agrees about the benefits of sustainability. Having a cleaner environment where global warming is avoided as much as possible will be good for humans and animals alike. Reducing energy consumption has a favourable economic effect too. So how does H&H contribute to a more sustainable way of doing business? Here’s our story.
When it comes to sustainability our most obvious focus is on measures designed to keep energy use as low as possible. But that’s only half the story because there are various other areas in which we contribute to an eco-friendlier sector.
Reducing CO2 emissions
When we talk about sustainability in the maritime world, we’re primarily talking about reducing CO2 emissions. This is achieved by limiting consumption of the fuel used for two main purposes on a ship:
- To provide energy via the generators
- To propel the ship by means of the engines
An HVAC installation is one of the systems that weighs heavily on the e-load. The use of energy-saving components and an efficient system helps ensure a low e-load balance, resulting in smaller generators and less fuel consumption. Another issue is weight savings. Clever design and material choice lead to enormous reductions in weight, resulting in a lighter vessel and lower fuel consumption.
Then there is the matter of innovation. The solutions proposed now provide a hefty degree of energy reduction, but we are aiming higher and higher via new techniques and products. These involve innovative ways of engineering and, of course, the integration of alternative fuels. While diesel remains the major fuel used in the maritime sector currently, LNGs are increasingly emerging along with electric motors and experiments with hydrogen. Such developments require smart adjustments and new forms of energy efficiency.
Sustainable thinking looks beyond CO2 reductions to the entire product cycle. Which materials do we use for an installation? How are they manufactured and how much energy consumption is involved? What is the lifespan of the material and the components? How are we going to recycle them at the end of their lifetime? These are all matters to consider in the process.
A sustainable story
With these three main points in mind, we kick off a blog series that zooms in on the possibilities of making HVAC systems more sustainable. Each blog will deal with a key theme and discuss the associated solutions related to:
- Smart design
- Waste heat recovery
- Electric efficiency
- Energy recovery
Energy savings which lead to lower fuel consumption and reduced CO2 emissions are the current focus. This leaves a far smaller ecological footprint while the low fuel use also saves a lot of money.
Achieving an energy-saving system requires innovation. By constantly raising the bar for ourselves, we will ensure that our customers reap the maximum rewards.
Sustainability is more than a system that saves energy. It concerns the entire product and design lifecycle, from choice of materials to engineering and recycling. For us it also involves how we deal with the energy consumption at our headquarters (via aquifer thermal energy storage ATES) and in our vehicle fleet (increasingly electric cars).
Like to know more about energy-efficient HVAC solutions in the maritime sector? Keep an eye on the site.
Jeroen Fijan | R&D Manager
Jeroen Fijan has been working at Heinen & Hopman since 2001. He started as a draughtsman and, over the years, worked his way up to the top of the R&D division. Sustainability is a top priority in the quest to improve H&H’s products and processes.