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Next-generation gas analysis to improve operation of LNG carriers

The Tunable T1000 Natural Gas Analyser enables more efficient use of LNG as shipping fuel, thereby cutting fuel consumption, emissions and costs for LNG carriers.

International shipping accounts for about 2.5 per cent of global CO₂ emissions, as well as significant emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulphur oxides (SOx). Replacing conventional heavy fuel oil with liquefied natural gas (LNG) can help the shipping industry to achieve the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) emissions reduction targets.

However, the composition of LNG may vary considerably around the world and changes over time, so it must be analysed. The percentage of methane must be measured to determine the ignition point, which is necessary for optimising engine performance and improving fuel efficiency. Meanwhile, the composition of boil-off gas for use in compressors must be analysed to determine its quality.

Miniaturised multiple gas analyser

Using micro and nanotechnology, Tunable has developed the Tunable T1000 Natural Gas Analyser to detect and analyse multiple gases with high accuracy and sensitivity.

The Tunable T1000 features the company’s proprietary MEMS tunable filter and is designed for use in hazardous areas (Zone 1). It is compact and simple to install, requiring little space. It can be hand-carried on board and mounted on a wall.

The analyser features maintenance-free sensors, has no moving parts and does not require calibration gas, thereby requiring minimal onsite maintenance.

Concrete benefits

The Tunable T1000 Natural Gas Analyser is easy to operate, and provides online gas quality data with fast response time. Continuous quality measurements enable an LNG carrier to improve operation of its boil-off gas system, which in turn improves overall operation.

Because the analyser has no consumables and no moving parts, service can be done remotely via data link. This keeps shipowners’ maintenance costs to a minimum.

The vital data on LNG composition and fuel quality that is provided continuously also makes it possible to improve engine performance. The use of an LNG analyser on board an LNG-fuelled vessel, together with optimised engine control, can thus reduce fuel consumption, cut emissions and extend engine lifetime.

Market potential

The use of LNG is expected to increase considerably as the shipping industry implements measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with IMO targets. In its Maritime Forecast to 2050, DNV GL estimates that by 2050, about 40 per cent of shipping energy will be from carbon-neutral fuels. Of this, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) will together have more than 20 per cent share.

Tunable is a startup with roots in SINTEF MiNaLab, which is part of SINTEF, one of Europe’s largest independent research organisations.

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Company

Tunable AS

Kabelgata 8, NO-0580 Oslo, Norway

tunable.com

At a glance

  • Compact, robust and highly sensitive natural gas analyser

  • Provides highly accurate analysis of LNG composition and quality

  • Enables LNG carriers to sail further on less fuel

Status

Available

Advancing the Sustainable Development Goals