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Eltorque’s electric actuators make ships smarter and greener

Published 20 Mar 2023 (updated 29 Apr 2024) · 3 min read

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At a glance

  • Smart valve control with electric actuators for ships
  • Green alternative to conventional systems
  • Reduces energy use and operating costs

Eltorque has pioneered a smart valve control system with electric actuators for shipping vessels. The solution provides intelligent valve control and helps to reduce operating costs in the maritime sector. “We have started a green ship equipment revolution, replacing conventional systems that are still in use, even on new vessels,” says Herman Klungsøyr, EVP of Strategic Sales at Eltorque.

If the shipping industry were a country, it would be the sixth largest CO₂ emitter in the world, on par with Germany. To address this problem, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is working towards a 40 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared with 2008 levels.

Electrification of vessels, including all instruments and components, is one way to achieve this. “Providing electric, pollution-free actuators is a small but important part of this transformation,” says Klungsøyr.

Remote operation of electric actuators

Eltorque delivers an intelligent valve control system for the maritime and shipbuilding industries. Eco-friendly electric actuators are the backbone of the solution, replacing old-school pneumatic or hydraulic actuators.

Operated remotely, the smart valve control system and actuators can be used for all systems on board the vessel. Operators can easily monitor and control the ballast water system, fuel system, A/C system and the like from the bridge. This eliminates the need for manual checks and adjustments.

According to Klungsøyr, it has taken Eltorque many years to convince the conservative shipbuilding industry to leave traditional old-school actuation and move to modern electric actuation and valve control.

“One of the huge benefits to the industry is the automatic shutoff of power to the electric motor when the valve has reached its designated position,” he explains. “A patented self-lock technology – unique to Eltorque actuators – holds the valve in the designated position without using power. This is a massive energy saver compared to all other actuators on the market.”

Man pointing out at electric system

Eltorque helps to achieve strict IMO targets

With its advanced technology, Eltorque helps the maritime industry to achieve the environmental targets set by the IMO.

The solution consumes less energy than conventional systems, significantly reducing vessels’ energy use and carbon footprint. When the electricity comes from renewable sources, the system is fully sustainable as well.

Moreover, the actuator’s compact, lightweight design reduces energy demand and saves valuable space on vessels. Unlike hydraulic systems, the Eltorque solution does not entail the risk of potentially toxic fluid spills.

Ultimately, the environmental benefits result in substantial cost savings for vessels. Almost all life cycle costs are lower than conventional systems. The actuators’ extended lifetime, up to 30 years, and maintenance-free technology add to these savings.

Out ahead in ship electrification

Launched in 1996, Eltorque is the market leader in smart valve control systems and actuators for mid and high-end vessels built in Europe. Klungsøyr sees the company’s market potential growing as the shipping industry continues to electrify.

“We live in a world where everything that can be electrified, will be electrified. It’s just a matter of when,” he says.

Well-established in Europe, Eltorque is looking to expand into China and open sales offices in the US. “We believe the future will be highly automated with remote operated systems – even the ship itself. Eltorque is well positioned for this future, which is right around the corner,” he concludes.

Herman Klungsøyr

EVP Strategic Sales

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