Bulk Carrier Gets a Unique Hybrid and Solar Energy System in a Maritime Industry-First

Wärtsilä HY Module installed on Paolo Topic bulk carrier 6 photos
Photo: Wartsila
PAOLO TOPIC Bulk CarrierPAOLO TOPIC Bulk CarrierPAOLO TOPIC Bulk CarrierWärtsilä HY Module for Bulkers installed on board the MV Paolo TopicThe PV panels installed on board the M/V Paolo Topic
Finnish company Wartsila recently announced that it completed the installation of a unique hybrid and PV solar energy system onboard the Paolo Topic bulk carrier, turning it into one of the most technologically advanced vessels of its type in the world.
Wartsila specializes in marine power sources, and it announced its plans to upgrade the ship two years ago. The installation of the hybrid power system was made in collaboration with Marfin Management, the operator of the M/V Paolo Topic, and with Solbian, a solar panel manufacturer.

As explained by Wartsila, the system includes an energy management system (EMS) and batteries that deliver auxiliary power to the grid. The newly installed module will help lower operating costs while at the same time, reduce the vessel’s environmental impact, offering a cleaner, safer, and more efficient power solution.

Wartsila’s HY module is a containerized solution that has a wide variety of applications, being suitable for offshore vessels, tugs, ferries, coastal vessels, and more. Some of its most notable benefits are its ship-type optimized design and specific application tuning, increased efficiency, reduced maintenance costs, and significant reductions in emissions.

The hybrid system offers the possibility to combine and integrate an energy storage system and additional energy sources such as solar power. When coupled with other sources of energy such as PV panels, its benefits are enhanced.

As boasted by the Finnish company, the EMS has overall control of the engines, batteries, power distribution of the Paolo Topic, and with the installation of solar panels on the weather deck, this is now a maritime industry first.

Wartsila’s Director Giulio Tirelli says this is a significant breakthrough in enabling the bulker fleet to increase environmental performance and economic competitiveness. The hybrid power system installed on the bulk carrier is an important step taken toward decarbonizing the shipping industry.

The M/V Paolo Topic was built in 2016 in Japan, and it is managed by Marfin Management.
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About the author: Cristina Mircea
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Cristina’s always found writing more comfortable to do than speaking, which is why she chose print over broadcast media in college. When she’s not typing, she also loves riding non-motorized two-wheelers, going on hikes with her dog, and rocking her electric guitars.
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