ABB–Arkitech collaboration delivers significant HVAC efficiency gains for MSC Magnifica

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A collaboration between ABB and Arkitech has brought significant efficiency gains for the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system on board MSC Magnifica. Using artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyse data from over 1,500 sensors on the MSC Cruises ship, this technology enables up to 12 percent increase in chiller efficiency to achieve monthly energy savings of 100 MW by the 15-year old ship while maintaining optimal air-handling unit performance.

The HVAC systems onboard cruise ships and ferries are often one of the largest energy consumer after propulsion, making energy efficiency a priority. The ABB solution based on ARK-M20 is designed to minimize the cost and environmental impact of this system. It works by continuously optimizing the HVAC system’s temperature set point in response to variable conditions including weather, seawater temperature, mobility, proportion of passenger capacity filled, time of day and position in port or at sea.

“Controlling the most energy-demanding processes onboard – propulsion, hotel operations and HVAC – is increasingly important,” said Ivana Melillo, Head of Energy Efficiency, MSC Cruise Management (UK) Limited. “Reducing energy needs can decrease fuel consumption and emissions. Thanks to the project, we expect to save 10-12 percent of HVAC energy consumption, equating to nearly 1 ton of fuel saved daily. The greatest emissions savings come from the fuel we don’t use.”

“As maritime organizations seek to enhance operational efficiency and reduce their carbon footprint, innovative technologies like ARK-M20 are well positioned to support this growing demand,” said Alessandro De Santis, Manager – Service Area South Europe, ABB Marine & Ports. “Our collaboration with Arkitech and MSC Cruises emphasizes our commitment to delivering measurable energy savings and operational improvements through technology. The project’s success is yet another testament to our leadership in advancing efficiency and sustainability in the maritime industry.”

Supplied in a modular plug-and-play configuration, the ARK-M20 system can be installed seamlessly during normal vessel operations to offer a platform to monitor vessel air quality. As well as providing a safe and comfortable environment for passengers and crew, optimizing HVAC performance contributes towards compliance with regulations such as the International Maritime Organization’s Carbon Intensity Indicator.

“The results achieved by our ARK-M20 system onboard MSC Magnifica exceeded our initial target, equating to energy savings of 100 MW per month and an anticipated 1,600–2,000 MW per year,” said Sander Huijer, Chief Executive Officer, Arkitech. “We are grateful to ABB for its support, in a project which demonstrates the efficiency gains, cost savings and emissions reduction, which can be achieved without compromising performance or guest and crew comfort.”

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