Thermoambient Energy - Valvim
Thermoambient Energy Project - Conversion of ambient heat into electrical energy

Electric ships powered by the thermoambient energy

Last updated 06/28/2020

On this page you will know another application of the "Thermoambient Generator" that is being developed by a Brazilian researcher.

thermoambient generator in ship

Soon, ships and submarines will be able to extract energy from the sea itself to move their propellers. The generation of electrical energy from the ambient heat, contained in the seas and rivers, will eliminate the need for fossil fuels and improve the performance of marine vessels.

Freighter ships such as Emma Maersk, for example, could enjoy this new technology and nevermore need fuel to move around. The thermoambient energy stored in the seas is enough to move the entire fleet of ships in the world. Keep in mind that the energy withdrawn from the sea will return to the sea through the friction of the propeller with the water. In all situations, no energy will be lost.

Maritime Thermoambient Generator
O Thermoambient Generator, for maritime use, is designed in the form of plates 1 meter long, 1 meter wide and 20 cm high (1 x 1 x 0.2 meters). Each maritime plate will be able to generate 10 KW of electrical energy and can be mounted side by side or stacked on top of one another to make better use of available space.

The Danish freighter Emma Maersk is 397 meters long, 56 meters wide, an engine with 80,000 kW of power and cruising speed of 45 km/h. In order to transform this diesel freighter into an electric freighter powered by thermoambient energy, we would have to:

  1. replace the 80,000 kW diesel engine with one or more electric motors of equivalent power.

  2. install the boards of the thermoambient generators on the lower outer part of the ship's hull, occupying an area of 40 meters wide by 200 meters long. This area is sufficient to install 8,000 boards of 20 cm high and 10 kW each, totaling the 80,000 kW needed to move the ship at full speed. Another alternative is to stack the plates inside the ship forming a block 27 meters long, 10 meters wide and 6 meters high. A block of these dimensions would contain 8,100 boards totaling 81,000 kW of electric power. In this option, it would be necessary to pull a pipe from the ship's hull to pump the water into the block.
    ship with internal termoambient generator

  3. Finally, we would have to install the power controllers to manage the generated power and to control the electric motors.

To remove 80,000 kW of thermal energy from a 40 meter wide by 15 cm high water lamina, this water would have to give in only 0.25°C from its original temperature. In either case, with the generator inside or outside the ship, the water temperature will drop by only 0.25°C if the vessel is at full speed (45 km/h equivalent to 12.5 m/s).

Let's go to the demonstration:

We will use the Mass Flow Rate formula and the Heat Formula to calculate the required temperature drop to obtain 80,000 kW.


mass of water that flows through the generator in g/s;
specific mass of water = 1000 kg/m3;
water velocity in the ship's hull: 45km/h = 12.5m/s;
water inlet area on the generator: 40 x 0.15 = 6 m2;
amount of heat in calories;
specific heat of water: 1 cal/g.°C;
temperature difference in degrees Celsius.

Since the power unit used, Watts, is given in Joules per second (J/s), and the water velocity is given in meters per second (m/s), the calculations will then be performed considering the time interval of 1 second. Thus, we obtain the direct final result in degrees Celsius.

Now let's turn the 80,000 KW in calories to calculate ΔT. Let us use the relation 1 cal = 4.187 J,

Calculating the mass that passes through the generator every 1 second, we have:

Calculating the temperature difference in degrees Celsius, we have:

As demonstrated, if we used the Thermoambient Generator on this ship, it would suffice to remove 0.25°C from the water passing 15 cm from its hull, in order to obtain 80,000 kW of electrical power. In the future, any sea vessel can be adapted to become self-sufficient and ecologically correct.

If you have not yet read, read the presentation page of the Thermoambient Energy Project.

External references:

1- «Emma Maersk / Container vessel specifications»
2- «Wartsila Sulzer RTA96-C / Engine»
3- «World's Biggest Engine - Most Powerful Engine - Emma Maersks $170 Million Investment - World's Largest Ship»
4- «Emma Maersk - Wikipedia»

Author: Valvim M Dutra

This text has been translated from Portuguese. If you find some grammatical error or linguistic incoherence, I shall be grateful if you let me know the location of the mistake so that I can correct it.

Let's save the planet from global warming by recycling the thermoambient energy