Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Investigating the implications of a new-build hybrid power system for Roll-on/Roll-off cargo ships from a sustainability perspective–A life cycle assessment case study

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Janie Ling Chin, Professor Tony Roskilly



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Marine transport has been essential for international trade. Concern for its environmental impact was growing among regulators, classification societies, ship operators, ship owners, and other stakeholders. By applying life cycle assessment, this article aimed to assess the impact of a new-build hybrid system (i.e. an electric power system which incorporated lithium ion batteries, photovoltaic systems and cold-ironing) designed for Roll-on/Roll-off cargo ships. The study was carried out based on a bottom-up integrated system approach using the optimised operational profile and background information for manufacturing processes, mass breakdown and end of life management plans. Resources such as metallic and non-metallic materials and energy required for manufacture, operation, maintenance, dismantling and scrap handling were estimated. During operation, 1.76 × 108 kg of marine diesel oil was burned, releasing carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, particulate matter, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide which ranged 5–8 orders of magnitude. The operation of diesel gensets was the primary cause of impact categories that were relevant to particulate matter or respiratory inorganic health issues, photochemical ozone creation, eutrophication, acidification, global warming and human toxicity. Disposing metallic scrap was accountable for the most significant impact category, ecotoxicity potential. The environmental benefits of the hybrid power system in most impact categories were verified in comparison with a conventional power system onboard cargo ships. The estimated results for individual impact categories were verified using scenario analysis. The study concluded that the life cycle of a new-build hybrid power system would result in significant impact on the environment, human beings and natural reserves, and therefore proper management of such a system was imperative.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ling-Chin J, Roskilly AP

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Applied Energy

Year: 2016

Volume: 181

Pages: 416–434

Print publication date: 01/11/2016

Online publication date: 24/08/2016

Acceptance date: 12/08/2016

Date deposited: 19/10/2016

ISSN (print): 0306-2619

ISSN (electronic): 1872-9118

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2016.08.065


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name
266082European Commission, 'INOvative Energy MANagement System for Cargo SHIP' (INOMANS2HIP)
EP/K039377/1Research Councils UK Energy Programme entitled 'Sustainable Thermal Energy Management Network' (SusTEM, EPSRC)
EP/K039377/1Research Councils UK Energy Programme entitled 'Sustainable Thermal Energy Management Network' (SusTEM, EPSRC)