THEME stands for Technologies for Harvesting Energy from the Marine Environment, and our mission is to accelerate the transition to sustainable shipping.
THEME is utilising renewable energy sources, and highly efficient designs, to produce truly zero-emission cargo shipping options. The initial market is the transport of road cars, with the plan being to extend the platform to other types of cargo.
By combining wind propulsion with an electric powertrain architecture, we are able to intelligently coordinate multiple energy inputs and expenditures to maximize efficiency on each journey leg.
A clean-sheet design offers many advantages and opportunities for the integration and optimization of this novel powertrain architecture. It also enables the embedding of learning from other manifestations of cargo movement and control, to improve operational efficiency and staff safety.
THEME’s first project is a Ro-Ro car carrier, GAIA, which is targeted at enabling a zero-emissions link in the logistics chain of the manufacturers of electric vehicles. 8 collapsible wing-sails, plus a covering of solar panels, augment the Hydrogen fuel cell powertrain, with the Hydrogen stored in container-sized tanks that are loaded into ‘magazines’. GAIA will carry around 4500 to 5000 cars, depending on the mix of vehicle sizes, with an endurance of more than 10 days on Hydrogen alone, and effectively an unlimited range under sail.
In addition to maximizing the energy efficiency of the vessel itself, a big focus is on optimizing operational efficiency, from inventory planning & control to loading/unloading, and even docking. THEME will harness some of the rapid evolutions in digitalization, automation, and autonomous technology, while also focusing on improving the safety and comfort of people working on, or around the ship.
Shipping is an industry with mature technology and slowed progress, so it is ripe for a reset, with fresh thinking and disruptive innovation.
Cross-Industry Idea Adaptation
By stripping things back to first principles, it’s possible to identify where fundamental challenges have been successfully tackled in other industries, and adapt the solutions to shipping.
Technology that Streamlines Processes, & Enhances Safety
THEME’s philosophy is to make shipping sustainable, and people are the most precious resource of all. Automation can limit dangerous or repetitive tasks, and a connected digital infrastructure manages and distributes information, which helps with efficiency and safety.