1 University of Castilla La Mancha, Ciudad Real, Avenida Camilo José Cela, 0, 13001, Spain.
2 School of Metallurgy and Materials, University of Birmingham, B15 2TT United Kingdom.
Abstract. The use of marine vehicles has been increasing in the last few years due to the marine industry growth. The advancements in the field of robotics and unmanned systems have made possible the development of marine autonomous vehicles. These devices are used for several applications in different fields with the aim of monitoring, exploring or mapping the marine and submarine environment. The autonomous surface vehicles are generally equipped with modern communication and navigation systems, which implies an important investment. For these reasons, the production process and life cycle of these vehicles must be carefully studied in order to know the durability and associated cost of the vehicle performance. In this paper, it is exposed the life cycle assessment of an autonomous surface vehicle developed in ENDURUNS project. This European initiative tries to develop a green energy and long endurance vehicle to explore the offshore seabed. Through this study, it is possible to know the emissions and ecological footprint of these vehicles, and also to detect the waste contribution of it.
Keywords: Surface Marine Vehicles, Life Cycle Assessment, ENDURUNS project
In the last decade, the marine industries have experienced a considerable increment. Important industrial sectors, e.g., renewable energy or oil industries, have expanded their installations in the marine environment. Several marine and submarine activities require the use of new tools and vehicles to develop complex works. With the aim of implementing a clean energy and conserving the environment, the European Union works with different initiatives, such as Horizon 2020, which works designing new vehicles and systems to get an optimization of the mobility resources in the future. Inside this initiative appears the “ENDURUNS” project.
2. Life Cycle Methodology
LC is a general term in his normative definition, due the great differences and particularities of each actual industry. Nowadays, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) treats in 14000 series the environmental aspects in manufacturing processes of the companies. Concretely, the ISO 14040 series define the environment management and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) principles.
3. ENDURUNS Project LCA
Nowadays, the industrial processes and product manufacturing must be evaluated carefully down a LC view. The inputs of the process comprehend the raw materials, energy resources and logistics employed. The outputs are composed by the product obtained, waste and emissions generated. The analysis developed in this paper has been focused on the materials and energy from the inputs systems and the final vehicle design obtained from them.
The results of this LCA study show an overall perspective about the USV projected for ENDURUNS. In this case, the analysis of the environment impact will represent a part of the definitive results. The results obtained are guide values due to the estimated character of some project information. However, this methodology makes it possible to show a preliminary analysis about the contamination contribution of each vehicle component. In this analysis and due to the cradle-to-gate character of this study, it was not considered the inverse flows corresponding to the dismantling or recycling processes.
As others new generation vehicles, the environment impact and the footprint play a basic key role in USV. Thereby, the LC study, and concretely the LCA, represents a transcendental point for the manufacturing processes. For this reason, this paper presents a preliminary approach about the LCA of an USV developed in the European project entitled ENDURUNS.
Acknowledgments. This research was funded by European Commission’s Research and Innovation Agency (RIA) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme (Research Grant Agreement H2020-MG-2018-2019-2020 n.824348).