Icon of the Seas is equipped with Koja air conditioning

Icon of the Seas is equipped with Koja air conditioning

The world’s largest cruiser, Icon of the Seas, is a significant step toward more sustainable cruise travel. The 365-meter ship, built at the Meyer Turku shipyard, has been handed over to Royal Caribbean International at the end of November and will depart for its first voyage in January 2024. Koja has delivered custom-made air handling units to the cruise ship.  

Effective air handling is a significant part of the comfort of a ship’s passengers and personnel. Clean indoor air of a high quality ensures healthy and safe conditions on a ship. Energy-efficient air handling solutions can also have a significant impact on energy consumption and thus on environmental friendliness. Icon of the Seas is expected to be its shipping company’s most environmentally friendly ship.

Energy-efficient technology

Icon of the Seas has a passenger capacity up to 7,600, with a total of 2,805 passenger cabins. This means there is a great need for air handling. Accordingly, the number of air handling units supplied by Koja is large, including more than 100 AC units, more than 200 fan coil units for public areas and technical facilities, and around 3,000 fan coil units for cabins. All of these air handling units have been designed and manufactured in Finland at Koja’s factory in Jalasjärvi. They have been tested in actual operating conditions at Koja’s R&D Center. 

"A completely new fan coil range was designed for Icon of the Seas in accordance with the requirements of the customer and the ship. The units are smaller than the previously used fan coil models equipped with Koja’s Future® structure, so they can be easily hidden behind the upholstery in public areas on the ship", says Antti Häyrynen, Head of R&D, Air Handling Units, Koja Oy.

The focus of the design is on the size and energy efficiency of the equipment. For example, fans with the best efficiency on the market were selected as the fans for the range. In terms of sustainable development, the consumption of materials in the new air handling units is significantly lower than in previous Future® fan coil units. 

"The fan coil units designed for the machine facilities and public areas on Icon of the Seas have proved to be so perfectly suitable for Marine’s equipment range as a product family that they will continue to be used in other ship projects."

A reliable and experienced partner 

The extensive ship project coincided with challenging world events, which caused the schedule to be postponed. Koja’s deliveries were scheduled from the fall of 2020 to the end of 2022. Maarit Halonen has worked as a project manager responsible for scheduling and the dimensioning of machinery, among other aspects, at the customer and factory interfaces at Koja Oy.

"The project has lasted for a long time, around four years, and the schedules have changed because of the impacts of the pandemic and the Russian attack on Ukraine on the availability of components, for example. Despite the challenges, cooperation in the project has run smoothly. The parties involved have shown flexibility. And, of course, we owe a big thank you to the employees at our factory for a job well done", says Halonen.

Koja has extensive experience in ship air conditioning solutions and systems, which have been delivered to large passenger cruise ships, car ferries, research vessels and icebreakers. Koja has cooperated with Meyer Turku on several ship projects.

"For years, Koja has been a reliable and innovative supplier in projects at the Turku shipyard, which is why we chose them as the supplier of the main components of the air conditioning plant. In addition to being a reliable partner, Koja was able to meet the project’s strict energy and space efficiency requirements", says Vesa Heikkilä, Technical Team Lead at Meyer Turku.

The cooperation will continue with the next ships of the Icon series. Star of the Seas and Icon 3 are currently under construction and will be completed in 2025 and 2026. Deliveries of air handling units for the second ship are in progress, and deliveries for the third ship will start at the beginning of 2024. 

Sustainable development and experiences on a new level

Icon of the Seas, an oasis for entertainment, adds new dimensions to cruise travel. Icon of the Seas is Royal Caribbean International’s first ship that uses liquefied natural gas. Sustainable development is also supported by shore-side electricity connections and waste heat recovery systems, among other features.

The cruise ship offers its passengers the largest water park built on a ship, as well as swimming pools with sea views. The ship also has more than 40 restaurants, bars and nightclubs, and a wide range of entertainment. AquaDome, a giant dome made of glass and steel, offers an impressive setting for admiring the scenery and enjoying entertainment. 

Icon of the Seas will operate from Miami to the eastern and western Caribbean throughout the year.

Photo: Royal Caribbean International


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