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ABS, SDARI to Test Fuel-Saving Tech for Ships

ABS and the Shanghai Merchant Ship Design & Research Institute (SDARI) have entered into a two-year joint research and development project to study the potential of an energy-saving device that could improve propulsion efficiency on a bulk carrier.

This add-on device could offer ship owners the potential to reduce greenhouse gases through lower fuel consumption due to increased propeller efficiency, according to the companies.

ABS’ principal engineer Sing Kwan Lee expects that the analysis will confirm a three to four percent increase in efficiency with the use of the device placed in front of the propeller. With this expected range of efficiency and using data published in a second IMO Greenhouse Gas Study in 2009, a capesize bulk carrier could save between 450 to 760 tons of fuel in a one-year period.

The study will evaluate the design of the device from both a resistance standpoint and a more holistic propeller/hull/rudder interaction optimization perspective. The study will be conducted in two phases: phase one will focus on analysis and design while phase two will focus on model testing of the device.

Over the past year, cargo ships have been slowing down to save fuel and cut their emissions. As an example, Danish shipping company Maersk has been able to cut fuel consumption on major routes by as much as 30 percent, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an equal amount by cutting the top cruising speed of its ships in half over the past two years.

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