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Air Lubrication Technology for Ships Shows Verified Energy Savings

Sea trials of Silverstream Technologies’ new air lubrication technology for ships, the Silverstream System, showed net energy efficiency savings in all analyzed cases. Shell funded and helped oversee the installation of the Silverstream System on the 40000DWT products tanker MT Amalienborg, owned by the leading Danish Shipping company Dannebrog Rederi. The results were independently verified by Lloyd’s Register Ship Performance Team.

The trials showed net average energy efficiency savings of 4.3% and 3.8% for the vessel in ballast and laden conditions respectively. The figures represent an average from all raw data captured during each trial, which included optimal and non-optimal air flows. Based on the trials, Silverstream and Shell believe a fully optimized system has potential to deliver more than 5% efficiency savings on an ongoing basis when deployed on a full-bodied vessel with a large flat bottom.  

The Silverstream System produces a thin layer of micro bubbles that creates a single “air carpet” for the full flat of bottom of the ship. This reduces the frictional resistance between the water and hull and improves the vessel’s operational efficiency, reducing fuel consumption and associated emissions. The technology can be added to a new build design, or quickly retrofitted to an existing ship within just 14 days as was the case for the MT Amalienborg.

DannebrogRederi AS’s CEO, Johnny Schmoelker, pointed out that impending stringent environmental regulations will further increase operational costs. He called energy efficiency technologies that can reduce fuel consumption and associated emissions “critical in limiting the bottom line impact for ship owners and operators.”


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One thought on “Air Lubrication Technology for Ships Shows Verified Energy Savings

  1. Using air to increase the buoyancy of a ship was developed back in the 60s – if not earlier – as ships that use it were called hovercrafts. Frankly, what took the commercial shipping industry so long to figure out a way to use it to decrease fuel usage which would have saved the industry millions if not billions of dollars in fuel cost savings over the years.

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