The ice to help the new generation of eco-ships

Лед в помощь новому поколению экологичных судов


Imagine that you are on the ship, which emits a quarter less carbon dioxide and eliminates other pollutants such as sulfur oxides or nitrogen. Believe it or not, the decision to create such a vessel may lie in this frozen pool in Northern Germany. The ambient temperature is -10°. And the water temperature is minus eight degrees.

Early this morning the researchers begin their icy mission. They want to test this pool looked like an Arctic environment. Salt water is suited to the freezing point. First, scientists measured the thickness of the formed ice cover.

“Within each test we perform about two hundred measurements. We measure the thickness of the ice cover in two hundred different points the tub because the compacted ice is not homogeneous. The same thing is happening in the Arctic. We strive to get as much information for the average thickness of the ice and spend quite a long tests to the data and the measurements were accurate enough,” the scientist said Quentin Hisette.

When the test tank is ready, it is taken for marine and mechanical engineers. On this model they examine how new screw ship can operate in extreme conditions.

“On the front side we measure the resistance of the model, and behind – the rotational speed of the propeller, thrust and torque, and lateral forces and bending moments,” says mechanical engineer Rene Bosman.

The experiment is part of a European research project aimed at developing a more efficient and less polluting ships. Researchers say screw model, tested here is a promising tool.

“We are convinced that this is really a very good concept, it has great potential to save fuel. This conceptual design study. And in the implementation phase, there might be some small changes for practical reasons, the owners of the vessel. Perhaps because of this efficiency in terms of fuel economy will be slightly lost. But, overall, this is a step towards a new generation of ships,” – said the engineer Heho Hagestein.

A new generation of ships is emerging for this Dutch shipyard. Engineers have developed here tow with a reversible drive system and the new hull shape which provides greater maneuverability at high speeds, which is very important in busy ports.

“In our ports of call larger vessels. So that the tugs should have more power, but they have little room to maneuver. This new form of housing will allow them to be more manoeuvrable,” explains mechanical engineer Robert van Koperen.

The next step will be the creation of tows that runs on compressed natural gas. Scientists consider this environmentally friendly alternative to an important trump card in the acute competition in the market.

“If you want to be competitive, you need to save, for example, on fuel. In addition, many ports are a big issue – emissions. For ferries, cruise ships and other vessels develop hybrid systems. And to keep up with the market, we would also like to keep up,” says engineer remko van Vugt.

The researchers expect that some of these innovations can be implemented in the next 5 years.”

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