The Port of Southampton, UK is testing hull cleaning technology, HullWiper, on a range of ships to demonstrate the performance of the technology to the harbour authority, Associated British Ports (ABP).
HullWiper is a diver and brush-free technology that uses adjustable seawater jets under variable pressures to clean ships’ hulls and surfaces to reduce resistance and increase efficiency. The remotely operated vehicle (ROV) improves performance of the ship while limiting the need for recoating that is sometimes necessary with traditional hull cleaning methods, as a result of brushes that can scratch and damage the ship’s coating.
As no divers are required, the risk to human life is reduced. Cleaning can be conducted day or night and in most weather conditions, while cargo operations are underway.
Captain Martin Phipps, Head of Marine Projects for ABP said: “Hull cleaning initiatives provide the opportunity to remove biofouling and non-native species from the water column, whilst enhancing the efficiency of a vessel through the water, improving fuel economy and importantly reducing emissions and costs.”