Italian ship owner Grimaldi, Wärtsilä, and the Dutch Maritime Research Institute MARIN have designed an Energy Saving Device (ESD) that has achieved fuel savings of 3.5 per cent.
The ESD, which is suitable for use by ships with Controllable Pitch Propellers (CPPs) was tested on Grimaldi’s Grande Portogallo, a 165-metre long Pure Car & Truck Carrier. The fuel savings achieved during the trial translate into a pay-back period of 1.3 years. According to Grimaldi, “The initial noon reports suggest a 5 per cent decrease in the fuel consumption, but in order to get a more realistic value we need to record a wider range of data.”
The work was carried out as part of the LeanShips project, under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 framework project for research and innovation. LeanShips aims at demonstrating the effectiveness and reliability of technologies that offer energy savings and emission reductions on a large scale. The result of the development work is a pre-swirl Stator, an energy saving solution, that for the first time ever was demonstrated to be suitable for use with CPPs. LeanShips was a four-year project and was completed in April 2019.
“This represents a major breakthrough in making ships with controllable pitch propellers more efficient, and therefore less polluting. We have earlier established some energy savings for ships with controllable pitch propellers, and now this new technology has been extended in line with the objectives of the LeanShips project,” said Dario Bocchetti, corporate energy saving manager, Grimaldi Group.
“Wärtsilä continues to collaborate with strategic partners to create greater efficiencies that enable both cost savings and better environmental performance. The Energy Saving Device developed through the Leanships project is one more example of successful collaboration that results in substantial customer benefits,” stated Lars Anderson, director, Propulsion, Wärtsilä Marine.
Wärtsilä and MARIN were earlier involved in the GRIP project, funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework programme, which successfully designed and optimised ESDs for ships fitted with Fixed Pitch Propellers (FPPs). This resulted in full-scale demonstrations that achieved a nearly 7 per cent reduction in the required power of a bulk carrier vessel. LeanShips was the next step in the path towards reductions in energy consumption and exhaust emissions by shipping.
The completed programme showcases a successfully demonstrated case regarding design, installation, strength and load resistance, which fulfils the purpose of achieving efficiency improvement.