UK & China. Lloyd's Register teams with Chinese design house to research & develop green ships

Tuesday, 01 December 2009

Memorandum of Understanding to focus on increasing the energy efficiency of Handysize bulk carrier  
Lloyd’s Register Classification Society (China) [LRCS] and Shenzhen-listed Shanghai Bestway Marine Engineering Design (Bestway) are to jointly develop a new fuel-efficient bulk carrier in response to increasing pressure from owners and regulators for shipbuilders to offer environmentally friendlier and more cost-effective vessels.
The comprehensive research-and-development project comes as a growing number of yards and owners are using this year’s decline in vessel ordering to rethink the designs of the next generation of orders.

“Economic and legislative drivers are motivating designers to reconsider the environmental impact of their products. In the foreseeable future, the environmental impact of commercial ships will increasingly influence their designs, the way they’re operated and their eventual disposal,” said Nick Brown, Country and Marine Manager, China, LRCS. “As one of our Group mandates is to promote and support safe and sustainable shipping, we are bringing our expertise to the table to support the maritime industry as it searches for greener forms of trade transport.”

The project, which will combine the expertise of Bestway, LRCS and the London-based Lloyd’s Register’s Strategic Research Group, will be divided into two work packages: energy-efficiency research into the ship’s hull and systems; and technical approval and implementation of the proposed solutions.

Work will focus on finding energy-efficient alternatives for a 35,000-dwt “Handysize” bulk carrier and will include research into:

bow-shape optimisation to improve vessel-handling and hydrodynamic resistance characteristics

wake-fields in the stern region to minimise the resistance at the aft end; propeller-rudder energy-saving devices to improve the wake-flow aft of the propeller hub and reduce the drag from fluid flow over the rudder profile

propeller dynamics (to improve open-water and rotation efficiencies)

deckhouse arrangements to minimise wind resistance

reducing the friction of anti-fouling coatings below the waterline

machinery and systems designs to enhance energy efficiency and to reduce environmental pollutants (investigations to include selection of main engines, systems for ballast-water treatment and other related systems)

methods to optimise structural designs and optimise the distribution of hull weight (studies to determine modes of operation, including favourable trim and draft conditions).

“We are investing in green-ship technology to develop innovative solutions and ensure that we are in a position to meet the demand for the green-ship designs that are increasingly sought-after by owners,” said Liu Nan, Bestway Board Chairman and General Manager. “We are therefore delighted to be able to work with Lloyd’s Register on this research project, which has the ultimate aim of developing a green design with maximum energy efficiency and minimum environmental impact.”

As a precedent-setting environmental design study, improvements to the vessel’s energy efficiency will be evaluated by using the International Maritime Organization’s new Energy Efficiency Design Index. Operational design improvements, such as to ballast-water treatment systems, will be qualified against emerging legislative or rule requirements and industry trends.

The project is part of the ongoing research initiatives being undertaken by Lloyd’s Register’s Strategic Research Group, according to Vaughan Pomeroy, Lloyd’s Register’s Technical Director.

“Our current research agenda into green-ship technologies includes ship design, improvements to propulsion technologies, the viability of bio-fuels, fuel cells, nuclear power, battery power, electric power and associated hybrids, solar energy, wind energy, ship recycling, retro-fitting, low-carbon shipping and green-ship designs,” Pomeroy said. “This project with Bestway compliments our overall research agenda, the results of which are destined to help owners reduce their operating and manufacturing costs, carbon emissions and to bring benefits to the wider community.”

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 01 December 2009 )