Unique Ship Prototype in Gothenburg

Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Photo courtesy Stena Bulk

The 49.2 ft long ship prototype Stena Airmax was named in Gothenburg. The prototype is part of a project in which an air cushion is being tested to investigate to what extent it reduces the friction between the hull and the water, thus also reducing fuel consumption and emissions of large tankers in the future. Stena will invest in the region of $6.8m in the project. Following the very good results achieved in tests with small ship models, Stena Teknik has developed this large-scale model weighing 25 tons. The same tests will now be carried out with the Stena Airmax. Anneli Hulthén, Chairperson of the Gothenburg City Executive Board, will be the godmother at the naming ceremony.
Five years ago, Stena Teknik initiated a development project in order to find a method of reducing a ship’s water resistance, thus radically reducing energy utilization and fuel consumption.

“The results of the tests carried out are very promising. Depending on the type of ship and speed, we expect energy savings of 20-30 percent. This will now be verified in tests with the newly built prototype Stena Airmax”, said Ulf G. Ryder, President and CEO of Stena Bulk.

Stena Teknik has co-operated with Chalmers University of Technology and SSPA in Gothenburg in the development project and the construction of the P-MAXair model. The Stena Airmax will be tested in the Gullmars Fjord on the Swedish West Coast, during spring 2010 when extensive - test programs will be run. The model will be powered by electric motors during these simulations.

The concept involves reducing the wet surface,, i.e. the part of the hull that is in contact with the water, thus slowing down the ship. This is achieved by means of a cavity filled with air in the bottom of the hull. This means that the water is in contact with air instead of steel plate, thus reducing friction. This may seem simple, but a number of phenomena complicate the picture. These include internal wave formation in the cavity, which reduces the positive effect. A balance must also be struck between optimizing the air pressure to achieve the greatest possible reduction in resistance and, at the same time, minimizing air leakage.

Testing ship models in test basins has a long history and the technique of scaling up the results from a model to an actual ship is well known. However, Stena’s project is different in that air is also involved. There is no previous experience of the effect of the air when a model is scaled up to full scale. Building a ship based on normal model tests of a 4 m long model would have been very risky.

Accordingly, Stena decided to build a 1:12 model, i.e. a 49.2 ft long model, to verify that the results achieved also applied on a larger scale. This has never been done before. Testing the air regulation system will also be an important part of a future project. Stena has applied for a patent for the wide and flat bulbous bow, which facilitates a favourable water flow below the hull.

Technical data for the Demonstrator model Stena AirMax on a 1:12 scale
Length    49.2 ft
Breadth    10.8 ft
Draft, fully loaded    3 ft
Weight, fully loaded    35 tons
Speed    5 knots
Propulsion    2 x 10 kW

Full scale:
Length    597. ft
Breadth    131.2 ft
Draft, fully loaded    37 ft
Weight, fully loaded    65,000 tons
Speed    14 knots
Propulsion    2 x 8,000 kW

The model consists of a steel box, containing all the equipment, surrounded by a hull made of fibreglass reinforced plastic. The flat bottom has a cavity for an air cushion, which is almost as wide and half as long as the ship. The model is powered by two electric engines with electricity provided by a diesel generator.

The air cavity is fed with air by fans and the air is controlled so that the bottom of the air cushion is in line with the bottom of the hull. The model will be manned by one to two persons. Test data is transmitted via a link to a tender boat. Personnel and boats from the Swedish Sea Rescue Society will assist during the tests.

Maritime Reporter January 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Environmental

Investment Impact in Inland Waterways System

The National Waterways Foundation (NWF) has commissioned and released a two-year, ground-breaking study by the University of Tennessee and the University of Kentucky,

The 2nd Ballast Water Management Summit

Sign-up for this year’s most in-depth exchange of information and best venue for BWT stakeholders to network and meet regulatory peers is underway.   Infocast’s

Britain to Ban Fracking in National Parks

Britain said on Monday it would ban fracking in national parks, reversing a policy announced last year, in a concession to the opposition Labour Party which had

Naval Architecture

Technip Certified to EDGE Standard

Technip and EDGE Certified Foundation announce today that Technip in Brazil, in France and in Italy, including flexible pipe manufacturing plants in Brazil and France and Group’s headquarters,

Maran Orders 4 LNGCs from DSME

Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) will build four large Liquefied Natural Gas Carriers (LNGC) for Maran Gas.   The four LNGCs

Xunlong Shenzhen Orders Dutch-designed Ferry

CoCo Yachts B.V. inks contract with Xunlong Shenzhen Ferry Company for one Coastal Cruiser 300 Xunlong Shenzhen Ferry Company has ordered a Coastal Cruiser 300 ferry from CoCo Yachts,

Vessels

‘Maritime Spectrum’ of CMMI a Big Draw

For The Company of Master Mariners of India, the conference “Maritime Spectrum” that comes at the turn of each year has become a brand in itself, and each one

ms Veendam Rescues Pilot Off Maui Coast, Hawaii

On Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015, at 5:21 p.m. local time while en route to Lahaina, Hawaii, Holland America Line’s ms Veendam answered a request for assistance from

Panama Flag Approval for Seagull

Seagull Maritime has become the first overseas company to secure training centre approval from the Panama Maritime Authority following the PMA’s 2014 change of leadership.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Electronics Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2070 sec (5 req/sec)