In recent years, the maritime world has focused on ship performance, but for our Maritime Division this topic has been on the agenda for more than 50 years.

In recent years, discussions at IMO have resulted in the development of an Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI). The EEDI has received support from governments, industry associations and organizations representing civil society interests. When talking about efficiency, any shipowner must investigate his operational set-up and evaluate how he can reduce fuel consumption. In that relation, the key function of EEDI is to deliver environmental effectiveness by generating significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from ships through enhanced energy efficiency measures. In the many years that FORCE Technology has worked on developing energy-efficient solutions, this has been a key area for us.

Our research within hull optimization, optimum rudder propeller interaction and our research in wave resistance, optimum trim or evaluation of the most efficient fuel-saving device has given us a massive insight into the efficiency and capabilities of fuel-saving devices and designs. In the following, we have described some of our projects and developments within this area: 

Added resistance in waves

Instead of optimising ships for still water performance, Soizic Joncquez, Project Manager at FORCE Technology, has made a Ph.D. thesis of the implications of added resistance in waves. On the basis of her thesis, a new method and a computational tool have been developed and proven to be very effective. The Ph.D. thesis has been supported by Danish Centre for Maritime Technology (DCMT) (www.dcmt.dk). 

Development of the SeaAssessor tool 

The SeaAssessor tool determines a ship’s propulsive capabilities on specific routes by simulating the routes with historic weather data and at various loading conditions and speeds. On the specific route, more than 4,000 simulations will be performed, thereby ensuring a true representation of the prevailing weather conditions on the route and giving an accurate probability of the voyage duration. The development of SeaAssessor has received funding from The Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation. 

Understanding the physics of trim

At FORCE Technology, we have performed trim test of around 50 vessels, among others tankers, container vessels, LNG carriers and Ro-Ro vessels. Our testing shows possible fuel savings of 3-15% at specific conditions. In overall fleet operations, typical savings can be as high as 3 to 4%. The project has been supported by DCMT and results will be presented at Green Ship Technology Conference (GST) in 2012. 

CFD Ship Hydrodynamics 

Advanced Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) can be applied as a strong tool in the design phase of ships because detailed evaluation of design alternatives can be made early in the design process. Over the years FORCE Technology has been involved in a long series of 

Fuel-saving devices 

By means of RANS-CFD, we have determined the relative power or efficiency gain obtained by substituting an original conventional propellerrudder configuration of a given vessel with a different and more efficient rudder-propeller configuration (fuel-saving device). The knowledge gained from this project has become part of FORCE Technology’s ECOfit concept which calculates the return on investment for design changes and new equipment on board existing vessels. The project has been supported by DCMT. 

SeaTrend 

Starting with the development of a generic ship propulsion model, a theoretical model has been turned into a commercial product with a large potential for monitoring hull and propeller fouling. The annual fuel consumption of a Panmax containership is up to 16 million USD. Between the ship’s docking intervals, hull fouling may increase the fuel consumption by as much as 20% and propeller fouling may lead to increased fuel consumption of up to 5%. Therefore, monitoring of hull and propeller fouling is very important. The project has been supported by DCMT. 

ITTC

To underline FORCE Technology’s commitment within ship performance, Chief Naval Architect Anton Minchev has become chairman of the new ITTC committee, Specialist Committee on Performance of Ships in Service. The purpose of the committee is to improve the performance predictions for service conditions covering the whole life cycle of the ship, keeping in mind the EEDI and Energy Efficiency Operational Index (EEOI) development within IMO.

The results from the committee’s work will be presented at the next (27th) ITTC to be hosted by FORCE Technology in Copenhagen in 2014. The Maritime Division covers more or less all aspects of ship performance - from initial design evaluation to onboard systems. If it can sail, we have a method to optimize it.