Technologies for future ships and future shipping
The 10th Symposium on High-Performance Marine Vehicles (HIPER) was held in Cortona, Italy. The theme of the conference – future and futuristic technologies for ships and shipping – attracted some 70 participants with a very interdisciplinary and international flavour.
The main take-home messages from HIPER’2016 are:
Significant potential in reducing frictional resistance.
Assorted technologies prepare the move to the next game level in fuel savings addressing the largest energy consumer for most ships, namely frictional resistance. Success field trials for air lubrication for a product tanker (Shell Shipping) put the limelight on this technology. Both sea trials and long-term performance monitoring show net savings of ~5%. “Classical” antifouling still has some trumps up the sleeve. So-called nano-coatings mimic biological surfaces such as shark skin to reduce friction and keep biofouling at bay. New developments, such as the Actiguard technology, reduce biocide leaching by a factor 10-20 by capturing biocides on the hull surface.
More autonomy now.
Of course, no discussion of future technologies can avoid the unmanned ships. While commercial unmanned shipping seems decades away, autonomous systems pro-gress rapidly to assorted applications, unmanned surface vessels (typically
Information connected shipping.
While Big Data is interpreted differently by different players, many presentations from ship yards to ship operations involved Big Data and the Internet of Things. We know it is coming, we know we should adopt to stay competitive, but the way ahead is not straight-forward. For example, standards for massive data exchange in the Internet of Things have yet to come. However, the rising demand for sharing complex data models of ships (“digital twins”) between different stakeholders appears to be strong and solutions start to evolve.
Some nice technology overviews are recommended for a wider readership:
Bergsma et al. – “3D-Printing and the Maritime Construction Sector”
Morais et al. – “Ship Design, Engineering and Construction in 2030 and Beyond”
Yebra – “Future Directions towards Low-Friction Hulls”
Thill – “Air Lubrication Technology – Past, Present and Future”
Stenzel et al. – “Biomimetic Approaches for Ship Drag Reduction – Feasible and Efficient?”
Andrews – “Unconventional Ships and Unconventional Design”
Bertram – Unmanned & Autonomous Shipping – A Technology Review”
Source: DNV GL