Kongsberg Maritime announces groundbreaking, fuel efficient bulker design

Kongsberg Maritime Unveils Super-Efficient Bulker Design

Kongsberg Maritime has unveiled its radical new ‘Super-Efficient Bulker’ vessel design concept. The new design is set to redefine industry standards, offering ship owners the means to meet stringent future compliance targets without abandoning conventional fuels.

In response to the growing regulatory pressures on emissions and fuel efficiency, Kongsberg Maritime, together with Deltamarin, has developed a vessel design that demonstrates compliance with future regulations is achievable even when using conventional fuels. This new design promises fuel cost savings between 40 and 50 percent, depending on the operational profile, addressing a crucial industry need.

Oskar Levander, Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at Kongsberg Maritime, explains, “Ship owners face significant challenges in meeting tighter regulations. While low-carbon fuels are an option, many prefer to stick with conventional fuels. Our goal was to design a vessel capable of complying with predicted CII regulations throughout its lifetime, using advanced energy-saving technologies.”

For this innovative study, Kongsberg Maritime selected a Kamsarmax bulker of 82,000 DWT, a common vessel size globally, as the basis for the new design. The Kamsarmax represents a versatile choice, as this vessel type often faces restrictions with the global availability of low-carbon fuels, making it an ideal candidate for the study.

Collaborating with ship designers Deltamarin, Kongsberg Maritime explored various technologies to enhance the efficiency of the Kamsarmax. The result is the ‘Super-Efficient Bulker’, which incorporates several groundbreaking features.

The new vessel concept is based on a unique combination of three tiltable rotor sails and two suction wing sails. This dual approach maximises wind power utilisation, adapting to varying wind conditions to ensure optimal performance. Henrik Sjöblom, from Kongsberg Maritime’s Concepts and Advisory team, notes, “This hybrid wind technology approach offers the best of both worlds, making the vessel more versatile and efficient.”

Kongsberg Maritime has devised an innovative hull form that will trap bubbles, from an air lubrication system, to maximise the effects of resistance reduction, and a patent application has been made to implement this concept. By trapping air bubbles beneath the hull, the system significantly reduces frictional resistance. The inclined hull, with a 1-degree slope from bow to stern, and vertically turned bilge keels create ‘walls’ to keep bubbles in place, enhancing fuel savings.

Emphasizing the benefits of slow steaming, the vessel operates at a reduced speed, balancing fuel efficiency with operational viability. A 1-knot speed reduction contributes to substantial savings in fuel, emissions, and maintenance costs.

The vessel integrates a Hybrid Shaft Generator with frequency control, optimising electrical power usage and reducing emissions. This system supports the increased electric load from wind propulsion devices and air lubrication compressors, enhancing overall efficiency. Equipped with an Intelligent Energy Management System (iEMS) and route optimisation software, the vessel ensures optimal energy use, further enhancing fuel efficiency and reducing operational costs.

To maintain the hull’s cleanliness and further minimise resistance, the vessel is also fitted with a Hull Skater, which also contributes to maintaining low fuel consumption during operation.

The ‘Super-Efficient Bulker’ is a novel design and advanced operation that, according to Kongsberg Maritime’s analysis, will reduce fuel costs by more than half compared to a state-of-the-art vessel equipped with only conventional technology. Thus, offering an attractive solution for ship owners.

Oskar Levander concludes, “This project has been a real eye-opener. The combination of advanced technologies creates significant savings, making our new design a game-changer. With a short payback period of five years, this vessel represents a smart investment for ship owners looking to reduce costs and meet future compliance targets. At Kongsberg, we are committed to integrating the best technologies to drive the maritime industry towards a cleaner, more efficient future.”

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