The Future in Ship Design

This new ship will run on old tennis shoes and baby diapers

This new ship will run on old tennis shoes and baby diapers

We’ve seen multiple designs of late for  ferries, cargo and container ships, and yachts focused on lower fuel consumption.  What is driving these new designs?  Economics…pure and simple.  The Emma Maersk

Running at her rated 80 Mw, her main engines burn 14 tons of residual fuel each hour. Annually, that’s 97,400 tons of fuel. Her auxiliaries, delivering their full 30 Mw, burn an additional 6.6 tons/hour, for a total fuel burn of 20.6 tons/hour. Given 290 steaming days/year (80% capacity factor, which is conservative), this yields a total annual usage of 143,400 tons or about $64.5 million in annual fuel costs.

Burning 20.6 tons/hour = 6724 gals/hour. At 31 kts/hour, this equals .0046 nautical miles/gallon. At 6076 ft/nautical mile, that’s 28 feet/gallon of fuel burned.

The latest from Det Norske Veritas (DNV) is Quantum, a new concept design for container ships to be realized in the next 3-5 years. DNV’s calculations suggest that “the total cost of the system including capital expenditure, operating expenditure and fuel cost will decrease by 14 per cent and the total CO2 emissions will be reduced by 35 per cent.” The key to the design is a dual fuel liquid natural gas and diesel system.

Dr. M (1720 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, created to facilitate research to address fundamental questions in evolutionary science. He has conducted deep-sea research for 11 years and published over 40 papers in the area. He has participated in dozens of expeditions taking him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses mainly on marine systems and particularly the biology of body size, biodiversity, and energy flow. He focuses often on deep-sea systems as a natural test of the consequences of energy limitation on biological systems. He is the author and chief editor of Deep-Sea News, a popular deep-sea themed blog, rated the number one ocean blog on the web and winner of numerous awards. Craig’s popular writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

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