Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Container Shipping Giant Comes Up With a Windshield for Box Vessels

So Why Haven't We Thought of This Before?
Shipping News Feature

JAPAN – With today's larger containerships, the height of the containers loaded on their decks has naturally increased thereby increasing the wind resistance of the vessels. Japanese shipping giant Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), and a group of industry research and development firms has recognised the need to address this issue in a cost-effective way by developing and now testing a new windshield for containerships, which has the potential to reduce wind resistance, save fuel, and reduce CO2 emissions.

Developed in coordination with MOL Techno-Trade, Ouchi Ocean Consultant, Akishima Laboratory (Mitsui Zosen), and the University of Tokyo, the project was backed by the ‘Joint R&D for Industry Programme’, in which classification society Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK) promotes wide-ranging R&D activities in cooperation with industry, government and academia. The resultant new windshield was installed on the bow of the MOL-operated containership MOL Marvel, and a demonstration test of its effectiveness in reducing CO2emissions is currently under way.

Development of the new device began with an examination of the bow's aerodynamic form through wind tunnel testing. This led to the adoption of a horseshoe-shaped design, which encloses the front line of the stacked containers to maximise the wind resistance-reducing effect while minimising the weight of the main unit. The new windshield has enough design strength to meet the ClassNK rules concerning wave impact pressure, a key requirement. In addition, by obliquely setting the containers placed along the sides of the vessel behind the windshield, the sides of the vessel will be more streamlined, further reducing wind resistance.

With those measures, MOL expects an annual average reduction of 2% in CO2emissions, assuming the device is mounted on a 6,700 TEU containership plying the North Pacific Ocean route at speed of 17 knots. The new windshield is also expected to protect ships from green water on the bow deck when sailing in bad weather.

To realise its goal of ‘solid growth through innovative changes’ stated in the midterm management plan STEER FOR 2020, the MOL Group has worked to develop next-generation vessel concepts to reduce environmental impact through the Senpaku ISHIN project. The MOL Group says its ongoing efforts to develop and refine various green technologies are designed specifically to contribute to environmental improvements by reducing CO2emissions from vessels.