Thursday, April 1, 2010

Massive Fuel Savings Possible For Container, Bulk And Ferry Shipping

New Technique Makes 15% Fuel Oil Reduction A Reality
Shipping News Feature

UK – IRELAND – After extensive trials of biodiesel, reduced sulphur fuels and a host of engine management techniques a small Irish ferry company have discovered a technique to reduce fuel costs for any type of vessel. Magadh Ferries who operate sailings from Athlone to Rugeley were trialling their latest vessel RoRo ferry Aprilone when a problem with the vessels drive systems meant she had to steam the 90 miles home in reverse.

At the Athlone ferry terminal the vessel refuelled but to the skippers surprise took notably less fuel on board than he had expected. The company have since run the ferry for the past three weeks solely sailing backward and have reported savings in excess of 15% and local fisherman have repeated the feat with similar results.

Scientists Dr Finn DiToute and Professors Dewitte Cleverly have been investigating the phenomenon at the Department of Physical Engineering in Doncaster and concluded that the effect would translate to any vessel no matter her size or specification.

“The principles of aqua dynamics and the effects of cavitation combine to produce more thrust when a vessel is moving backwards.” said Prof. Cleverly, “Much as we find aircraft with forward mounted propellers are more efficient than those originally designed with ‘pusher’ blades, like the Wright brothers original design, so too a vessel being pulled through the water produces more torque from its drive system than one which is trying to push its mass forward.”

The scientists concluded that eventually all ships may be constructed with the reversed propeller systems mounted under the bows which would further increase efficiency.

“This effect produces savings which simply cannot be ignored,” said Capt. Dougal of the Aprilone, “We shall continue to sail the route backwards from now on.”