Friday, September 11, 2009

MOL Completes Concept for Next-Generation Vessels

New design revealed for greener ships
Shipping News Feature

JAPAN – Mitsui O.S.K. Lines yesterday announced that the company has formed the concept for its next-generation vessels, which will be technically practical in the near future, by building on and refining technologies it has already developed and adopted.

The first is an environment-friendly car carrier. MOL continues to work on concepts for other next-generation vessels such as ferries, bulkships, tankers, and containerships.

MOL has named the first concept: Car Carrier “ISHIN-I (ishin one),” which stands for “Innovations in Sustainability backed by Historically proven, INtegrated technologies.”

The new vessels features are as follows:

While in port, and during loading and unloading the ship will achieve zero CO2 emissions. This will be achieved by the use of large-capacity solar-power panels and rechargeable batteries.

Whilst under way it is planned that the vessel will reduce CO2 emissions by 41% over existing designs. As bigger vessels are constructed this figure will rise to 50% against comparable ships.

These emission cuts are possible due to revolutionary concepts that Mitsui O.S.K. is developing in combination with the solar-assisted energy systems. MOL envisages the use of improved hull designs and a thermal exhaust trap so that heat that would normally be vented, can be reused by the vessel.

In addition, the company are exploring the use of a contra-rotating propeller drive system. With this a pair of propellers are placed facing each other at the stern. The propellers share the burden of powering the ship and spin in opposite directions, allowing the rear propeller to absorb the rotation energy of the front propeller. As a result, the system greatly increases efficiency, especially when combined with ultra-low friction ship bottom paint that is being developed.