Finland’s technology group Wärtsilä, Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN) and Italian shipowner Grimaldi have designed an energy saving device (ESD) that can be used by ships with controllable pitch propellers (CPPs).

Following model tests, and subsequent sea trials with Grimaldi’s Grande Portogallo, a 165-meter-long pure car & truck carrier (PCTC), fuel efficiency gains of 3.5 percent were confirmed.

As explained, this translates into a payback period of only 1.3 years.

“The initial noon reports suggest a 5 percent decrease in the fuel consumption, but in order to get a more realistic value we need to record a wider range of data,” according to Grimaldi.

The work was carried out as part of the LeanShips project, under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 framework project for research and innovation. LeanShips aims at demonstrating the effectiveness and reliability of technologies that offer energy savings and emission reductions on a large scale.

The result of the development work is a pre-swirl Stator, an energy saving solution, that for the first time ever was demonstrated to be suitable for use with CPPs. LeanShips was a four-year project and was completed in April 2019.

“This represents a major breakthrough in making ships with controllable pitch propellers more efficient, and therefore less polluting. We have earlier established some energy savings for ships with controllable pitch propellers, and now this new technology has been extended in line with the objectives of the LeanShips project,” Dario Bocchetti, Corporate Energy Saving Manager, Grimaldi Group, commented.

Wärtsilä and MARIN were earlier involved in the GRIP project, funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework program, which designed and optimized ESDs for ships fitted with fixed pitch propellers (FPPs). This resulted in full-scale demonstrations that achieved a nearly 7 percent reduction in the required power of a bulk carrier vessel.

Learn more about the LeanShips project in the video below:

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