PHASE I: Innovation Trends in Shipbuilding & Maritime industry
Shipbuilding has been one of the oldest yet one of the most competitive markets in the world. The shipbuilding industry has always made groundbreaking progress by constantly striving for innovation and evolution. Major trends like globalization and containerization have reshaped the industry and continue to present us with challenging changes even today. This dynamic environment creates a very interesting work setting, pushing the abilities of the employees to the limit and setting a high standard for future co-workers. As per the adage ‘Change is the only thing constant’, we can’t challenge but concur. Here we present to you, some of the newer technologies and practices that can change the world looks at the shipbuilding industry.
In recent years, shipyards have been starting to implement more of this concept. The conventional shipbuilding processes costs a lot of time that can be minimized with the concept of advanced outfitting.
Advanced outfitting concept involves assembling the outfit components like machinery, seating structures and piping etc. into a small unit, that is then fixed at the planned position in the hull block itself. Steel structure & outfit component units are developed at the same time rather than waiting to complete the erection the vessel hull before outfit components can be installed.
Shipyards who practice this innovative concept claim that building cycle time can be substantially reduced and save a tremendous amount of costs, other advantages can be found at http://www.marineinsight.com/marine/marine-news/headline/advantages-of-advanced-outfitting-shipbuilding/
For what is advance outfitting, see http://www.cnss.com.cn/html/2015/updates_0317/171194.html
Green ship technology & reducing carbon footprint
This is the biggest area for the innovation trends. From ultra efficient propeller designs, to no-ballast systems and efficient solar cell integration, it is undeniable that shipbuilding industry is constantly breaking through in terms of building the GREENest ship possible.
Going green for ship tech should be implemented in the long run, not just a fashion. The efficiency will prove to be great cost savers and environmental savers. And we are absolutely grateful for those who heavily invest in this area of R&D.
To make the ship to be sustainable and environmentally friendly, there are several ways to realize that. See figure below.
Reducing Energy Consumption and use of alternatives
The shipping industry as one of the most energy consumer, has high emission rates which lead to increase in pollution and on the other aspect loss of money. Several methods are developed to reduce the energy consumption and at the same time for the sustainable solutions. The most common solutions are based on the solar energy, wind power, alternative fuels correspondingly the hybrid technology. In addition, the designs to decrease the resistance of the ship are also important which the air lubrication may be given as an example.
Alternative energy encompasses all those things that do not consume fossil fuel. They are widely available and environment friendly. They cause little or almost no pollution. There have been several alternative energy projects running in various countries to reduce our dependence on traditional fossil fuels. There are many impressive options that you can take into consideration. Here in you will learn more about alternative energy sources that you can take into consideration.Compared with fossil fuel technologies, which are typically mechanized and capital intensive, the renewable energy industry is more labor-intensive. This means that, on average, more jobs are created for each unit of electricity generated from renewable sources than from fossil fuels. Following are some of the innovations using the most commonly available yet not effectively utilized natural resources which can prove to be the gold in the future.
- Wind Energy Devices
Wind represents a feasible resource or energy to be used as a primary and auxiliary propulsion source; extensive investigations are being performed in order to predict the power supplied by the wind; to do so, the wind propulsion might be classified in different categories such as: soft-sails, fixed sails, rotors, kites and turbine technologies.
- Soft Sails
Conventionally, the soft sails are used in racing yachts, however this technology can be incorporated into the industry as an auxiliary resource of power. There are various configurations which might be used on small vessels; however, the use of soft sails is not often implemented for large ships. Nevertheless, the current market trend is to make use of soft sails in large ships, as an example Seagate has patented soft sails to retrofit Ro-ro, container and car carries.
- Fixed Sails
Different geometries of fixed sails have been investigated, in general terms, a fixed sail is a rigid wing fixed to a mast. One important issue to take into account is that energy by sails is not storable; furthermore, innovative designs are being developed in order to reach a maximum optimization when the propulsive power is required.
- Flettner rotors
The Flettner rotor is a tall and wide spinning cylinder that when subjected to a wind flow from any direction creates a propulsion force perpendicular to the inflow of the wind. The reason why a spinning body in a moving fluid is creating a force can be explained by the Magnus effect.
- Kite Sails
A kite sail is a big kite connected via a wire to the bow of the ship. The kite fly much higher than other types of sail devices, and when the wind speed increases the flying height of the kite increases. The flying height is an important aspect to consider when evaluating the performance The wind direction is also important since the kite is only effective for wind heading from amidships and aft of the ship.
- Solar Energy Devices
Currently, solar panels are used to generate electrical power by several industries,the solar panels convert solar radiation into electricity; when several panels are interconnected, the amount of electrical power increases; however the required surfaces increases with the produces electricity. The output of power is influenced by extensive factors such as the temperature and the orientation angle is an example of the solar panel applications.
Besides the solar panels, other solar devices are being investigated; to exemplify this, the figure gıven below shows the “Rawlemon”, invented by Andre Broesse. The rawlemon is a spherical solar energy generator which acts as a lens by concentrating the solar radiation into one point where the radiation finds the solar cells. According to the inventor, “the rawlemon technology is about 35% more efficient compared with current solar panels” with the possibility to operate in cloudy conditions.
On the other hand the solar sails are another alternative design for green energy solutions. The vertical photovoltaic panels are meant to take on double duty, converting sunlight into electricity and serving as sails. The solar power could benefit on-board electric systems and batteries. And the wind power? Well, just how much the wind in these sails might push huge, heavy ships along Eco Marine Power doesn’t say. But they could help reduce drag when wind directions are unfavorable. The photovoltaic sails can also be set down flat while they continue to get some rays.
- Alternative Fuels
The main driver to the new types of fuels are the climate change which is a result of air pollution. The solution is to find clean energy sources or decreasing the fuel consumption. Today’s fuels in use are Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO), Marine diesel oil (MDO) Marine gas oil (MGO), low Sulphur fuel oils and fınally Liquefied natural gas (LNG) which is still under development.
LNG is popular nowadays since it has the advantage of low emissions of SOx and NOx gasses and less expensive than MGO. However, it requires more spaces for the storage tanks which leads to reduction in cargo capacity. The storage and transportation of this gas are more complicated and has a low flash point.
The potential fuels might be in use in the future are methanol, vegetable oils Biodiesel, Glycerol, Hydrogen and Electrofuels.
- Air Lubrication
The frictional resistance of the hull can be quite significantly reduced by the introduction of a thin layer of air pumped between hull and water. This provides fuel saving up to 15 percent.
There are two main variants of this idea;
- Air Cavity System : The technology was originally applied to custom newbuilds, where a cavity is designed along the length of the hull into which compressed air is pumped. A retrofit version has recently become available.
- Micro-Bubbles : In this variant, a stream of bubbles (rather than a single air cushion) is injected below the hull. While there has been significant progress around the technology in recent years, challenges remain, in particular how to ensure the air remains under the hull when the ship is rolling or pitching.
If you look at the global trends, the solar power, wind energy and etc., clean energy are more and more coming into use. In car industry, there is a significant trend that the electric cars are increasingly common. Wind is also popular nowadays, solar energy is also popular.
The utilization of wind and solar also exist in the maritime industry. The kite sail, rig sail, solar sail.
For the sustainability and environmental friendly, improved hull paint and air bubbles hull lubrication are applied which can reduce the friction of the water. Special designed ship body which doesn’t need ballast water will reduce the ecological problems towards the local species.
Think about global megatrends such as sustainability, resources efficiency and green technology. How these are linked to the future of shipbuilding and maritime industry?
Sustainability is the key to our survival on this planet and will also determine success on all levels. With the global trend making everyone turn towards low cost yet effective business strategies with innovation as the pivot point, small changes in the approaches can lead to large gains in the future.
- Reducing energy consumption
- Investing more on innovation and R&D
- Aligning the business strategies to meet societal needs
- Focusing more on environment friendly approach
- Resource efficiency
Resource efficiency is about doing more with less – creating more value with less impact.
In business terms, focusing on resource efficiency means process optimization to limit consumption of energy, water and materials and output of waste products. It also means business managers can apply a dollar value per unit of production metric to continually focus on economic savings as well as the environmental benefits that flow from a resource efficient approach to business. Resource efficiency is often a cheap and fast way to solve problems as
reducing waste will reduce the size and cost of any subsequent treatment process and/or disposal costs.
- Green technology
Like every aspect of modern life, shipping is focusing increasingly on a green image. Innovations are made each day that reduce the environmental footprint of ships. Improvements to the engines, better propeller performance and high-tech coatings, as well as friction-reducing air cushions and even skysails are reducing carbon and sulphur emissions. All of these advancements are only the start, as further specialized methods are pushing the maritime industry towards a green and environmentally friendly era.
What is the change in shipbuilding and maritime industry that you would like to see in the future?
Present your findings in your blog. You may add links, pictures and other visualizations.
The concepts above has many challenges, particularly when it comes to existing regulations. However, it will become more and more feasible along with the development of technologies.
What we would like to see in the future is that the application of the above methods will become cheaper and cheaper so these methods can be widely used in the marine industry. We hope it could be the path to a safe and sustainable future for shipping.
For more information about the ship building in the future, you can see the links below:
- 7 Technologies That Can Change The Future of Shipbuilding
- A sharkskin coating for ships, planes and blades
- Elomatic visualisation: NYK SUPER ECO SHIP 2030
- Cargo Ships Go Retro: Three New Projects To Clean Up Shipping With Sails
- RENEWABLE ENERGY OPTIONS FOR SHIPPING
- Green innovation in marine industry
- Greener Future of Maritime & Shipping Industry: Green Ship