Ballast Free Ships

University of Michigan researchers are investigating a radical new design for cargo ships that would eliminate ballast tanks, the water-filled compartments that enable non-native creatures to sneak into the Great Lakes from overseas.

PhysOrg.com is reporting that an alternative to current and proposed tank cleaning methods.

Here’s an excerpt:

“In some ways, it’s more like a submarine than a surface ship,” Parsons said. “We’re opening part of the hull to the sea, creating a very slow flow through the trunks from bow to stern.

“You’re continuously sweeping water through the ship and out,” he said. “So you’re always filled with local sea water, not hauling water from one part of the world to the other.”

The U-M ballast-free ship concept was conceived in 2001 and patented in 2004. It is intended for new-vessel construction only.

The full PhysOrg.com post is here.

(Ed. note: My guess is that this system could be used for cooling as well. A special thanks to BitterEnd reader Cherei in San Antonio for point me to this post.)

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This post was written by Richard Rodriguez, Rescue Tug Captain, and US Coast Guard approved instructor for License Training. You can read more of his articles at the BitterEnd of the net.