Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) today announced a new system that improves the stability of damaged ships, reducing the risk of capsizing. The newly patented system, called the “Righting Moment Recovery System”, was proprietarily developed by MHI in 2009 following the strengthening of SOLAS regulations on ship stability primarily for vessels such as RO/RO ships, pure car and truck carriers (PCTC) and ferries.
If a ship’s hull is damaged, the Righting Moment Recovery System enables the quick transfer of seawater into voided spaces located in the bottom of the ship’s hull, thus reducing the risk capsizing by lowering the ship’s center of gravity while at the same time increasing the vessels righting momentum.
The system makes use of the voided spaces typically allocated to other functions such fin stabilizer rooms, duct keels and ballast water tanks, and therefor does not sacrifice vehicle carrying capacity. In fact, MHI insists that system eliminates the need to divide the vehicle deck area into small compartments as a result of the strengthened regulations and facilitates smoother vehicle maneuvering within the ship.
MHI says that it is focusing its marketing activities to attract new orders for the system from high-end shipowners and one order has already been placed by Japan’s Nippon Shipping Co. The order calls for a 170-meter-long RO/RO capable of carrying about 170 trailer chassis and 100 passenger cars. The vessel will MHI’s Shimonoseki Shipyard & Machinery Works and is slated for delivery in March 2013.
MHI hopes that this, along with two other promising technologies the company is rolling out, will contribute to expansion of MHI’s engineering business for both new ships and the conversion of existing ships. The two other technologies include “Mitsubishi Air Lubrication System” (MALS) and a proprietary ballast water treatment system.