FutureShip’s hull design optimization results in significant fuel savings

Mike Schuler
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January 13, 2011

12. Jan. 2011 | Hamburg – A series of 9,000 TEU container ships were significantly improved by simple hull design adjustments made by the joint venture between the Chinese design office Maric and Germanischer Lloyd’s subsidiary, FutureShip. Shipowners Schulte Group (Germany) and Costamare Inc. (Greece) had requested the design of the series of vessels reviewed in order to optimize the vessel’s efficiency. As a result of the optimization, it was found that a smaller main engine can be installed than originally anticipated, reducing the fuel consumption by more than 10 %. CO2 emissions are also cut by more than 90 tonnes per day as a result.

FutureShip’s optimization procedure generated 15,000 different hull designs and evaluated them numerically. The evaluation was based on computational fluid dynamics, where the flow around the ship is simulated electronically in order to determine the required propulsion power.

The most efficient design was tested against a base model, performed in December at the Hamburg Ship Model Basin (HSVA), and it was found the optimized model had a significantly lower total resistance than the base design.  The initial cost of optimization can be written within a few days of operation for a fleet of six ships.

FutureShip is specialized in developing and fine-tuning ship hull forms. The consulting and engineering company, a subsidiary of Germanischer Lloyd (GL), systematically models, varies and analyzes many hundreds or thousands of ship designs in an automated process based on a unique parametric approach. Together with the shipowner’s team, key objectives and constraints are identified. FutureShip sets up formal optimizations to explore the design space and to exploit promising options. Finally, FutureShip advises in choosing the best hull form and follows or carries out the associated tank testing. The company offers systematic and formal hydrodynamic optimization of hull, systematic and formal hydrodynamic optimization of appendages and surface and skin friction reduction.

The 9,000 TEU container ship series will be built in China, delivery of the first ship is scheduled for 2013.

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