NYK Unveils Zero-Emission Pure Car and Truck Carrier Concept

NYK Super Eco Ship 2050
NYK Super Eco Ship 2050

Japanese shipping company NYK has unveiled plans for a zero-emission Pure Car and Truck Carrier (PCTC) that could help the group achieve its long-term decarbonization goals.

The conceptual design, which NYK calls the Super Eco Ship 2050, builds on its previous concept ship the NYK Super Eco Ship 2030, unveiled in 2009, but with an updated design that makes use of advances in technology over the last decade.

The NYK Super Eco Ship 2050 is designed as a 2050-model PCTC. According to NYK, the concept would only require 70% of the power needed to operate compared to a conventional PCTC thanks to an optimized hull to decrease water friction, reduced weight, and fuel cells for electric propulsion. Instead of fossil fuels, power for the ship would come from solar energy and hydrogen produced from renewable energy sources, all of which would lead to a reduction of CO2 by 100 percent, thereby resulting in a zero-emission vessel, NYK says.

Details of the concept ship’s main features provided by NYK are below:

NYK Super Eco Ship 2050

Hull

The weight of the hull is reduced by optimization through a dynamic, mathematical design that uses lightweight materials for the superstructure. In addition, computer-controlled devices, such as gyro stabilizers, are installed to provide active stability for the lightweight vessel hull.

An air-lubrication system effectively reduces the frictional resistance between the vessel’s bottom and the seawater by means of bubbles generated by supplying air to the vessel’s bottom. And automatic hull cleaning during port stays prevents any negative impact on vessel efficiency.

Finally, propulsion efficiency is increased by replacing conventional propellers with flapping foils that mimic the movements of dolphins.

Energy

The ship is powered by hydrogen fuel cells produced from renewable energy sources. Waste heat recovered from the fuel cells is also used. On long voyages, solar power can be utilized.

Maintenance

Maintenance is managed through use of digital twins, a technology that realizes physical conditions digitally and enables real-time analyses from land offices, accident prevention, and optimal maintenance.

Port and Cargo Handling

Optimization of route planning is no longer a ship-level activity. It will be done at port and on a fleet level, which will enable just-in-time arrival throughout the supply chain. Automatic mooring and efficient ship-to-ship cargo handling will minimize port stays.