Wärtsilä to test air lubrication system in Maersk vessel
Wärtsilä said it will install Silverstream Technologies’ proprietary Air Lubrication System, the Silverstream® System, on a trial basis on a large container vessel owned by A.P. Moller – Maersk, the world’s largest container vessel operator. The trial will examine possible improvements to the ship’s overall efficiency, focusing on the reduction of fuel consumption and associated emission levels.
Silverstream’s Air Lubrication System creates a carpet of microbubbles that coat the entire flat bottom of the vessel. This carpet effectively reduces frictional resistance between the hull and the water. The technology works in all maritime conditions, is not weather dependent, and does not constrain or negatively impact the normal operational profile of the vessel.
Potential application for methanol-fueled vessel
The programme will have a special emphasis on its potential application for methanol-fueled Maersk vessels. The ultimate aim of all three companies is to support efforts to decarbonise shipping operations. The order was placed by Maersk in May 2021.
“We are delighted that A.P. Moller – Maersk is backing our market leading technology, which is proven to significantly improve operational efficiency and reduce associated greenhouse gas emissions. We also wish to thank Wärtsilä for their collaboration in the delivery of this integrated solution,” says Noah Silberschmidt, founder and CEO, Silverstream Technologies.
“Everything that we do today inevitably sets the future for coming generations, so we need to act in a positive way to ensure that decarbonising vessel propulsion is an effective priority for the industry. This is a view that is shared by Maersk, a company with whom we have worked closely for many years. Silverstream’s Air Lubrication System is an important stepping stone along this path,” says Bernd Bertram, vice president, Propulsion, Wärtsilä Marine Power.
The Wärtsilä / Silverstream equipment will be delivered during the second quarter of 2022.
Wärtsilä is an authorised sales and service partner for the system, which is fully integrated within the company’s propulsion portfolio. For newbuild vessels, air lubrication can notably improve compliance with the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI). The lubrication system has been proven to reduce fuel burn and associated emissions by 5% to 10%, depending on vessel type, according to Wärtsilä.