The Finnish technology group Wärtsilä in cooperation with Silverstream Technologies will install Silverstream’s proprietary Air Lubrication System, the Silverstream System, on a trial basis, at an A.P. Moller - Maersk owned container vessel.
The trial will examine possible improvements to the ship’s overall efficiency, focusing on the reduction of Maersk's carbon footprint.
In particular, Silverstream’s Air Lubrication System creates a carpet of microbubbles that covers the entire flat bottom of the vessel. This carpet reduces frictional resistance between the hull and the water, and therefore fuel consumption and associated emission levels.
Furthermore, 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, according to the Wärtsilä, which said that emphasis will be given on the potential application of the System for methanol-fuelled Maersk vessels.
"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," stated the Vice President, Propulsion at Wärtsilä Marine Power, Bernd Bertram.
The Wärtsilä / Silverstream equipment which was ordered by the Danish shipping giant during the previous May is expected to be delivered by the second quarter of 2022.
Wärtsilä is an authorised sales and service partner for the system which has been proven to reduce fuel burn and associated emissions by 5-10%, depending on the vessel type.
Additionally, for newbuild ships, air lubrication can notably improve compliance with the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), according to a statement.