The major Japanese shipping group Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) has come up with a new concept of how a ship might look like in 2050.
The concept of an emissionfree ship has been named the NYK Super Eco Ship 2050 and is part of the line’s Staying Ahead 2022 with Digitalisation and Green Management project. This plan incorporates the latest technologies and the line said “the design fits well the industry decarbonisation efforts aimed at halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.”
The concept ship has been developed as a 2050-model pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) in co-operation with MI and Elomatic, an engineering and consulting company in Finland.
The NYK Line said: “The power needed to operate the ship has been cut by 70 per cent by remodelling the hull to decrease water friction, reducing the weight of the hull, introducing fuel cells for electric propulsion, and relying on other highly efficient propulsion devices.
“Instead of fossil fuel, the ship would be powered by solar energy and hydrogen produced from renewable energy sources, all of which would lead to a reduction of CO2 by 100 per cent and thus result in a zero-emission vessel.”
The NYK Line said the main features of the concept:
■ HULL: The weight of the hull would be “reduced through a dynamic, mathematical design that uses lightweight materials for the superstructure. In addition, computercontrolled devices, such as gyro stabilisers, are installed to provide active stability for the lightweight vessel hull.
“An air-lubrication system is used to reduce the frictional resistance between the vessel’s bottom and the seawater by means of bubbles generated by supplying air to the ship’s bottom. 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 utilised.”
■ MAINTENANCE: This is “managed through use of digital twins, a technology that realises physical conditions digitally and enables real-time analysis from land offices, accident prevention and optimal maintenance.”
■ PORT AND CARGO HANDLING: The optimisation of route planning “is no longer a ship-level activity. It will be done at port and on a fleet level, which will enable justin- time arrival throughout the supply chain. Automatic mooring and efficient shipto- ship cargo handling will minimise port stays.”