Hull and Propeller Optimisation

Last Updated: Apr 2012

Current trials

Gamma Light & Heavy Industries Ltd. in April 2012 introduced a new invention called The Gamma Propulsion System (TGPS) - a completely new method of propelling ships that is said to use about 25% of the energy consumed compared to using a traditional unshrouded propeller, while maintaining the same performance.

Commercial Diving Services in Australia has developed a Hull Surface Treatment (HST) concept using a paint-free thermal shock technology.

The US Navy started testing a silicone-based hull coating in 2009 as part of its Naval Sea Systems Command's Fleet Readiness Research & Development Program (FRR&DP) Underwater Hull Coatings initiative. It expected that applying the coating to 70 ships could save $12.6 million in annual fuel costs.

An anti-fouling slow release paint using copper acrylic and a proprietary polymer compound has been tested by Nippon Paint Marine Coatings and the company says it will improve fuel efficiency by 4%.

Propulsion Dynamics has hundreds of ships in long term contracts for its CASPER service (hull resistance management) with a number of shipping companies, including Norden Tankers, Teekay Tankers, and Seaspan Ship Management.

DK Group says the Air Cavity System (ACS) Retrofit can be fitted in a dry dock and in most ship and repair yards in just 14 days.

NYK and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries have announced a collaboration on an air-lubrication system.

Kongsberg Maritime and Becker Marine Systems launched a support tool in May 2011 designed to enable more efficient use of propellers and rudders during Dynamic Positioning (DP) operations.


Costs vary depending on the technology used and the dry dock time required for modifications or an increased hull/propeller cleaning frequency. With fuel oil bunker costs at around $450 per tonne in the middle of 2010, each percentage point of daily fuel savings can equate to approximately 0.5 tonnes of fuel (and a reduction of 2 tonnes of CO2), or $225 per ship per day in reduced fuel costs.

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