MHI verifies air lubrication system

04 Oct 2012
'Ferry Naminoue'

'Ferry Naminoue'

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd (MHI) has installed its its first Mitsubishi Air Lubrication System (MALS) on a ferry and has verified its effectiveness in saving energy and reducing carbon dioxide.

The verification experiment was carried out using 8,072gt Ferry Naminoue, a ship owned by Japan’s A-Line Ferry Company, measuring 145m in length and with a design draught of 6.2m. During the trials at sea, fuel consumption improvement exceeded 5% even with waves of 2.5m to 3m height.

In order to fight global warming in marine transportation, the MALS technology reduces frictional resistance between the ship hull and seawater by introducing a layer of air bubbles blown from the ship’s bottom. The bubbles, which act as a cushion, also reduce noise and vibration, enabling improvements in passenger comfort.

In 2010, MALS was installed for the first time on two module carriers operated by NYK-Hinode Line. The experiment results carried out on the Yamatai, the Yamato and the Ferry Naminoue confirmed that Mitsubishi’s technology offers the potential to reduce fuel consumption and reduce environmental problems.

Following these successful trials, the company has expanded the system so it is applicable to high-speed, slender ships.

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Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Marine Machinery & Engine Co

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