Towards new futures: a new way to calculate wave resistance could result in fewer emissions


Researchers from Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) and from the
National Technical University of Athens have developed a way to accurately
estimate the effect of waves on vessels’ performances in terms of speed and
fuel consumption. This revolutionary method, called the SHOPERA-NTUA-NTU-
MARIC (SNMM), could prove to be a helpful ally to plan more efficient shipping
routes, as well as to update the existing ISO standards.

The research was made to support IMO’s strategy to improve ships’ energy
efficiency, therefore reducing emissions. According to the results, this new
method could potentially reduce vessels’ fuel consumption and GHG emissions
by 5 to 10%. The new method has already been adopted by the ITTC as the
recommended procedure to analyse ships’ speed and power performance. This
is particularly interesting since, being the ITCC responsible for predicting the
hydrodynamic performance of ships, ITCC is also currently working on the
revision of the ISO 15016 to establish a new method to determine vessels’
speed and power performance.

The IMO as well has included it among its
official guidelines to assess the minimum propulsion power.
This method proves to be revolutionary since, instead of calculating the added
resistance of waves based on ships’ hulls information, which is often difficult to
obtain, relies instead on eight parameters such as the vessels’ length and width
or its loading conditions. The formula employed has been created starting from
a database of over 5,000 data points of resistance experienced by ships of
different types and sizes. Validation tests from the ITCC showed the high
accuracy of the new method.

This innovative approach could undoubtedly be a road-opener for the
development of new energy-efficient, less polluting ships and routes.