Air lubrication system being tested by A.P. Moller-Maersk

By Jack Burke07 October 2021

System creates a carpet of microbubbles to decrease friction

Wärtsilä, in cooperation with Silverstream Technologies, will install Silverstream’s proprietary air lubrication system on a trial basis on a large container vessel owned by A.P. Moller - Maersk, the world’s largest container vessel operator.

The trial will examine possible improvements to the ship’s overall efficiency, focusing on the reduction of fuel consumption and associated emission levels.

The program will have a special emphasis on the potential application of the System for methanol-fueled Maersk vessels. The ultimate aim of all three companies is to support efforts to decarbonize shipping operations.

Wärtsilä to install Silverstream’s air lubrication system on trial basis to reduce Maersk container ship’s carbon footprint.

Silverstream’s system creates a carpet of microbubbles that coat the entire flat bottom of the vessel. This carpet is designed to reduce frictional resistance between the hull and the water. 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, the companies said in a news release.

“We are delighted that A.P. Moller - Maersk is backing our market leading technology, which is proven to significantly improve operational efficiency and reduce associated greenhouse gas emissions. We also wish to thank Wärtsilä for their collaboration in the delivery of this integrated solution,” said Noah Silberschmidt, Founder & CEO, Silverstream Technologies.

The Wärtsilä / Silverstream equipment will be delivered during the second quarter of 2022.

Wärtsilä is an authorized sales and service partner for the system, which is fully integrated within the company’s propulsion portfolio. For newbuild vessels, air lubrication can notably improve compliance with the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI). The System has been proven to reduce fuel burn and associated emissions by five to ten percent, depending on vessel type.

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