Alfa Laval retrofitting LPG tanker

Company’s OceanGlide fluidic air lubrication system

Alfa Laval will supply its OceanGlide fluidic air lubrication system to retrofit a Kumiai Navigation LPG tanker. 

Alfa Laval said its OceanGlide offers a uniquely efficient and easy-to-install air lubrication solution, one that uses fluidic technology to generate an even, controllable air layer across a vessel’s entire flat bottom, reducing friction and drag. By decreasing the vessel’s resistance, OceanGlide offers a proven method for reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, the company said.

“In these challenging times, we recognize that reliable partners such as Alfa Laval, are needed to achieve our sustainability goals,” says Tomo Kuroyanagi, managing director, Kumiai Navigation. “We want to invest in green shipping practices to help us lower our power consumption and comply with upcoming environmental regulations. In this effort, OceanGlide fluidic air lubrication is currently one of the best available solutions that offer remarkable gains in improving vessel performance and meeting our environmental targets.”

A representation of Alfa Laval’s OceanGlide fluidic air lubrication system. (Image: Alfa Laval)

OceanGlide uses fluidic technology to create and control streamlined air layer sections on the vessel’s flat bottom, each with its own fluidic band. The independent steering of each band allows a more controlled airflow to reduce friction between the hull and water, the company said. These individually controlled sections serve to minimize drag and ensure maximum coverage, eliminating passive cavities along the vessel’s underside. Energy expenditure is minimized because there are few compressors and the bands add almost no drag when switched off. Air distribution bands are installed easily with minimal hull penetrations, which reduces shipyard time and costs, even as a retrofit.

OceanGlide is proven to reduce specific drag by 50–75% and can provide reliable fuel savings of up to 12% under real-life conditions, according to Alfa Laval. The actual amount of fuel savings achieved can vary depending on vessel operations & operator priorities. The technology also supports compliance with EEDI/ EEXI and CII requirements laid down by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“OceanGlide serves our goal of adopting advanced new sustainable technologies to remain competitive in this challenging market. We are excited to take advantage of the fluidic air lubrication technology to help us decarbonize and contribute towards our carbon reduction roadmap,” said Tomo from Kumiai Navigation.

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