Released in November 2009
Consistently ahead of the times, MOL has realized many ideas such as a revolutionary- wind pressure reducing car carrier design and Japan’s first car carrier with solar power panels, both significantly before the competition.
As a new century dawned, car carrier design entered an era of maximizing stowage space to move as many vehicles as possible. Ships began to resemble seagoing multistory parking garages.
Naturally, a car carrier shaped like a building has considerable wind resistance, which creates "leeway," a drift leeward of the course being steered. Leeway reduces fuel efficiency. MOL turned its attention to this issue, and created a new ship design that greatly reduces leeway by aerodynamically rounded the bow, which is most affected by wind pressure, based on analysis of wind tunnel testing data.
In 2003, MOL launched the first car carrier based on this design, the Courageous Ace. It proved to be faster and more energy efficient than conventional car carriers, showing 5% to 8% improvements in fuel efficiency in actual voyages. The higher speed also helps stabilize sailing schedules, further enhancing service quality.
The Courageous Ace received "Ship of the Year 2003" award in Japan. The ship design type was registered in 2004, and patented in Japan and South Korea in 2006.
Since the launch of the Courageous Ace, all of MOL’s newbuilding car carriers feature the same rounded bow design. We continue to add other technologies to ensure ongoing performance improvements.
Capacity (small passenger cars): 6,400 units
Capacity (small passenger cars): 6,400 units
MOL has always used its ingenuity in various ways to improve operational efficiency and protect the environment, and in 2006 launched the Euphony Ace, an "eco-ship" that sets the pace in environmental performance.
Main features of the Euphony Ace.
MOL’s car carriers should be called a reservoir of innovative technologies.
On the next page, we show our proposals for future car carriers, a compilation of existing technologies that we should be able to realize within five years.
It is obvious from looking at car carriers, which have much taller hulls than other ships, that they are very susceptible to winds. This phenomenon, called leeway, makes a ship drift to leeward of the course being steered due to the force of the wind. Both theoretical tests and practical experiments have proven that water resistance increases drastically if the vessel drifts leeward due to side winds.
A leeway study was conducted on an actual vessel, the Neptune Ace in November 2001. In 2002, MOL reported research data to academia on decreased hull water resistance resulting from less leeway per crosswind force. The study indicated the potential for a 4-5% reduction in leeway by beveling along the bow line. After a vessel featuring this design was launched, in-service tests showed nearly twice the anticipated effect. Our studies prove that wind not only affects wind resistance, but water resistance as well.
The Euphony Ace, like the Courageous Ace launched in 2003, has an aerodynamically rounded bow to help reduce pressure from headwinds. The vessel has a cargo space (garage deck) on upper deck to maximize loading capacity, and wind channels along the upper sides to help the ship maintain a straight course. This increases fuel efficiency and saves energy. It also shows a corresponding decrease in CO2, NOx, and SOx emissions as well as higher service speed.
All new vessels are required to have double-hull fuel tank structure as of 2010, but MOL took the initiative to adopt it in 2004. This prevents leakage of fuel into the sea in case an accident breaches the hull.
Heat-insulating paint was applied to the deck because the top of a car carrier gets quite hot. The paint lowers the surface temperature from 80℃ to 40℃, improving comfort and operating efficiency of loading and unloading operations inside the ship.
The solar power panels produce 10kw, enough to power 10 typical households.
They supply electricity for lighting on the cargo decks.
This is world’s first use of solar panels on a car carrier, which has a wide upper deck.
After this, solar panel output was increased to 20kw when the Swift Ace was launched in May 2008. We are still testing these systems to confirm that they can perform reliably at sea, where they are exposed to potentially damaging salt water and severe vibration. As their performance is verified, we will equip vessels with practical, large-scale solar power systems.
Electricity consumption is decreased by about 80% by replacing 60w incandescent light bulbs with 12w power-saving bulbs.
Food scraps generated onboard are treated in a disposal system to produce compost, which is supplied to a company that recycles it to produce bacterial and organic fertilizer.
Tree oil, a bio-catalyst extracted from thinned timber, is sprayed into exhaust gas to capture particulate matter in filters, resulting in cleaner emissions.
In addition, the funnel that emits exhaust gas is placed on the port side of the car carrier.
This keeps the funnel as far as from the pier as possible, because car carriers are normally berthed with the starboard side to the pier.
The vessel is equipped with Propeller Boss Cap Fins (PBCF), boosting fuel efficiency by 5% by converting the hub vortex generated when screw propellers rotate in the water into propulsion energy.
The PBCF was developed by a consortium led by an MOL Group company. It can be installed on screw propellers of any type and on any kind of ship. In 2011, more than 2,000 PBCFs have been ordered from around the world. Currently, the PBCF has been patented in 13 nations, and has received awards from the Japan Institute of Marine Engineering and the Society of Naval Architects of Japan, and the excellent energy-saving equipment award from the Japan Machinery Federation. What’s more, a worldwide research institute has validated its 5% energy-saving effects.
MOL vessels reflect constant innovation. Always looking for the next de...
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