Our advanced Fluidic Air Lubrication solution, FluidicAL, offers Shipowners a proven method to reduce the EEXI rating of their fleet. FluidicAL reduces the friction between the vessel's hull and the surrounding water by 50% - 70%. This translates into speed flexibility and/or significantly reduced CO2 emissions and fuel costs by typically net 8-12% with a 2-3 years’ payback period.
Ecologic and business logic!
FluidicAL represents the first fluidic air lubrication solution for Shipping and is patented worldwide, and aligned with EU's Green Deal and three of the UN sustainable development goals: SDG#9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure; SDG#14 - Life below water, and; SDG#15 - Life above water.
FluidicAL was awarded the EU Seal of Excellence in 2019 and received in 2020 the Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Label.
FludicAL creates and maintains underneath a vessel an air layer of 240,000 thousands micro air bubbles per second, covering the largest area of any solution in existence.
FluidicAL works on the principle of creating and maintaining an air layer underneath the ship’s hull to reduce the friction, when sailing, between the ship’s hull and surrounding water.
In the design of FluidicAL, the MPS team set three parameters for success.
First, the micro air bubbles have to be generated using less compressors to avoid savings being consumed by running a myriad of compressors.
Second, the air layer has to cover the full flat bottom area for maximum efficiency of the air layer and the highest friction reduction.
Third, the quality and persistence of the air layer must be controlled as the natural movements of the vessel will result in air losses that must quickly be regenerated.
FluidicAL has successfully resolved all three parameters:
First, FluidicAL uses a patented combination of Fluidic oscillators to generate up to 240,000 micro air bubbles per second per running meter, or approx 80 million air bubbles per second underneath an Aframax tanker, using typically only 1-2 compressors.
Second, FluidicAL is designed as a wing-shaped band that injects the precise amount of micro air bubbles to generate a 4-5 mm air layer under the vessel. The bands are non-invasive and are installed as add-on to the hull, typically 2-5 bands, covering the full flat bottom.
Third, FluidicAL is able to control each band individually. This enables the system to continuously optimise the air layer for maximum efficiency. In case the air layer is completely lost, FluidicAL is able to regenerate the air layer in under 15 seconds.
Profitable and sustainable
Taking charge of the environmental impact
As the manager of Tharsis Sea-River Shipping, Jan Albert Bosma runs a typical captain-owner business, engaging in single-vessel trade between the Netherlands, Germany and the UK.
His cargo vessel M/V Tharsis has an edge that is anything but typical: fluidic air lubrication from Marine Performance Systems. With demonstrated net fuel savings of 7–10%, the technology is good for Bosma’s business today – and is facilitating plans for a green future.
Proof in real-life percentages
Indeed, since it was installed on the Tharsis in 2020, the fluidic air lubrication system has lived up to its fuel-saving promise and has only grown stronger over time.
“We see the results that we’ve measured ourselves – and you always want to see for yourself,” Bosma says. “The savings in real life vary, depending on the sailing profile, the vessel’s speed and the weather circumstances. So we’ve had trials with 7–9% savings, and we’ve had savings over 15%. Life’s not ideal, so you can’t get 15% on a daily basis. But we average between 7% and 10%, which is definitely in the range Marine Performance Systems claims.”
The simple strength of fluidicaL
The difference compared to most air lubrication, Bosma says, is the simplicity. “Some air lubrication systems are quite complicated, requiring a completely flat bottom and considerable changes. The advantage of this system is its simplicity. On a newbuild, you could build it in and you wouldn’t even find it – that’s how simple it is. For us as a retrofit, I think it took four or five days to install, and there’s nothing we have to do under the vessel to maintain it.”The only profitable way out of the dilemma is to significantly reduce fuel consumption. Reduction of the friction of the ship is the area where the highest efficiency can be gained.
FluidicAL is a significant improvement to air lubrication technology.
Firstly, MPS Fluidic Air Lubrication, #FluidicAL, is far more energy efficient (up to 50%), by injecting the air bubbles directly into the boundary layer. Only 1-2 compressors are required, versus up to 8-10 in current systems. In the opinion of marine experts, Air Lubrication is currently the single most efficient technology that can deliver the highest potential savings and environmental benefit with the least amount of modifications. And FluidicAL can deliver on that potential.
Secondly, existing systems inject air through multiple slots, orifices or sea chests. This often leads to a very uneven distribution of the air, which reduces the air lubrication effect and leads to air losses. These designs are inherently unstable and difficult to control, when the ship rolls or ‘drifts’. MPS Fluidic Air Lubrication is designed for high stability during operation.
Requires typically 1-2 compressors in total
injection from the bow, using 6-10 compressors
Covers the full flat bottom area
uneven air distribution reduces overall effect
controls the air layer quality and persistence
Cannot control the air layer or persistency
Dsigned to be installed within days in dry dock
Requires significant modifications to the hull
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We committed ourselves to six guiding criteria while developing The MPS Fluidic Air Lubrication System: