Marine Performance Systems introduces Fluidical:

Fluidic Air Lubrication

introducing fluidical

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.

How FluidicAL works?

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.

Benefits

Profitable and sustainable

  • Yearly fuel savings of 10-20%, net 8-12%
  • 3 times less emissions (CO2, NOx, SOx)
  • Significant reduction of fouling
  • Payback period less than 3 years
  • Expected lifecycle of three dry-dockings (approx. 15 years)

Turnkey solution

  • Turnkey solution, ensuring integration
  • Controlled by artificial intelligence
  • Proven, award-winning technology
  • Minimal structural modifications to the hull
  • Built with standard components only: no recertification required
  • Integrates with onboard systems
  • Does not interfere with other systems

Installation worldwide

  • Installed at shipyards worldwide
  • Retrofittable to existing ships
  • Installation within typical dry-docking period
  • Upgradable in-between dry-docking and can be serviced at port

Real life results?

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.

Fluidic Air Lubrication vs existing solutions

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.

Excellent stability
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.

FluidicAL

Current AL

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

Get a quick assessment

Do you want to know what you can save?
Enter the vessel's details and we will contact you.

Operating profile:
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Our commitment

We committed ourselves to six guiding criteria while developing The MPS Fluidic Air Lubrication System:

  • Air lubrication technology should be a central part of the solution as reducing the drag of the ship will have a big impact on fuel consumption and emissions.
  • The solution should be future proof and flexible in response to the transition of the industry and the rapid technology development of green technologies and fuel types.
  • We will apply smart technology, enabling proprietary data collection and big data analysis to the benefit of the shipowner.
  • The installation should be feasible within the timeframe of a typical dry-docking period, only require minimum structural modifications, and be done by a shipyard of the choice of the shipowner.
  • The environmental footprint of the solution should be kept to a minimum. Therefore we will use recyclable materials when possible.
  • The business case should represent a payback period of less than three years to enable shipowners to optimize a larger share of their existing fleet.