Marine Performance Systems introduces:

Fluidic Air Lubrication

WATCH OUR ANIMATION

Introduced in march 2020, Fluidic Air Lubrication by MPS is the most advanced and most efficient technology for air lubrication in the market. It delivers the highest potential savings and reduction of emissions, controlled by artificial intelligence. Your ships will glide almost frictionless through the water on a layer of millions of air bubbles. By retrofitting your fleet you can immediately start saving fuel costs, lower your emissions and reduce fouling. Expected fuel cost reduction: up to 20%.

How it works?

MPS Fluidic Air Lubrication works on the principle of generating air bubbles underneath a ship’s hull, to reduce friction or drag while sailing.

These are injected directly into the boundary layer between the ship’s skin and the water. The solution physically consists of a wing shaped band attached to the ship’s hull that transports compressed air from 1 - 2 onboard compressors. The air is supplied to oscillators that generate and inject the air bubbles into the boundary layer. The system can be monitored and managed from the bridge. Every installation is tailored to the configuration and operations of the specific ship.

80 million ball bearings
The core technology of the MPS Fluidic Air Lubrication is our patented technology, that combines air lubrication principles with fluidic technology, to generate a stream of accurately sized bubbles that are injected evenly into the boundary layer underneath the flat bottom of a ship. Fluidic technology is more than 50 years old and is highly reliable, using fluid dynamics to control fluid flows without employing moving parts. The patented fluidic element used by us is an oscillator that generates periodic pulses of air which form bubbles when passing through an ‘aerator‘ surface with holes. Each of the oscillators generates up to 30,000 micro air bubbles or 80 million of these ‘ball bearings’ underneath an Aframax Tanker per second.

Upgrading and life cycle
The system can be upgraded and is able to collect operating data for continuous performance analysis using artificial intelligence. The designed life cycle of the bands is 3 dry-docking periods or approximately 15 years, where the ship would enter into dry-dock every five years for scheduled maintenance, allowing us to upgrade the oscillators and refurbish the bands, if required.

Benefits

Profitable and sustainable

  • yearly fuel savings up to 20%
  • 3 times less emissions (CO2, NOx, SOx)
  • significant reduction of fouling
  • ROI around 2 years
  • expected lifecycle of three dry-dockings (approx. 15 years)

Turnkey technology

  • turnkey solution: no training needed
  • controlled by artificial intelligence
  • proven, award-winning technology
  • minimal structural modifications to the hull
  • build with standard components only: no recertification required
  • integrates with other technologies for higher efficiency
  • does not interfere with other systems

Installed worldwide

  • installed at most shipyards worldwide
  • retrofittable to 65% of existing ships
  • installation within typical dry-docking
  • upgradable in-between dry-docking and can be serviced at port

Why Air Lubrication?

The current generation of ships is far more efficient than past generations. This is good and it will help the industry evolve towards green shipping. But to meet global emission reduction goals, the current fleet needs to evolve as well. Because 91,000 vessels cannot be replaced overnight.
As you know, fuel costs represent as much as 50-60% of total ship operating costs. To minimize costs, many ship owners opt for the lowest grade bunker fuel, which is the most polluting. How can greener shipping be achieved? How can it remain profitable?

The problem of complexity
This is a complex problem. To become compliant, existing ships will have to be retrofitted.New technology needs to be integrated into the existing infrastructure onboard. But future developments in technology, regulation, fuel price and industry are uncertain. Which technology to choose?

Solving the dilemma
The only profitable way out of the dilemma is to significantly save fuel. Reduction of the friction of the ship is the area where the highest efficiency can be gained. A ship’s resistance when moving through the water is made up of multiple components, where frictional resistance is the most dominant. When injecting air into the turbulent boundary layer, frictional resistance of the hull reduces. Simultaneously, the living conditions of microorganisms changes, reducing the build-up of fouling. Both will result in much less fuel consumption, much less emissions, and much less operating costs.

Fluidic Air Lubrication vs 1st generation

Our solution is a significant improvement over first generation air lubrication technology.

Firstly, MPS Fluidic Air Lubrication 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 8 in 1st generation systems. In the opinion of marine experts, MPS Fluidic 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.

Excellent stability
Secondly, 1st generation systems inject air through multiple slots, orifices or ‘chests’. This often leads to a very uneven distribution of the air, which reduces the AL 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 garantees high stability during operation.

MPS Fluidic AL

1st generation AL

INJECTION DIRECTLY INTO THE BOUNDARY LAYER

injection through multiple devices

UP TO 50% MORE ENERGY EFFICIËNT

uneven distribution reduces AL effect

1-2 COMPRESSORS PER SHIP

8 compressors per ship

HIGH STABILITY

difficult to control when the ship rolls or ‘drifts’

Our commitment

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

  • Air lubrication technology should be an 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 in combination with artificial intelligence.
  • The installation should be feasible within the timeframe of a typical dry-docking period, only require minimum structural modifications, and by a shipyard of the choice of the ship owner.
  • The environmental footprint of the solution should be kept to a minimum. Therefore we will use only recyclable materials.
  • The business case should represent a return on investment of less than three years to enable shipowners to optimize a larger share of their existing fleet.