MOL fits a box ship with a windshield

SEPTEMBER 3, 2015 — Japan's Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) has started demonstration tests of a new windshield for containerships that, it says, has the potential to reduce wind resistance, save fuel, and reduce CO2 emissions.

The windshield has been installed on the bow of the MOL-operated containership MOL Marvel, and a demonstration test of its effectiveness in reducing CO2 emissions is under way.

With today's larger containerships, the height of the containers loaded on the decks has increased, subjecting the vessels to greater wind resistance.

MOL saw a need to address this issue in a cost-effective way.

Development of the new device began with wind tunnel testing of the bow's aerodynamic form. This led to the adoption of a horseshoe-shaped design that encloses the front line of the stacked containers to maximize the wind resistance-reducing effect while minimizing the weight of the main unit.

In addition, by setting the containers placed along the sides of the vessel behind the windshield at an oblique angle, the sides of the vessel will be more streamlined, further reducing wind resistance.

With those measures, MOL expects an annual average reduction of 2% in CO2 emissions, assuming the device is mounted on a 6,700 TEU containership plying the North Pacific Ocean route at speed of 17 knots.The new windshield has sufficient design strength to meet ClassNK rules on wave impact pressure and is also expected to protect ships from green water on the bow deck when sailing in bad weather.

MOL jointly developed the windshield with MOL Techno-Trade, Ouchi Ocean Consultant, Inc., shipbuilder Mitsui Zosen's Akishima Laboratory and the University of Tokyo. The project was backed by ClassNK's Joint R&D for Industry Program.

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