LeanShips project with Wärtsilä and partners achieves 3.5% fuel savings

Source: press release, 18 June 2019

The LeanShips project – a European Union Horizon 2020 framework project for research and innovation
The LeanShips project – a European Union Horizon 2020 framework project for research and innovation (photo: LeanShips/Wärtsilä)

The technology group Wärtsilä, the Netherlands based Maritime Research Institute MARIN and Italian ship owner Grimaldi, have together successfully designed an energy saving device (ESD), suitable for use by ships with controllable pitch propellers (CPPs). Following model tests, and subsequent sea trials with Grimaldi’s Grande Portogallo, a 165-metre long Pure Car & Truck Carrier, fuel efficiency gains of 3.5% were confirmed. This translates into a pay-back period of only 1.3 years. According to Grimaldi, “The initial noon reports suggest a 5% decrease in the fuel consumption, but in order to get a more realistic value we need to record a wider range of data.”

The work was carried out as part of the LeanShips project, under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 framework project for research and innovation. LeanShips aims at demonstrating the effectiveness and reliability of technologies that offer energy savings and emission reductions on a large scale. The result of the development work is a pre-swirl Stator, an energy saving solution, that for the first time ever was demonstrated to be suitable for use with CPPs. LeanShips was a 4-year project and was completed in April 2019.

“This represents a major breakthrough in making ships with controllable pitch propellers more efficient, and therefore less polluting. We have earlier established some energy savings for ships with controllable pitch propellers, and now this new technology has been extended in line with the objectives of the LeanShips project,” says Dario Bocchetti, Corporate Energy Saving Manager, Grimaldi Group.

“Wärtsilä continues to collaborate with strategic partners to create greater efficiencies that enable both cost savings and better environmental performance. The Energy Saving Device developed through the Leanships project is one more example of successful collaboration that results in substantial customer benefits,” says Lars Anderson, Director, Propulsion, Wärtsilä Marine.

Wärtsilä and MARIN were earlier involved in the GRIP project, funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework programme, which successfully designed and optimised ESDs for ships fitted with Fixed Pitch Propellers (FPPs). This resulted in full-scale demonstrations that achieved a nearly 7 percent reduction in the required power of a bulk carrier vessel. LeanShips was the natural next step in the path towards meaningful reductions in energy consumption and exhaust emissions by shipping.

The completed programme showcases a successfully demonstrated case regarding design, installation, strength and load resistance, which fulfils the purpose of achieving efficiency improvement.