With an aging short-sea and general cargo fleet, and new rules and legislation pushing for a more sustainable and greener industry it is time to reconsider traditional designs and make our new vessels future proof. The main challenge of our current and future designs lies in the ever increasing speed of technological development and innovation. How can we design a vessel today that will be able to adapt to future developments?
Often vessels are built for a lifespan of approximately 20 years or more and, although many elements onboard can be changed, the backbone of the vessel: her hull shape will remain mostly the same. It is for this reason that optimizing the vessels hull shape in an early stage of the design process will pay itself back during her operational life span. At DEKC a lot of effort has gone in to utilizing parametric hull optimization; a method of determining the most optimal hull shape based on pre-set parameters by using numerical computer models and running the results through a digital basin in our CFD software. In most cases, the optimum hull shape will cause minimal resistance through the water and thus minimal fuel consumption, increasing the vessels performance by 20%.
Optimization of new designs does not stop at the hull of the vessel; new insights and design tools allow us to optimize the holds for specific trades or increase deadweight without compromising on other aspects of the design. It is about optimizing a vessel for her intended trade and route, taking new norms and regulations in to account and creating the most efficient and effective vessel for the owners, operators and crew.
Another topic to take in to consideration is the future of marine fuels. The industry knows that diesel will not last forever as the primary source of power on a ship, but no one knows exactly which direction to look for an alternative. At DEKC we are therefore developing a concept for a modular engine room, or power pack, that can easily be swapped out for a unit running on a different source of power. Weather it is hydrogen, ammonia or electricity; this way, a vessel designed today can start its life running on diesel, and once an alternative source of power is available the power pack can simply be swapped out for a new one.
All of the above-mentioned solutions come together in the latest General Cargo Designs. These in-house designed vessels are optimized for their specific trades and purposes, ranging from a highly functional and efficient workhorse the EcoTrader with 5200ton deadweight whilst remaining under 3000gt, to the FutureTrader with similar capacity and an additional modular and exchangeable powerpack/engine room. Other optimized designs range from 6000 ton to >8000ton deadweight.
Do you want to know more about the new General Cargo designs, or how DEKC can help optimize your new design? Contact us for more information.