I recently wrote an article about a hybrid propulsion system for cargo ships which used giant sails along with traditional diesel engines. International transport via shipping is very popular, and also very polluting. The hybrid design, using diesel engines and wind power, managed to reduce fuel consumption by 30%; a decent amount, and one which could reduce shipping costs, potentially reducing the price of many imported goods.
However a group of engineers, from Gamma Light and Heavy Industries Ltd. claim that they have discovered a new method of powering large freighters, which uses a series of diesel engines strategically placed along the ship. This new method can reduce normal fuel consumption by 75%, and obviously brings with it the equivalent decrease in carbon emissions.
Instead of placing the diesel engines at the rear of the ship, as is the case normally, the Gamma Propulsion System positions sets of diesel electric units down the side of the vessel for its entire length. This allows much greater efficiency in the application of thrust from the engines to manoeuvre the ship. It means that a ship that traditionally needed 4,000 horsepower can now use just 1,000 horsepower to achieve the same speeds (the 75% fuel consumption decrease). This vast reduction in the number of engines will also lead to savings in capital expenditure on the engines themselves, and the general maintenance on the fewer engines.
Gamma Light and Heavy Industries Ltd. are now in the process of creating an 80 metre ship fitted with its propulsion system in order to test the design further.
The Gamma Propulsion System has a great advantage in that it can be easily retrofitted to existing ships.
Now it would be interesting to see if combing the giant sails, along with this propulsion system could increase the efficiency of the ship even more.
By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com
James Burgess studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham. He has worked in property development, chartered surveying, marketing, law, and accounts. He has also…