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Old 02-17-2010, 10:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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High seas hypermiling: even giant ships are doing it (slowing way down to save fuel)

Read an interesting article today: hypermiling for ships (Hypernauticalmiling? Hyperknotting?)

Slow Trip Across Sea Aids Profit and Environment
(NY Times)

Quote:
It took more than a month for the container ship Ebba Maersk to steam from Germany to Guangdong, China, where it unloaded cargo on a recent Friday — a week longer than it did two years ago.

But for the owner, the Danish shipping giant Maersk, that counts as progress.


Article goes on to describe how the Maersk ship line has made a concerted effort to slow down, anticipating both emissions regulations and rising fuel prices:

Quote:
By halving its top cruising speed over the last two years, Maersk cut fuel consumption on major routes by as much as 30 percent, greatly reducing costs. But the company also achieved an equal cut in the ships’ emissions of greenhouse gases.
The fuel savings more than make up for the additional crew hours of a longer journey.

The hard part, not surprisingly, has been working with its clients to present slower shipping as a positive thing in an age where "faster! faster!" is the rallying cry of global consumer culture.

Quote:
In what reads as a commentary on modern life, Maersk advises in its corporate client presentation, “Going at full throttle is economically and ecologically questionable.”
The obvious answer is to bring tiered shipping prices to, well the shipping world - similar to how we pay the post office or courier companies different rates depending on how fast we want our package delivered. And that's what they're doing.

One interesting tidbit to me is that in addition to "slow steaming" (20 knots instead of 24-25), Maersk is also trying “super slow steaming”, which is 12 knots (13.8 mph).

12 knots is the speed of a big sailing ship with a decent sailing rig in moderate wind. Makes you wonder what contingency plans they're mulling over in the Maersk boardroom.

Full article: Slow Trip Across Sea Aids Profit and Environment - NYTimes.com

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Old 02-17-2010, 11:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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This? SkySails-Home en
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Old 02-17-2010, 11:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah, it's a first step.

http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...ight=sky+sails

But that's like a mild hybrid system.

With their 12 knot "super slow steaming" target speed, they could drive the ship 100% by wind.
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Old 02-17-2010, 02:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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A few years ago I wanted to transport a bike across a large distance. I was in no hurry, so even 3 months was OK. I was hoping for some lowspeed, eco transport, but the only options were fast air and express air. I asked three different companies.

I know Maersk isn't exactly the company to transport one bike, but if I had 30 containers of bikes, then it's good to know I have an eco option.
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Old 02-17-2010, 07:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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An interesting thread.
There must be a huge number of times when a shipment has to get to a place but the time factor is virtually immaterial...and the savings i shipping costs can more than make up for costs of having that inventory sitting on the boat for the extra time.

The ideal concept of JIT (Just In Time) inventory management has driven this to a large extent despite the number of times it actually fails miserably in the real world.

Hopefully we will see some common sense returning some time soon.

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Old 02-17-2010, 08:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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the speed a nonplaining hull can move through the water is a funtion of lenth. the bow and stern wake form a wave train the longer the distance beteen the peaks the faster the train can move. as you approach the maximum speed for the lenth of the boat the power requirements curves up sharply. by backing off slightly from max hullspeed power requirements drops sharply. Back off even more and power required vs speed is prety liner. This is independent of hull width as a wider hull will need more power for every speed compaired to a slim hull.
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Old 02-18-2010, 02:48 AM   #7 (permalink)
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30% and of that ship size.
I wonder what the gallons number is.

I instantly thought of a lobster boat I worked on, the gas v8 was very common, the boats aren't meant to go fast anyway. The boat I was on had a large 6 cyl diesel, a bit too big , in fact the boat failed in the middle where it was mounted..but the fuel savings was gigantic...all while having torque numbers at 1/3 of the rpms and over double that of the gas engine.

things arent smart in alot of things. I could only imagine when it is not smart with 85000 tons and a giant ridiculous leaning inline wobbling diesel...
I chuckled at what a gigantic flat engine would do in a big boat like that.
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Old 02-18-2010, 07:10 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Old 02-18-2010, 05:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I've often wondered why ships must go full speed and why anyone would want ships to go faster. It is literally exponential the amount of fuel it takes to go the next highest speed and needless to say a direct cost on the price to ship.

A massive ship can see massive savings all the way down to about 4 knots because of the size and shape. Might be worth using 1/8 the fuel? Especially when you are talking many tens of thousands of gallons.

If it isn't perishable, slower is the way to go.
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Old 02-18-2010, 08:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The bean counters will take everything into consideration, and they will calculate the correct speed to travel for maximum profit.

Going faster uses more fuel, but: you can do the same job with fewer ships if you go faster, which saves on labor as well, and goods at sea aren't doing any good. Also, slowing down may mean someone has $100M of inventory tied up in cargo containers.

One place where slowing down makes lots of sense is oil tankers in slow economic times. We probably have more tankers than we need right now, and oil inventories are high, so slowing down should cost very little and save a lot.

It's good of Maersk to run these trials, which gather better data for the bean counters.

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