JAPANESE PROJECT APPLIES AIRCRAFT TECHNOLOGY TO WIND ASSISTANCE

Aug 4, 2022 | Maritime & emissions research news

Four Japanese organisations, Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), MOL Tech-Trade, (MOLTT), Tokai University and Akishima Laboratories Mitsui Zosen have announced an agreement to start a joint study related to wind powered propulsion of vessels by application of aerospace engineering technologies.

MOL, MOLTT, and Akishima Laboratories (Mitsui Zosen) have moved ahead with the adoption of the jointly developed ISHIN (Innovations in Sustainability backed by Historically proven, INtegrated technologies) ship design, which potentially reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by various means including the possibility of using wind as propulsive force. Now they will implement more advanced joint development aimed at optimising the hull shape for wind-powered vessels, adopting aerospace engineering technologies in the ISHIN ship design, in collaboration with Dr Kota Fukuda, Associate Professor at the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Tokai University, Japan.

Application of ISHIN ship design principles are estimated to reduce GHG emissions by about 5% on the Asia-North America route, but technologies accumulated in aerospace engineering are expected to achieve a reduction of more than 12%.

The MOL Group has set a target of achieving group-wide net zero emissions by 2050, intending to proactively move ahead with technological development and social implementation to reduce GHG emissions from its vessels with concerted effort throughout the group, and meet customer and social needs to reduce the environmental impact of its business activities.

Dr Fukuda and his group have carried out fluid dynamics research on examination of flow phenomena around rockets and aircrafts, development of high-performance solar vehicles and solar unmanned aircraft, and further application of their simulation technology to the medical field. Through this joint study, they will expand their research fields to ship engineering and ocean-going vessel development.

The study has been selected for the Japan Ship Machinery and Equipment Association (JSMEA) 2022 new product development subsidy programme, and efforts are underway to commercialise the R&D results with support from The Nippon Foundation.

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