New Tech Makes Su­per-Ship Eco­nom­i­cal And Prac­ti­cal

Science Illustrated - - SHIPS - CLAUS LUNAU

Huge pro­pel­ler ro­tates slowly

The pro­pel­lers of the largest con­tainer ves­sels are de­signed for low, eco­nom­i­cal speeds. This means that they are longer – the MSC Os­car's pro­pel­ler blades are 10.5 m long – and only ro­tate a few times per minute.

The MSC Os­car con­tainer ves­sel has more horse­power than 80 For­mula 1 rac­ers com­bined. But the pur­pose is not speed. The gi­ant is fine-tuned to pol­lute as lit­tle as pos­si­ble.

Tur­bocharger boosts the en­gine

The key to op­ti­mum fuel ef­fi­ciency is a mod­ern tur­bocharger, which uses the ex­haust gas to power a com­pres­sor, forc­ing more air into the cylin­der and boost­ing en­gine power.

Air pu­ri­fies ex­haust

Be­fore the ex­haust gas es­capes into the air, it is mixed with the en­gine in­take air and cooled. The sys­tem re­duces the emis­sions of harm­ful ni­tro­gen ox­ides, NO , by about 80 x per cent. Sul­phur is also “washed out” in a chem­i­cal process.

80,000 HP En­gine

The heart of the MSC Os­car is a 15-m-tall and 25-m- long, 80,000 HP diesel en­gine. A com­puter sys­tem con­tin­u­ously ad­justs the out­put ac­cord­ing to the weather. Cruis­ing speed: 42 km/h.

Reused heat saves CO

Mod­ern con­tainer ves­sels use heat re­cov­ery to gen­er­ate part of the elec­tric­ity aboard the ship. The en­gine ex­haust gas pow­ers a steam tur­bine linked with a gen­er­a­tor. The method re­duces the ves­sel's CO emis­sions by 9 %. 2


The MSC Os­car mea­sures 73 m from keel to nav­i­ga­tion bridge, 16 m of which are lo­cated un­der the wa­ter.

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