New Panamax Green Solution

Just because I’m a Conservative doesn’t mean I’m not in favor of green technology. The ones that work, I’m all for. Here’s one that might be able to cut the mustard.

Carbon Neutral Oil Tanker In The Works


covered in solar panels and using 20 high tech sails, this New Panamax tanker has 75% less carbon footprint

You may have heard that the Panama Canal is being enlarged. It’s a multi-year project that is well under way. A new set of locks, much larger than the original pair, is being built on both sides. The project seems to be running on time. These new locks will allow much bigger ships to transit Panama. One ship builder is using those new size constraints to design a far more efficient VLCC oil tanker, and while they’re at it they’re adding on everything they can find to add to that efficiency.

The smallest dimensions of the [current] locks are 110 ft (33.53 m) wide, 1,050 ft (320.04 m) long, and 85 ft (25.91 m) deep. Because of clearance issues, the usable sizes are somewhat smaller (for example, the maximum usable length of each lock chamber is about 1,000 ft (304.8 m). The maximum size of the ships that can transit the canal is known as the Panamax.
The new lock chambers will be 1,400 ft (426.72 m) long, by 180 ft (54.86 m) wide, and 60 ft (18.29 m) deep. They will use rolling gates instead of miter gates, which are used by the existing locks. Rolling gates are used in almost all existing locks with dimensions similar to those being proposed, and are a well-proven technology.

imageIn late August [2009], traffic jams at the Atlantic and Pacific entrances to the Panama Canal impeded a healthy chunk of the world’s maritime commerce. Each day, on average, more than 40 massive ships, many of them three times as long as a football field and piled high with cargo, rode at anchor in impromptu fleets that stretched across the horizon. On the Atlantic side, most of the ships carried grain from the American heartland, bound for markets in Asia; the vessels on the Pacific side from the Far East were jammed with cars and electronics destined for the U.S. East Coast. Some ships with daily operational costs of $40,000 waited as long as a week for passage.

Ninety-three years after it first opened for business, the Panama Canal is finally maxed out. Designed before the Titanic was even on drawing boards and while the Wright brothers were still learning to fly, the canal today handles more traffic than its builders could have ever imagined. About 14,000 vessels carrying 5 percent of the world’s ocean cargo—280 million tons—pass through the waterway each year. Despite running the canal around the clock—at close to 90 percent of its theoretical maximum capacity—canal officials are struggling to keep up.

A VLCC tanker is an oil tanker built to carry about 2 million barrels of oil. That turns out to be the largest practical size for these giant ships; a few ULCC ships have been built but they are too large for most waterways, including the English Channel. Crude oil is a liquid, and 2 million barrels worth is a fixed volume. The new locks on the Canal will allow ships to be built that carry that same volume, but in a longer, shallower, relatively slimmer hull design, and that immediately translates into increased efficiency, even with the same basic shaped hull. Use a modern high-tech super hull design, like the ones used on racing yachts, and the efficiency increases even more. Now use the latest generation of pod propulsion motors and you’ve got a huge ship that’s fast and nimble with significantly reduced operating costs. Want to go further? Cover the massive ship in solar panels, and stick on a couple of dozen super efficient dynawing sailmasts, and it not only produces a large part of the electricity needed to run those motors, it also uses the wind to help move the ship along. Lastly, install high efficiency engines that run on LNG to help run the generators, and put a set of scrubbers in the smokestacks. Bottom line: a faster tanker that sails across the world for a whole lot less time and cost, and produces only a fraction of the pollution that the current ones do. And that’s exactly what Sauter Carbon Offset Design came up with. Nice going. Now build one and prove your concept.

Richard Sauter of Sauter Carbon Offset Design released his design for the “solar hybrid supertanker” today. If the ship is ever built, you can bet that some big oil company will be using it to tout its “green” credentials in short order.

Sauter’s certified carbon offset projects are aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from super yachts and ships. His design team, Sauter Carbon Offset Design creates ships reducing greenhouse gas emissions down 50-100 percent by using all the technology available.

SCOD Presents Deliverance, a DynaWing Solar Hybrid Supertanker that qualifies as the Largest and by far the Greenest Post Panamax Vessel to be built and as such is the most Economical form of Crude Oil Transport to and from any part of the Globe.

To reduce fuel consumption and GHG emissions by up to 75% this superior fluid dynamic Emax Supertanker obtains half of her power from LNG and the other half from the latest advances in Solar and Wind Power Technology.

The Emax Deliverance is a 2 million barrel 330,000dwt Supertanker designed specifically for the newly enlarged locks of the Panama Canal which will accommodate vessels that have a maximum length of 426m, a beam of 54m and a draft of 18 meters.

Being longer, narrower and having less draft than previous 2 million barrel VLCC’s, the hull of the Deliverance produces less drag which in conjunction with twin CRP Hybrid Propulsion Pods reduces fuel consumption and GHG emissions by 35%. An additional 20 to 30% reduction is achieved her 5,000 sq. meter
DynaWing Boom Furling sails and another 15 to 20% reduction by her Solbian Solar Power generating array. The realization of up to a 75% reduction is made possible by Mitsubishi’s Bubble Hull and Wartsila’s Coded Hybrid power system.

Generally speaking the total power requirement for a conventional 330,000dwt Supertanker is 30MWs.By comparison the total power requirement for the advanced 330,000dwt Emax Solar Hybrid Supertanker is 20MWs; 10MWs from LNG, 10MWs from the Sun and Wind.

Nice. Even when the sails are furled, the material that they’re made from will work as Fresnel lenses to concentrate light on the solar panels, making them that much more efficient. And lest you think this is all some kind of daydream, it isn’t. It’s pretty much built using off the shelf parts. The ‘bubble hull’ already exists. So do the engines, the solar panels, and the propulsion pods. Even the high tech Dynawing thing is proven tech - it’s the kind of sail used on the latest America’s Cup racing yachts.


The Dynawing design gives the same amount of thrust as a more conventional sail on a mast 25% taller. Shorter means sturdier, and sturdier means cheaper in the long run. But with 20 of these on the Deliverance, totaling half a million square meters of sail area, what it really means is quite a lot of thrust that took no fuel whatsoever to create. Sailboats don’t have exhaust fumes.

Roll it all up and you’ve got a supertanker that can save as much fuel cost in 4 years of operation as it took to build the ship in the first place. Which means it pays for itself, even if the thing cost 15% more than regular ships to build. And with a 25 year lifespan, that means 3 million tons less CO2 in the atmosphere. Nice. Why pollute if you don’t need to?

Posted by Drew458    United States   on 12/05/2011 at 11:31 AM   
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