At the beginning of the Newcastlemax newbuilding project in October 2013, Oldendorff proposed to the builders that we would like to develop the design of the vessel together with their designers. Three top Chinese shipyards; Jiangsu Yangzijiang (4), Taizhou CATIC (7) and Hantong (3) agreed to our proposal. It is unusual for three different shipyards to agree to build a new design developed with the Owner. Our target was to develop the most economical Newcastlemax in the market.
In total, 14 x eco 208,000 TDW Newcastlmax bulk carriers were ordered at the three shipyards. Three vessels were sold, Oldendorff will take delivery of 11 new eco Newcastlemaxes from China. The first two vessels “Hille Oldendorff” and “Helga Oldendorff” have recently been delivered to us and we are beginning to gather speed and consumption data with promising results.
It was agreed that the hull development would be carried out by Oldendorff together with the shipyards designer MARIC (Marine Design and Research Institute of China). MARIC is one of the biggest design and research institutes for merchant ships in China. MARIC was founded in Shanghai in 1950 and has developed standard and specialized vessels of all types and sizes. From the first day, our relationship with MARIC was professional and productive; we received prompt and professional replies to our proposals and have appreciated the excellent cooperation with this institute.
The first and most important step in developing an economical design is the hull lines development. As Oldendorff does not have sufficient resources in computational fluid dynamics (CFD), we worked together with SVA in Potsdam. SVA is one of the leading tank test institutes in Germany, founded in 1953. CFD is a branch of fluid mechanics that uses numerical analysis and algorithms to analyze fluid flows.
Extensive CFD calculations were made to optimize the bow shape and the aft ship of the Newcastlemax vessels. We discussed the best results of our CFD calculations with MARIC, weighing the resistance reduction against deadweight loss to find the optimal design. After selecting the optimized design, a model was built to carry out the first tank test with a stock propeller.
Tank Testing of 208,000 TDW Newcastlemaxbulk carrier hull design at Maric’s test basin in China
Model fitted with a Becker Mewis Duct and Rudder Bulb for Testing
The next step was the design of the optimal propeller. The selection of the final propeller was based on the future operation profile of the vessels. We know that most ship designs are based on the contract point, i.e. design draft and design speed. As the Owner, we selected the propeller based on the expected operational profile of the vessels (i.e. a reduced speed and best performance at expected laden and ballast drafts). The next tank tests were carried out with the optimal designed propeller with and without energy saving devices.
After testing different energy saving devices, we selected the combination of a Becker Mewis Duct and a Rudder Bulb. The Becker Mewis Duct and the rudder bulb are power-saving devices providing fuel savings and reduced greenhouse gasses. The Mewis Duct enhances the flow of water to the propeller to increase thrust. The rudder bulb is an additional power saving device which changes the hub vortex to streamline the water flow behind the propeller.
Parallel to the propeller development we have selected the best main engine considering SMCR power, rpm and tuning mode. All of the steps taken to optimize the performance of the vessel have shown that a reduction of fuel consumption of about 10 % compared to the initial standard design should be possible.
Optimizing a vessel design is a highly sophisticated task requiring a high degree of practical experience, theoretical knowledge, and testing. We found that the intended operation profile has a major influence in optimizing the final design of a vessel.