Fluidic air lubrication system first
Alfa Laval has announced the completion of its acquisition of Marine Performance Systems BV (MPS), a Rotterdam-based maritime technology company that has developed the first fluidic air lubrication system on the market. The move will enable Alfa Laval to bring this environment-friendly technology to market, contributing significantly towards improving ship efficiency, reducing fuel consumption, and minimising emissions from ships.
A ship’s friction when sailing is the most significant driver of its fuel consumption, representing up to 60% of a vessel’s operating expenditures. The advanced fluidic air lubrication system from MPS combines fluidics and air lubrication technologies to offer significant reductions in the ship’s friction when sailing. The system is unique in its use of fluidics to generate micro air bubbles with a high degree of control, maintaining an air layer that covers the full flat bottom area of the vessel for maximum effectiveness. The reduction of frictional resistance working on the ship’s hull results in reduced fuel consumption.
“By adding air lubrication system into our portfolio, we are thrilled to further expand our offering of energy-efficient and sustainable solutions to our customers,” says Anders Lindmark, Business Unit President Heat & Gas Systems, Alfa Laval. “Since 2021, we have been closely supporting the development of MPS’s air lubrication technology and we are impressed with the performance of the fluidic air lubrication systems, we have installed on board vessels.”
With its ability to provide shipowners with numerous benefits in one solution, the fluidic air lubrication technology is expected to have a significant impact on shipping decarbonisation. By reducing the friction, air lubrication not only supports emission abatement but provides substantial fuel cost savings and improvement in overall ship efficiency, at a vessel’s normal service speed and a payback period below three years.
The patented FluidicAL system requires no structural modifications or vessel recertification, which makes it ideal for retrofitting as well as for newbuilds. Having a minimal footprint and maximum flexibility, the system can be configured and optimised to the specific vessel’s design and operational profile, ensuring seamless integration with existing onboard technology.