Airglide Air Lubrication Systems




Air Lubrication Systems from Shipwright LLC are tailor-made and customized for vessels specific needs using world-class, leading-edge computational fluid dynamics software. Airglide designs are tested, calibrated, optimized, and verified in Shipwright’s proprietary, full-scale Boundary Layer Test Lab before deployment to your vessel.

Air lubrication systems that create a layer of air bubbles below a ship’s hull are rapidly gaining popularity within the global maritime community and for good reason realization of real-world, in-service, operational fuel reductions of up to 6%.

John Dixon, P.E., MBA, USCG Master, Chief Technologist, Shipwright, said that they are very excited about our new Boundary Layer Testing Lab — we can now test, calibrate, optimize, and verify ALS designs before installation on a client’s ship.

Verifiable designs

The air bubble lubrication phenomenon cannot be tested in traditional ship model tow tanks for several reasons related to non-scaling physics.  For example, air bubble formation and shape are subject to the non-scaling mechanics of surface tension.  Another example is the turbulence mechanism by which those bubbles reduce viscous drag within the boundary layer which also doesn’t scale.  Without scalable empirical data, ALS designers have been forced to base their designs on CFD theory alone before shipboard installation.

Traditional ALS design has forced the ship owner to make a leap of faith in going from CFD design to full-scale installation.  There has just been no way to generate accurate empirical data to substantiate the design or the anticipated operational, real-world results.

With the launch of Shipwright’s purpose-built, proprietary Boundary Layer Test Lab, Shipwright is now the only ALS designer that can provide empirical validation prior to fleet deployment.  BLT Lab development and testing of ALS systems allows ship owners to receive verifiable designs.

Verifiable results

Once an ALS system is installed on a ship and in operation, collecting ship data to measure performance gains in the desired 2–10% improvement range of a typical ALS installation is extremely difficult.  Changing ship speeds and headings, sea states, wind direction and velocity, auxiliary loads, and hull and propeller fouling — all these factors and more result in enormous amounts of extraneous noise that overwhelms the relevant performance data.

Travis Hunsucker, Hydrodynamicist, Shipwright, said that they are blazing new trails at Shipwright — accurate and relevant big data analysis is an important emerging capability for the maritime industry.

Once installed and in operation, Airglide™ systems are verified with computational big data analysis by our industry-leading in-house scientists, engineers, and programmers.

The team

The team at Shipwright includes published, world-renowned scientific experts on big data analysis.  They have the education, training, experience, tools, and capability to filter and process this data for accurate and precise performance monitoring providing their customer with verifiable results.

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Source: Shipwright


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