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WHAT IS AIR LUBRICATION?

Air Lubrication (AL) targets a reduction in frictional resistance and as such the mechanism by which it operates is fundamentally different to that of many other enviro-efficiency devices. AL targets an augmentation of the interaction between seawater and the hull by ‘diluting’ local sea water viscosity with the injection of compressed air bubbles.

 

AIR LUBRICATION SYSTEMS

Simply explained, an air lubrication system is a method used to reduce the resistance between the ship’s hull and seawater by using air bubbles. The air bubble distribution across the hull’s surface reduces the resistance working on the ship’s hull, thereby allowing the vessel to sail through seawater with lower resistance.

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LEVERAGING PASSIVE PHYSICAL PHENOMENA

The microbubble carpet generated by Armada Technologies cuts fuel burn and associated emissions by up to 12%, depending on a vessel type and operating profile. The system does not constrain or negatively impact the normal operational profile of the vessel.

FOR NEWBUILDS AND RETROFITS

We believe the cleanest energy is the energy you never use: retrofitting existing ships with emission reducing and fuel saving technology can extend the service life of currently operating vessels - negating the need to scrap and manufacture new fleets to meet emissions goals. 

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RADICAL BY DESIGN

THE KEY PRINCIPALS BY WHICH THE ATL SYSTEM IMPROVES ON CURRENT STATE OF THE ART ARE OUTLINED BELOW

  • Two stage bubble generation – i) nanobubble generation and ii) microbubble generation together enable the full optimisation of system output to efficiently reduce friction resistance through sea water displacement and boundary layer shear stress reduction.

  • Bubble generation mechanism – the passive vs. active nature in which air bubbles are generated and as a result the fundamental control of homogenised bubble characteristics.

  • Bubble Entrainment – inboard injection of bubbles, and the nature in which air:water mixture is introduced to the hull boundary layer drives enhanced functionality to maximise the area available for lubrication.

  • System automation – the control by which air bubbles are generated and how this expands the range of operable lubrication speeds.

  • Nanobubbles are electrochemically active and as such have slime reducing properties – installation of an Armada ALS will not only reduce frictional resistance through boundary layer aeration, but also limit the impact of slime development on the hull external surface; improving the long term performance of hull coatings in the process.

RECOGNISED BY THE IMO

Our technology provides assurance: air lubrication is an advocated clean technology recognised under the IMO’s Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) for newbuilds. Furthermore, air lubrication will also be one of the key means for current vessels to improve their efficiency rating on the IMO’s impending Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) – a commercial requirement as decarbonisation targets tighten.

REACH YOUR GOALS

Given that water friction can account for up to 85% of a hull’s total resistance [Ridley/Patterson, 2014], an AL system installation offers a prospective ship owner a reduction in requisite power to achieve an ordered speed, achieve a higher speed for a specified power, or some combination of both these benefits – in either case a dramatic reduction in fuel consumption and associated environmental impact from operations can be enjoyed.