With ship owners seeking practical and cost-effective tools to facilitate compliance with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Carbon Intensity Index (CII) and Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI), a new solution from ERMA FIRST promises to boost CII and EEXI performance by reducing fuel consumption and emissions.
ERMA FIRST FLEXCAP is an energy saving device (ESD) that builds on the proven capabilities of propeller boss cap fins to optimise maritime efficiency and sustainability. By enabling fins to catch and absorb the rotating water force, the solution weakens the propeller hub vortex, reduces torque and means more energy can be channelled back into the propulsion drive train as thrust.
The resultant increase in propulsive efficiency can yield fuel savings of two to five per cent, which translates into operational cost savings and a relatively quick return on investment. Crucially, ERMA FIRST FLEXCAP also achieves a reduction in ship greenhouse gas emissions and improves CII and EEXI performance.
Konstantinos Stampedakis, ERMA FIRST Co-Founder and Managing Director, said: “Meeting the IMO’s long-term emissions-reduction targets will rely on a range of solutions including alternative fuels and optimised vessel design, but as a practical and cost-effective means of achieving regulatory compliance, ESDs also have a major part to play. ERMA FIRST FLEXCAP is easy to install, maintain and repair and facilitates significant reductions in fuel consumption and emissions. It is a breakthrough in maritime ESDs.”
Thanks to its modular design, ERMA FIRST FLEXCAP is easy to adjust or upgrade in line with changing conditions and evolving requirements, making it a future-proof solution that supports long-term sustainability. Provided the vessel can be sufficiently trimmed, the technology can be installed while the ship is afloat. Alternatively, installation can be carried out while the vessel is at sea using underwater services. Once fitted, the only maintenance the solution needs is polishing during routine cleaning intervals.
Made from nickel-aluminium bronze, the same metallic alloy used for many propellers, ERMA FIRST FLEXCAP is highly durable and can even extend the service life of the propeller by reducing cavitation. It can also be deployed to minimise propeller-induced noise and vibrations, which are thought to have a negative impact on marine life.
The launch of FLEXCAP reflects ERMA FIRST’s commitment to supporting the shipping industry’s green transition and decarbonisation journey by diversifying and expanding its product range. Specialising in ballast water treatment systems, the company also launched an alternative maritime power solution, BLUE CONNECT, in August 2022.
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