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Shell and Silverstream successfully test ‘Air lubrication’

Graphic illustrating the Silverstream System Graphic illustrating the Silverstream System Silverstream

Silverstream Technologies and Shell have announced the successful trial of Silverstream’s new air lubrication technology, which the companies claim could deliver 5 per cent efficiency savings.

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The Silverstream System produces a thin layer of micro bubbles that creates an ‘air carpet’ for the flat bottom of the ship, reducing frictional resistance between the water and hull, and improving fuel efficiency.

Trials of the system, funded by Shell, have seen the 40,000DWT product tanker MT Amalienborg achieve up to a 4.3 per cent fuel saving, which was independently verified by Lloyd's Register’s Ship Performance Team.

“This is a landmark moment for Silverstream Technologies and the development of our air lubrication technology, confirming it as a current, and commercially viable solution for reducing fuel costs and emissions within the shipping industry,” said Noah Silberschmidt, CEO, Silverstream Technologies.

Energy efficiency savings of 4.3 per cent and 3.8 per cent were recorded in ballast and laden conditions respectively. However, Shell and Siverstream claim a fully optimised system could deliver 5 per cent savings when deployed on a full-bodied vessel with a large flat underside.

“Following this successful trial, we are confident that we can enhance the already significant savings that we have seen,” continued Mr Silberschmidt.

“We believe these results show that the Silverstream System can play a crucial role in supporting the shipping industry to increase operational and environmental efficiencies and reduce fuel costs.”

Silverstream says the technology can be added to a new build design, or retrofitted to an existing ship in 14 days, as was the case for the MT Amalienborg.

The vessel was also equipped with a BMT SMARTACCESS and SMARTVESSEL performance monitoring system to record data from the trial, and which will continue to monitor the system’s performance over the next 12 months. 

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