Completed Projects (FY 2009)

List of projects completed by MTI in FY 2009

Ship-Operating Technology: Environmental Conservation & Energy-Saving

Measurement of onboard power consumption

For one year, we measured the power consumption of individual devices on board PCC and containerships. Based on those measurements, we simulated various power-generation arrangements on PCC and learned that we could reduce the ship's total energy consumption 0.5% by using the most ideal arrangement of power-generating and power-consuming devices.

Development of a performance monitoring system for ships

We developed a system called "SIMS" iShip Information Management Systemj that enables real-time monitoring of a vessel's performance (vessel speed, fuel consumption, etc.) on a PC. And we developed both ends of the system to allow monitoring both shipside and shoreside.

Onboard testing of a ballast water management system

We conducted onboard testing of the ballast water management system manufactured by JFE Engineering. We collected all the data required for final approval from G9 and type approval from G8. And finally we were accepted by G9 at MEPC60 in March 2010. Additionally, we received type approval from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (Marine Bureau) on May 26, 2010.

Performance evaluation at sea of energy-saving devices (MT-FAST* and bow thruster cover) for vessels

We evaluated the performance of MT-FAST by using the monitoring system called FUELNAVI (please refer to FUELNAVI). We conducted the tests to prove efficiency during actual sea voyages by two identical vessels, one with the energy-saving devices and one without. *MT-FAST: This is a pre-swirl stator-type device that is attached to a ship's hull just forward of the propeller to improve the flow of water around the propeller and thus improve the function of the propeller.

Studies in the reduction of wind resistance

First, we brainstormed ideas for above-water ship forms that might lower a vessel's wind resistance. We then evaluated these ideas with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and wind-tunnel tests. The results showed that we can reduce the wind-resistance index by 20%, which translates into reduced fuel consumption: 1% for a PCC and 1.7% for a containership.

Studies in the performance of the Contra-Rotating Propeller (CRP*)

We evaluated the performance of the CRP by varying the output rates of the two propellers, and the data we collected should be valuable for further development. *CRP: A transmission system that drives two propellers rotating in opposite directions.

Reduction of cargo-handling time for car carriers [since 2008]

Evaluation of a soot-removing device

Evaluation of a soot-removing device

We evaluated the Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF) made by NGK Insulators Ltd. for removing the soot from exhaust gas. We also studied engine room layouts to determine the best places for the device in upcoming onboard tests.

Study of fuel cell systems for onboard marine use

First, we reviewed small-capacity fuel cell systems for onboard testing. In 2009, we decided to install 50 kw fuel cell systems for the feasibility study required in onboard testing. We then created the system diagram and layout, and got advice from ClassNK as we studied how best to handle various regulations.

Study of a power plant that can store energy for onboard marine use

We used simulators to evaluate models of a power plant that can store energy for marine use; we calculated the needed capacity and came up with a list of requirements and problems to be solved. The study also considered how to install such a plant and how to comply with ClassNK regulations.

Development of a new control method for CPP

We developed a new control method for controllable-pitch propellers (CPP) and conducted onboard tests to confirm its performance.

Studies in carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) equipment for marine use

In an effort to reduce CO2 emissions from vessels, we evaluated a business model of CCS equipment that was developed on shore.

Installation and evaluation of LED lighting fixtures in the cargo holds of car carriers

LED lighting fixtures were installed in the cargo holds of real vessels, and we evaluated the fixtures' brightness, durability, energy efficiency, and so forth during actual cargo operations.

Onboard testing of a solar power generation system

In 2008, a solar power generation system was installed in two car carriers (Auriga Leader and Equuleus Leader), and for one year we examined the durability of the solar panels and the stability of their electricity-generating capacity.

Measurement of vibration and friction during the PCC transport of cars

We measured ship vibration (angle of pitch, angle of roll, speed of acceleration, and vibration span) and the stiction (static friction) of tires on board. That helped us to evaluate lashing effects and confirm the accuracy of the friction index that we use to calculate the lashing of cars during PCC transport.

These eight projects have been selected for subsidy through fiscal 2009 by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) through its “Support for Technology Development from Marine Vessels for Curtailing CO2” project. Three of the projects will be implemented as part of the “R&D for Reducing Greenhouse Gas in International Maritime Affairs” program, which is being jointly carried out by the Japan Ship Technology Research Association and the Nippon Foundation.

Air-lubrication system to reduce CO2 emissions

An experiment with an air-lubrication system to reduce the resistance between seawater and the bottom of ship's hull by supplying air bubbles to the ship's bottom is being implemented with a module carrier owned by NYK-Hinode Line, Ltd. This is the world's first try to use the system permanently with a blower method. Because a module carrier is wider and has a shallower draft than a large oceangoing vessel, it uses the air-lubrication system effectively and less power is needed to supply the air bubbles. A 10% reduction in CO2 emissions is expected.

Participation in R&D on energy saving from an air-lubrication system in an oceangoing vessel

The National Maritime Research Institute, which has been involved in continuing air-lubrication studies, decided in 2009 to expand their basic research in a three-year experiment, and we, together with some other shipbuilders, agreed to cooperate.
This year, in an effort to reduce the energy needed to supply air bubbles, we developed a system that uses the scavenging gas from a main engine and implemented an onshore experiment with such scavenging gas. Also, to examine the impact of supplied air bubbles on propellers, we built a test model and created simulations that show the movement of air bubbles along a vessel's bottom.

Application of air-lubrication system on a coal ship: Phase 1

Based on the above "R&D on energy saving from an air-lubrication system in an oceangoing vessel," the application of an air-lubrication system on an actual coal ship will be implemented for about four years. We plan to study the effect of scavenging gas being supplied to a vessel's bottom and also confirm that it has no harmful effect on the main engine. This year, we observed the movement of air bubbles along a vessel's bottom in large tank tests, experimented onshore with a scavenging-gas bypass, examined the reliability of the main engine, and monitored the relationship of all parts to a control system.

Development of a system for monitoring ship's performance

We improved a system that enables a PC, either onboard or onshore, to monitor a vessel's performance in real-time. Software improvements now allow deeper analysis, and added user functions for the shoreside system make it easier to create reports. Moreover, all the functions are described in a new monitoring and operating guideline that fosters immediate communication and feedback.

Development of a load-fluctuation stabilizer for periodic disturbance from weather and sea conditions

The fuel consumption of a vessel varies in accordance with the way the main engine is affected by weather and sea conditions. This project aims to reduce the fuel consumption of a main engine by equalizing load fluctuations. In the first year of this four-year project, we examined situations in which CPP (variable-pitch propellers) and SGM (shaft motor generators) were used to equalize load fluctuations, did simulated calculations and trial calculations, and examined possible development.

Development of an international navigation control system: Phase 1

We did a variety of practical research to determine what is needed for the introduction of an international navigation control system and came up with a list of requirements for a navigation control system and a worldwide time-reservation system for berth windows and canal passage.

R&D of operational performance in ever-larger vessels: Phase 1

We are going to determine what conditions are necessary so that vessels over 200 meters long can achieve the same level of operational performance as vessels less than 200 meters long. In the first year of a four-year project, we researched all the available navigation devices and defined the requirements for navigation support devices. We also conducted simulations on risk-avoidance and operational performance (performance to avoid collisions) for vessels over 200 meters long.

Developing an application of hybrid-turbocharger technology on marine vessels

On marine vessels we applied the "MET Hybrid Turbo Charger" that uses energy derived from the main engine's exhaust gases. In the first year of a four-year project, we produced the power-generation system.

Consultation on Quality Transport

Development of a new repair method for damage on the outside panel of containers

The previous method of repairing holes in reefer containers involved securing a patch with rivets. But such repairs often began to rust after 3~5 years. So a new method was tried, one that used adhesive cement instead of rivets. We collected data on 100 different adhesive products available on the market and compared their performance. We then selected 13 products for further tests of adhesive durability and weather resistance, and finally chose four products as finalists.

Logistics Solution

Development of a "metal-rack management system

We developed a prototype of a metal-rack management system that uses RFID in its handling of automotive components. We tested and verified the prototype in a pilot project between Thailand and Japan, and found the results promising.

Development of management solutions for reusable transport items (RTI)

Case studies of our RFID-based management solutions for RTI such as pallets, containers, and KD modules show that our ability has reached a practical level. The solutions can now manage more complex logistics models in which transport items move between multiple sites, and the solutions clearly improve RTI operational availability.

Development of a management solution for finished vehicles

Development of a vehicle-location-management system that uses RFID for the entire supply chain of finished vehicles reached a new level of practicality through varied pilot tests in the second year of this project. For example, we developed our original tag, or "active tag with display functions," in upgrades of data-collection systems that use automated operations rather than time-consuming manual operations. And we also confirmed the efficiency of "spatial codes" and "GPS" in pinpointing the real-time locations of individual cars.

Research and development of a next-generation logistics network

This ongoing project includes the following: a pilot project that transported 100 containers between Shanghai and Tokyo to proof the usefulness of 433 MHz active RFID tags (e-seals) in actual situations; establishing the technical requirements of the hardware and software needed to meet desired system architecture; and collaboration with international standardization organizations such as ISO, WCO, and EPCglobal to globally standardize the interface and information items between auto-ID devices and the network. Thus, we aim to establish a global cargo transport logistics system whose portal site will enable shippers and consignees to access real-time information on cargo status. And we evaluate the benefits for participants in this next-generation logistics network.

The application of RFID technology in forms of domestic asset-based lending (ABL) is now being established

We have developed service models for ABL, which demands high-quality collateral management. A system of 433 MHz active RFID tags with display function was used to solve ABL issues in collateral management that must synchronize location codes, company codes, and commodity (product) codes. This project is being funded by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC).

Development of a warehouse management solution

Utilizing multiple auto-ID technologies (passive tags, active tags, bar codes, sensors, voice recognition, etc.) for forklifts, we conducted a field test of this solution. Our warehouse management solution provides a centralized RFID-based management system for cargo, storage locations, and operating instructions inside a warehouse.

Utilizing multiple auto-ID technologies (passive tags, active tags, bar codes, sensors, voice recognition, etc.) for forklifts, we conducted a field test of this solution. Our warehouse management solution provides a centralized RFID-based management system for cargo, storage locations, and operating instructions inside a warehouse.

Utilizing multiple auto-ID technologies (passive tags, active tags, bar codes, sensors, voice recognition, etc.) for forklifts, we conducted a field test of this solution. Our warehouse management solution provides a centralized RFID-based management system for cargo, storage locations, and operating instructions inside a warehouse.