Completed Projects (FY 2010)

List of projects completed by MTI in FY 2010

Ship-Operating Technology: Environmental Conservation & Energy-Saving

Development of technology that saves energy by catching the wind

Third year of a four-year project: Participated in the Wind Challenger Project, a JIP (joint industry program) led by Tokyo University, which (1) aimed to determine what we must consider and understand in building large-size hard sails, specifically in terms of the sail itself and the fundamentals of designing, developing, and controlling such expandable-retractable sails. (2) Developed a program for calculating efficiencies in actual sailing routes. For example, it was theoretically confirmed that hard sails on a Cape-size bulker could significantly improve energy efficiency in sailing routes between Japan and Australia.

Research and development of new lashing materials for containerships

(1) Research has been done to select several materials that might match the shapes and durability required for container-lashing equipment. (2) Performance-evaluation tests were conducted on our MCS*1 to compare MTI-designed Universal Twist Locks*2 with fully automatic and semi-automatic twist locks designed by some manufactures, and the tests confirmed that the structure makes them lightweight, secure in place, and easy to handle. Type-approval from Class NK has been applied for in advance of selling Universal Twist Locks commercially. (3) We continue to provide technical support for the implementation of a container-lashing module in vanning-calculation software. Our product has been compared with other calculation software, and the next step will involve using a vertical lashing system to increase the load capacities of containers.*1 MCS: Multi-cargo simulator; please see the explanation of MCS at the bottom of these pages.
*2 Universal Twist Lock:
Container-lashing equipment originally developed and patented by MTI after analyzing available data and making improvements on standard twist locks. Universal Twist Locks have the merits of both semi-automatic twist locks and fully automatic twist locks in that they automatically lock at loading, and can be easily and safely unlocked by hand at unloading.

Consideration of onboard power consumption for cruise ships

We adapted the power-saving technologies of regular land-based buildings to one of the NYK-owned cruise ships, Asuka II. Compared with the actual onboard power-consumption figures in 2009, the initial results of power consumption in 2010 indicate an energy saving of 4.1%. This figure was reached through feasibility studies whose software calculated a maximum efficiency from optimizing room temperatures under all conditions (i.e., changing regional and seasonal climate), substituting LED lights for existing fixtures, installing the most energy-efficient air-conditioning system, optimizing the numbers and capacities of power-generation systems, upgrading cooling-water pump inverters, and so forth.

Participation in the REFIT2Save joint industry project by MARIN :Phase 1

First year of a two-and-a-half-year project: Participated in the REFIT2Save joint industry project (JIP) meeting organized by MARIN and learned how to evaluate energy-saving effects using CFD (computational fluid dynamics). Also had discussions with participating members regarding the onboard testing of energy-saving devices.

Research into new materials for wind-resistant bow covers

In FY 2009, we studied lighter-weight bow covers that might lower a vessel's wind resistance. We reviewed several materials, including FRPs (fiber-reinforced plastics), and implemented a trial design of film materials, all while continuously paying great attention to the costs of materials and processing methods. In the end, however, it was decided that a steel cover is best in terms of both durability and expense. At the same time, having learned about methods of shaping that reduce wind resistance on buildings and vehicles, we are able to apply those methods to the shapes of bow covers and external fuel-consumption devices and thereby lower wind resistance.

The following 10 projects have been selected since fiscal 2009 for subsidy by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) through its “Support for Technology Development from Marine Vessels for Curtailing CO2″ project. These 10 projects will be implemented as part of the “R&D for Reducing Greenhouse Gas in International Maritime Affairs” program, which is being carried out jointly with Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK).

Air-lubrication system to reduce CO2 emissions: Review on a module carrier (2010)

Second year of a three-year project: An air-lubrication system was installed on each of two module carriers, one on March 31, 2010, and the other on November 29, 2010. Onboard testing has since confirmed an energy-efficiency increase of 13%, and the data from ongoing real-sea use is being collected for further analysis and evaluation.

Participation in R&D on energy saving from air-lubrication systems in oceangoing vessels (2010)

Second year of a three-year project: At the National Maritime Research Institute we conducted model tests of air-bubble streams along the bottom of a bulker, measured the amount of bubbles that flowed into the propellers, and used a large-scale model to measure the friction-reducing effects and test the scavenging air by-pass on a large MAN6S70MC-C engine.

Application of an air-lubrication system on a coal carrier (2010)

Second year of a four-year project: In 2010, the conditions of both the air chamber and the air outlets were confirmed in a towing tank, and the main equipment specs and the control system were reviewed. Two years of careful reviews and all observation results confirmed the feasibility of installing an air-lubrication system on an actual coal carrier and achieving energy-efficient results.

Development of a system for monitoring ship's performance (2010)

Second year of a three-year project: A quality upgrade of SIMS (Ship Information Management System) for both ship-side and shore-side systems was executed. Now it is possible for the shore-side to monitor the performance of the vessels and the new function was developed so that the trend graphs shown on ship-side PCs and on shore-side PCs are of equal quality. The production of monitoring-analysis reports has been efficiently automated, the wave-analysis system was verified, and software was developed for analyzing the large quantity of data.

Development of a load-fluctuation stabilizer for the periodic influence of weather and sea conditions (2010)

Second year of a four-year project: We reviewed the design to reduce the pressure of sliding surfaces on CPP (controllable-pitch propellers) and confirmed by FEM* analysis that it was possible to reduce the pressure. We also reviewed the performance, cost, dimensions, and level of technical challenge involved in operating the load-fluctuation stabilizer with SGM (shaft-generator motors) and a large-capacity backup battery system. *FEM: The finite element method is a powerful numerical technique for solving/understanding complicated systems which have been known to scientists and engineers.

Development of application technology for large-capacity nickel-hydrogen batteries as back-up on oceangoing vessels (2010)

Second year of a four-year project: Since 2009, the PCC Auriga Leader has been equipped with a photovoltaic power system that produces 40 kW during onboard tests. More recently, we have developed a hybrid power-supply system by combining a conventional diesel power generator and a new type of large-capacity nickel-hydrogen battery known as GigacellR (by Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd.). The new system completed ground tests in January 2011 and was installed on the PCC in June 2011 to stabilize the supply of electrical power to the vessel’s system, some of which supply is generated by the photovoltaic power source and therefore fluctuates with weather and available sunlight.

Development of an international navigation control system (2010)

Second year of a four-year project: For the purpose of reducing global greenhouse gases (GHG), we have been designing an international navigation control system, a worldwide time-reservation scheme for berth windows and canal passages, to minimize chronic ship congestion and raise the efficiency of ship operations. We discussed the fundamentals and details of a reservation system that will allow appointments for loading/unloading times and canal passages, and decided to do a shore-side simulation test with SPICA*, which was developed by the National Maritime Research Institute in 2010.
*SPICA: Developed by the National Maritime Research Institute, SPICA is an accurate hybrid computational program that calculates how much waves and winds cause a vessel to decelerate.

Development of operational performance in ever-larger vessels for the purpose of reducing greenhouse gases (2010)

Second year of a four-year project: The project investigated new and additional requirements for navigational supporting equipment, evaluated PCCs over 230 meters long in an experimental tank, and utilized data from previous simulations to further evaluate the four areas most prone to accidents. We collected data from 192 simulated cases in 24 different scenarios involving two types of PCCs over 200 meters long and are using those simulation results together with a recognized US value* to confirm the safety performance of vessels over 230 meters long.
*US value: unsafe ship-handling value, a standard used in Japanese safety-management approaches to the prevention of industrial accidents

Development of hybrid-turbocharger technology on marine vessels :Phase 1

Second year of a four-year project: We had completed on-shore testing of the newly developed hybrid-turbocharger system for marine vessels in December 2010. We also tested and confirmed the performance of the system by sea trial in May 2011. Now we are going to conduct onboard monitoring to confirm the energy-saving effects.

Development of an NHV (non-hub-vortex) propeller that has a minimum surface area :Phase 2

First year of a four-year project: We first installed a monitoring system on board and conducted performance-evaluation tests of existing conditions, and then conducted experimental tank tests and confirmed the energy-saving effects of the new propeller compared to the existing one. Discussions were also held on how best to evaluate energy-saving methods on real ships at sea.

First year of a four-year project: We first installed a monitoring system on board and conducted performance-evaluation tests of existing conditions, and then conducted experimental tank tests and confirmed the energy-saving effects of the new propeller compared to the existing one. Discussions were also held on how best to evaluate energy-saving methods on real ships at sea.

Logistics Solution

Improvement of MISE-tag performance for the pilot tests of a management solution for finished vehicles

Through a variety of field tests we upgraded the performance and accuracy of GPS measurements. We also enhanced the communication capabilities and length of operation time. And a new font was developed to improve the visibility of display functions for the small display panels that have fewer pixels.

Performance upgrade and functionality improvement in a location-management system for finished vehicles

Second year of a four-year project: We enhanced the application software for the demonstration system for increased interoperability with customers. We upgraded the accuracy of GPS measurements, improved the visibility of display functions, and developed long-life batteries.

Participation in ITS Japan's finished-vehicle RFID team project

We participated in meetings of the Finished-Vehicle RFID Team project in ITSJ* and worked to improve our exchange of technical information (e.g., product specifications) and collaboration with manufacturers. We then compiled the shippers’ technical requirements and are now following those requirements in building our business models. *ITSJ: Intelligent Transport Systems Japan

Development of EPCIS*1 ALE*2 middleware for the tracking and tracing of individual items

EPCIS and ALE middleware by EPCglobal are the ideal solution for increasing the interoperability and visibility of your clients’ transport items throughout supply chains. We have developed necessary customization of the EPCIS ALE middleware to be used in pilot tests by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) and in basic performance-evaluation tests of systems at MTI TOKYO LAB. These processes mark the complete preparation of EPCIS before building a more widely beneficial general-purpose system.*1EPCIS: Electronic Product Code Information Service
*2ALE: Application Level Event

Development of middleware for RFID-reader interfaces

To shorten developmental processes and lower costs, we pre-designed the middleware for the software, still under development, that will be used in upcoming pilot tests of the tracking and tracing of individual items, and in the software of small and mid-size businesses.

Consultation on Quality Transport

Pilot tests of new repair products for damage on the outside panel of reefer containers

Laboratory tests were conducted to select four adhesive cements as best choices for repairing holes in reefer containers. Additional field tests of these adhesive cements were then conducted on real containers to measure workability and reliability. Trial patches with the four different adhesive cements were affixed to the outside of reefer containers that were loaded with cargo and shipped to and returned from different countries. Finally, we chose the best recommended adhesive cement and designed a corresponding repair manual.

Development of temperature-constant "RAD" conditions in dry containers

To avoid using RAD* containers (to transport cargo in temperature-constant RAD conditions) and instead use dry containers with temperature-constant conditions equivalent to RAD, we are using a variety of heat shields and insulating materials in innovative ways to stabilize temperatures. The materials underwent tests at our Multi-Cargo Simulator (MCS) and field tests at container yards to simulate real transport conditions. And when the tests provided a good grasp of temperature fluctuations at the top, middle, and bottom locations inside containers, we discussed the best ways to use the materials.* RAD: Reefer as dry (insulated but not electrically cooled)

Contract - Ship-Operating Technology

Guidance for preventing cargo damage in rough weather

We organized all available information and knowledge - everything based on the data we have collected from lashing studies, from vibration tests at our Multi-Cargo Simulator (MCS), from our research into protecting container cargo, and from our previous experience - and compiled a guidance for domestic Ro-Ro clients: “Advice for secure and sufficient lashing of cargo for overland transportation and for the rolling and pitching that come with rough ocean conditions.”


Multi-Cargo Simulator (MCS): For tests of shock and vibration during transportation, and tests of transport machinery's resistance to shock and vibration

With all necessary preparations complete, on January 1, 2011, we added new approved services and started up-to-date vibration tests for newly build, repaired, and remodeled intermediate bulk containers (IBC) that contain hazardous liquids*. And we still perform various tests of vibration and oscillation with the MCS, for that large-scale 3-D system perfectly simulates vibrations, shocks, the rolling motions of cargo in transport, and even seismic vibrations as strong as the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011.* Our facilities and procedures were approved by the Ship Equipment Inspection Society of Japan, which also attends these nationally mandated tests to confirm the safety of each IBC.