First time exhibitor Hull Vane is using Euronaval as the launch pad for a concerted marketing campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of its patented energy saving and seakeeping device – which goes by the same name.
A hydrofoil-like structure positioned below or behind a ship’s transom, Hull Vane modifies the vessel’s stern wave pattern and generates hydrostatic lift with a forward component. That provides for significant reductions in resistance and dampens pitch, heave, roll and yaw. “What that means, in effect, is we can improve fuel consumption, for example, by between 5 and 20%, depending on the specific hull design in question,” Mönch learned from Nils Hagemesiter, naval architect for Van Ossanen Fluid Dynamics – part of the group that is also parent company to Hull Vane.
Invented by Dr. Peter Van Oossanen and patented, “in all major shipbuilding countries,” according to PR & Marketing Manager Minka Zeilstra, Hull Vane seems to be an idea whose time has come. Like all good ideas, it is fundamentally simple – though in this case mathematically complex. The concept, however, is of sufficient interest that the Royal Netherlands Navy, for example, is currently engaged in a feasibility study to determine the level of benefits that might accrues from installing Hull Vane on the HOLLAND-class OPV. “Model testing should start by the middle of 2017 and could last up to a year – but implementation could come quite quickly after that,” Project Manager Kasper Uithof told Mönchat Euronaval.
Fuel economy driven by four separate effects generated by Hull Vane – forward thrust, stern wave reduction, trim correction and reduced pitching – is the major motivation for naval forces to consider the device. But each of those effects will also contribute to increased stability, reduced logistics burden or increased operational efficiency and the device is likely to stimulate considerable interest in years to come. To a degree, the company will be victim to a large number of would-be operators deciding, “to wait and see what happens,” but the company recognises that and points to the HOLLAND-class trials as a possible quick route to finding an initial naval customer.
The technology has been proven in the comercial shipping market: it remains for a naval customer to shoulder the challenge of being ‘first to market’ in the military domain. With the ingenuity, innovation and untrammelled enthusiasm the Hull Vane demonstrated at Euronaval – such success cannot be too far over the horizon.