Hamburg company develops marine energy saving system with Siemens technology

 Hamburg, Germany. Becker Marine Systems (BMS) based in Hamburg leads the market in the manufacture of control and energy saving solutions for all kinds and sizes of ship. Against the backdrop of rising raw material prices and strict environmental regulations, finding ways of reducing consumption and lowering emissions is vital for today’s ship operators. To achieve these aims, ships already in operation can be retrofitted with EDS (Energy Saving Devices) – for instance by fixing to the rudder or propeller. Successful ESDs in operation include the Becker Mewis Duct energy saving system, which was developed by the manufacturer using solutions from the Siemens PLM Software Simcenter portfolio.

The Becker Mewis Duct either provides significant fuel savings at a given speed, or allows a vessel to travel faster with the same level of consumption. With an ideally tuned ESD, BMS customers have already made operating cost savings in the millions, and saved thousands of tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

ESDs can help ship operators achieve fuel consumption savings of up to eight percent. An ESD consists of a number of integrated angled finns which have to be adjusted individually to fit any hull form to achieve maximum efficiency. A concrete example by way of illustration: A ship with a DWT (Deadweight Tonnage) of 55,000 requires on average around 160 tons of fuel a day at normal cruising speed. With an ESD fitted, this consumption can be reduced by around 2,000 tons a year, cutting the ship’s annual operating costs by around 500,000 Euro. So we are talking about a lot of money. Motivation enough for IBMV Maritime Innovationsgesellschaft mbH, a fully owned subsidiary of BMS, to invest in the continuous development of new solutions.

The first Becker Mewis Duct was launched on the market as long ago as 2008. The team led by Steve Leonard, Head of CFD, Research and Development at IBMV, opted to use STARCCM+ from Siemens PLM Software for its CFD (Computer Fluid Dynamics) simulations.

Precise results within six weeks

– The success of the Becker Mewis Duct is very dependent on the STARCCM+ CFD process that we use to define the duct, says Leonard.

– Without accurate CFD simulations, we cannot fine-tune each duct to the flow conditions specific to a particular hull. For each scenario, we use STAR CCM+ to carefully adjust over 40 design parameters to create a unique duct. as Leonard points out, this applies to every ship, as although aspects of the designs used for different vessels may be similar, no two ducts are ever alike. Leonard’s team is also working under a lot of time pressure, with typically only around six weeks between receiving an inquiry and producing the results.

Green and efficient operation

Most CFD calculations are performed on the basis of scale models. A team made up of naval architects and other specialists evaluates all the data which is automatically generated and made available at the end of each STAR-CCM+ simulation. The team can use the data to identify and correct adverse flow features. The use of STAR-CCM+ enables BMS to supply finely tuned and perfectly designed devices – and to actually guarantee its customers a specified level of performance. Using the Becker Mewis Duct, BMS customers have been able to save millions in fuel costs and thousands of tons of carbon dioxide emissions to date.