Damen has been looking at ways to promote sustainable shipping for years. Reducing the frictional resistance of the ship’s hull by means of air lubrication showed to be a promising way. Model scale and full scale investigations demonstrated that overall fuel-savings up to 15% are possible.
Damen participated in successful Dutch and European funded research projects and recently commissioned a new type of air lubricated inland ship called the Ecoliner. This verssel is equipped with air chambers. This concept is patented by Damen.
Current research is looking into the practical and economic feasibility of an alternative system based on an air cavity concept. This concept is patented by the Technological
University of Delft, the Netherlands. Fundamental research showed good results and this system allows for a wider application, being less sensitive to ship motions and with less impact
on the hull geometry. This makes it possible to refit existing vessels with the air cavity concept.