Quantum - Next-Generation Container Ship, Norway

Quantum, the next-generation container ship conceptualised by Det Norske Veritas (DNV), has been designed to transport more cargo with reduced fuel consumption. After completion, the ship will be operational for the next 25-30 years.

The conceptual study of the project was carried out in three phases. Phase one involved analysing the market and transport system. Critical industry needs identification was carried out in the second phase. The third phase involved the development of the ship's concept and design.

The conceptualised ship, if implemented, will reduce the operating expenditure, capital expenditure and fuel cost by 14%. It is also expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 35%.

Conceptual studies were carried out by DNV's own experts, while AXS Alphaliner and Dynamar BV were involved in the market studies, which were carried out to investigate the future growth of container trades. To study the future market prospects of the ship, the Europe to East Coast South America trade route was chosen. This route is expected to be a potential future trade route.

Quantum next-generation container ship design

"The ship is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 35%."

The design length of the ship is 272.3m. For providing good stability, beam length at the water line is kept at 42.5m and beam at the deck level is 49m. A longer beam will reduce or eliminate the need for ballast. In order to carry more containers without increasing fuel consumption, the deck will be made wider.

The ship's total container capacity will be 6,210 20ft equivalent units (TEU), with the on-deck container capacity expected to be 3,336 TEU and 2,874 TEU in hold.

The speed of the ship is expected to be 21 knots. It is designed with a high reefer and shallow draft capacity.

The hull of the ship has been designed to mainly suit small ports, which have fixed draught allowances. Composite materials, including fibre reinforced plastics (FRP), will be used to build a wave breaker and large wind deflector. The use of FRP will reduce the ship's weight by 1,100t, and will also improve its aero-and-hydrodynamic performance.

Energy efficiency will be achieved with the ship's design of a low-block, coefficient and slender monohull with high fuel efficiency.

Faster unloading of container ships will be achieved by adopting the 'boxes-in-box' technique. Through this technique, eight 20ft or four 40ft containers may be boxed together.

Quantum ship propulsion

The environmental friendly and fuel-efficient Quantum ship will have an electric propulsion system. Four marine diesel oil (MDO) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuelled dual-fuel generator sets will be used to supply power to the propulsion system. Two electrical-driven Azimuth pods will be used to allow propulsion.

In order to attain the design speed of 21 knots, the ship will be furnished with 33MW of engine power, achieved through large four-stroke dual-fuel engines, L6 + 3xL9. The ship will be fitted with two engine rooms, PS and SB, helping it to attain full redundancy. An L-engine will be longer than a V-engine.

"When the Quantum ship is cruising at slower speeds, only three generator sets will be used."

With a dual-fuel engine, owners and operators will have the option to use the most suitable fuel. The dual-fuel engine can be switched from one fuel to another fuel. MDO will be used while cruising in Atlantic waters, and LNG has been prescribed for coastal waters. The ship will have an LNG fuel capacity of 5,000m3 and an MDO capacity of 3,000m3.

When cruising at slower speeds, only three generator sets will be used. Shutting down one engine will allow the running engines to optimise operation and fuel consumption.

The ship will be installed with two rotating pods to achieve manoeuvrability. These pods will suffice the requirement of stern thrusters and rudders.