Silverstream Technologies’ air lubrication systems, use compressed air to create a boundary layer between a ship’s hull and the water, reducing frictional resistance and fuel consumption.

Silverstream Technologies has developed a system to drive energy efficiency and reduce fuel consumption in the shipping industry: their air lubrication systems use microbubbles of air to create a barrier on the hull of a ship to prevent frictional resistance with the water. The air release units are fitted to the bottom of the ship – they can be built into new ships or retrofitted on existing ships – and use minimal amounts of energy. The system is highly resilient and can be used in all weather conditions. It is appropriate for a variety of ships, including freight and cruise ships.

The Silverstream System includes a monitoring system that measures changes in fuel consumption and speed when the air lubrication system is switched on. This allows shipping companies to determine their savings in fuels, emissions and costs from installing the system. The company estimates that depending on the size and model of the ship, operators can experience fuel savings of between 5-10%.

The Silverstream System was installed on the Carnival Corporation ship ‘Diamond Princess’ in June 2017. It took less than 10 days to install, and delivered fuel savings above the 5% estimated prior to the project.

Why you should care

The shipping sector often receives praise as a more sustainable transportation method than air, road or rail transport because it consumes less energy per tonne of goods and per kilometre travelled. However, the sector is still responsible for one billion tonnes of CO2 emissions annually, and 2.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and is considerably energy intensive. By reducing fuel consumption, Silverstream Technologies’ solution can contribute to lowering emissions from shipping, and help to achieve the sector’s goal of halving emissions by 2050.

How the Global Goals are addressed

Affordable and clean energy

Silverstream Systems can reduce the energy consumption of ships by 5-10%, helping to reduce energy intensity in the shipping and tourism sectors and improve efficiency.

Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Upgrading or retrofitting ships with Silverstream Systems, can drive improvements in energy efficiency and reduce the environmental impacts of the shipping and tourism sectors.