Singapore firm presses ahead with air lubrication system

Classification body Bureau Veritas (BV) has awarded approval in principle (AIP) to the air lubrication system developed by Singapore-based GILLS, allowing it to be installed onboard vessels.

The Gills system (Gas Injected Liquid Lubrication System) is a device to generate ultra fine microbubbles. It utilises the physical phenomena known as Kelvin-Helmholtz Instability (KHI), lowering vessel power requirements by up to 15%.

The self-generating nature of micro-bubble clouds with no requirement for air-compression and additional energy requirements is one of the main features of the GILLS system.

Peter Kneipp, managing director of GILLS, said: “The GILLS Air Lubrication System is a nature-inspired innovative technology that not only uses the micro bubbles to reduce the drag, emissions, fuel and biofouling, but it also utilises the ship speed to generate a negative pressure and minimises the required external compressor power. We are greatly confident that GILLS will be a valuable contributor for practically every ship type to improve the EEDI /EEXI IMO Index.”

GILLS can also be retrofitted to existing ships as well as new vessels.

Other companies promoting the use of air bubbles to reduce emissions include Silverstream Technologies, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Samsung Heavy Industries.

Andrew Cox

During the 1990s, Dr Andrew Cox was the editor of UK Coal Review and was a regular writer and commentator on the international coal trade and related infrastructure developments. Post-2000, he has been a freelance writer, CPD trainer and project consultant. He focuses on developments in the energy, chemicals, shipping and port sectors.
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