In 2020, the world's largest research expedition vessel is due to be launched. The ship will carry a team of international researchers and will be equipped for research and investigation into the entire marine ecosystem.
SKF has announced that it has been appointed to manufacture and deliver two pairs of retractable fin stabilisers for the control of this 182,9m long vessel’s rolling motions, along with its SKF Dynamic Stabilizer Cover system which has been designed to reduce drag at the fin box openings and reduce fuel consumption for the vessel by more than 1%.
SKF's Type Z stabiliser is designed so that the fin can be fully retracted and housed entirely within a vessel without any hull protrusion. These stabiliser systems are simple to operate, the associated control system being fully adaptive to the ship’s speed, sea state and vessel roll motion, with selectable single or twin fin deployment of ±60° working angle in zero speed mode.
The SKF Type Z stabiliser is accompanied by its innovative SKF Dynamic Stabilizer Cover, the design of which comprises of two specially shaped air cushions, fitted to the top and bottom of the fin box with small steel rails.
In normal operation, the cushions are inflated using compressed air from the vessel’s existing pneumatic systems. Inflated, the cushions form a smooth, streamlined cover over the fin box opening to achieve a significant reduction in drag.
When the stabiliser fin is to be extended or retracted, air is released from the cushions which are then deflated by the water pressure outside the hull, creating room for the fin’s movement.
When deployment or housing is complete, the cushions can be re-inflated. Control of the covers is fully integrated into the stabiliser fin control systems, requiring no additional action by the crew. Delivery of the fin stabilisers, dynamic stabiliser covers and associated control systems is scheduled for the beginning of September 2018.