Cargo ship engines have been used for more than a century to power ships, but are they the most reliable?
A new study says yes, and they’re the most fuel-efficient engines ever.
The study was conducted by a team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Massachusetts Advanced Technology Institute (MAIT).
The team says that they have been using cargo ship engines for decades.
“They are incredibly reliable,” said David Gorman, a co-author of the study.
“The engines have proven themselves time and again in a variety of different situations.”
The team used data from several different engines to determine the fuel efficiency of the different types of cargo ship propulsion.
The research was conducted at the MIT NanoSystems Center for Advanced Power Systems (Nanosystems), which has been working to develop fuel-free propulsion for cargo ships.
“These are high-performing engines that have proven their reliability and performance in the vast majority of real-world applications,” said Nanosystem’s Robert Deveau.
“This work will help fuel the future of cargo ships.”
In addition to finding a new engine, the study also looked at what kinds of problems the different engines faced.
In the study, researchers tested the performance of different types and sizes of cargo vessels.
“We used a fleet of six ships with a total of 4,300 tons of cargo, with a range of capacities from small cargo ships to large cargo ships,” said Deveaux.
“A number of the ships are used by cruise ships and have a relatively low crew complement.
We tested all types of engines and tested each one in different environments and conditions.”
The study found that the fuel-efficiency of the various types of propulsion is generally higher than a typical passenger ship, even though cargo ships are much larger.
“At least three-quarters of the engines that we tested are within 10 percent of a commercial ship,” Deveaus said.
The authors suggest that this is because cargo ships have a large number of passengers and cargo containers.
The researchers also looked for evidence that the engines performed better in harsh environments, such as in the ocean or in extreme cold.
“Cargo ships are very good at using these types of environments to perform,” Devey said.
“I suspect that if we can design better engines that are able to withstand those environments, then we should be able to run cargo ships that are more efficient.”
The researchers believe that fuel-saving improvements will be a critical factor in the future.
“If we can do it, we can get the ship running on a sustainable basis,” Devereau said.
For example, the researchers say that there may be a need to use a higher percentage of fuel than is currently used in the commercial fleet.
“In terms of the fuel use, I suspect that we could get a reduction of up to 60 percent,” Devenaus said, “but I would also expect that we would be able do it more efficiently by using a more sustainable percentage of the energy.”
He added that a reduction in fuel use is “an important part of the solution.”