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Reducing Underwater Noise Pollution from Large Commercial Vessels

Reducing Underwater Noise Pollution from Large Commercial Vessels

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There is increasing concern about the effects of underwater noise on marine life. A major contributor to this is the noise generated by shipping.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has identified that significant reductions in ambient noise can be made by reducing the noise output from the noisiest vessels. Resulting from this, IFAW commissioned Renilson Marine Consulting Pty Ltd (RMC) to undertake a brief desk top study into technologies that may be used to reduce the underwater noise output from the loudest commercial vessels.
This report is the primary output of the study, and is intended to inform discussions of technical measures and future research needs that can be implemented by governments and industry.
There is increasing concern about the effects of underwater noise on marine life. A major contributor to this is the noise generated by shipping.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has identified that significant reductions in ambient noise can be made by reducing the noise output from the noisiest vessels. Resulting from this, IFAW commissioned Renilson Marine Consulting Pty Ltd (RMC) to undertake a brief desk top study into technologies that may be used to reduce the underwater noise output from the loudest commercial vessels.
This report is the primary output of the study, and is intended to inform discussions of technical measures and future research needs that can be implemented by governments and industry.

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: International Fund for Animal Welfare on Sep 16, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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01/15/2013

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 Renilson Marine Consulting Pty Ltd
RRREEEDDDUUUCCCIIINNNGGGUUUNNNDDDEEERRRWWWAAATTTEEERRR NNNOOOIIISSSEEEPPPOOOLLLLLLUUUTTTIIIOOONNNFFFRRROOOMMM LLLAAARRRGGGEEECCCOOOMMMMMMEEERRRCCCIIIAAALLLVVVEEESSSSSSEEELLLSSS 
March 2009
Commissioned by
The International Fund for Animal Welfare
 
Renilson Marine Consulting Pty LtdReducing Underwater Noise Pollution from Large Commercial Vessels Page ii
Summary
There is increasing concern about the effects of underwater noise on marine life. A majorcontributor to this is the noise generated by shipping.The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has identified that significant reductions inambient noise can be made by reducing the noise output from the noisiest vessels. Resulting fromthis, IFAW commissioned Renilson Marine Consulting Pty Ltd (RMC) to undertake a brief desk topstudy into technologies that may be used to reduce the underwater noise output from the loudestcommercial vessels.This report is the primary output of the study, and is intended to inform discussions of technicalmeasures and future research needs that can be implemented by governments and industry.The report is arranged in four parts. Part I is the introduction and background, where some of thegeneral issues are discussed. Part II covers some of the possible technologies that can be used toreduce noise for merchant ships, and Part III gives some examples for different ship types,discussing the practicalities and likely costs involved. Part IV is the recommendations andconcluding comments.It appears that there is considerable difference in the noise propagated by the noisiest and thequietest conventional merchant ships (excluding those designed specifically for low noise). Basedon the current desk top study it is reasonable to develop a cautious note of optimism that the noisiestships can be quietened using existing technology without reducing their propulsive efficiency.There is little doubt that the dominant feature of these noisiest merchant ships is cavitationassociated with the propeller. The two major aspects that influence the level of cavitation are:1.
 
propeller design; and2.
 
wake flow into the propeller.Improvements in propeller design, either by modifying the existing propellers, or by fitting newpropellers designed with noise reduction in mind, have the potential to reduce hydro-acoustic noisefor the noisiest merchant ships, and increase propulsive efficiency.In addition, there is the potential to improve the wake flow into the propeller for existing ships byfitting appropriately designed appendages such as wake equalising ducts, vortex generators orspoilers. The technology exists to do this, and although there is some understanding of theimprovement that these devices will have on propulsive efficiency, there is little knowledge abouthow they will reduce the hydro-acoustic noise – however available data suggests that they will doso.For new ships the wake flow can be improved by more careful design, which will require anincreased design effort, including careful model testing and computational fluid dynamics analysis.For ships which spend time in ballast this work should be extended to include optimisation of thepropeller design and wake flow in that condition. This extra effort will cost more, however on thebasis of the data available it is likely to result in improved propulsive efficiency as well as inreduced hydro-acoustic noise.
 
Renilson Marine Consulting Pty LtdReducing Underwater Noise Pollution from Large Commercial Vessels Page iii
Contents Page
Summary iiContents Page iii
PART I – Introduction and Background
1.
 
Introduction 12.
 
Background 22.1.
 
Principal cause of shipping related hydro-acoustic noise 22.2.
 
Factors affecting cavitation performance 42.3.
 
Cavitation assessment 62.4.
 
Propeller singing 72.5.
 
Manoeuvring and harbour performance 72.6.
 
Vessel load condition 72.7.
 
Propulsion configuration 92.8.
 
Effect of speed 11
PART II – Practical Technologies for Reducing Noise on Merchant Ships
3.
 
Standard propeller technology 133.1.
 
Existing propeller blades 133.2.
 
New propeller design 143.3.
 
Dry docking costs 154.
 
Special merchant ship propellers 164.1.
 
Introduction 164.2.
 
High skew propellers 164.3.
 
Contracted and loaded tip propellers 174.4.
 
Kappel propellers 184.5.
 
New blade section propellers 195.
 
Propeller hub caps 195.1.
 
Introduction 195.2.
 
Propeller boss cap fins 195.3.
 
Propeller cap turbine 216.
 
Wake inflow devices 226.1.
 
Introduction 226.2.
 
Schneekluth duct 236.3.
 
Mewis duct 236.4.
 
Simplified compensative nozzle 246.5.
 
Grothues spoilers 247.
 
Propeller/rudder interaction 258.
 
Changes to the hull form 268.1.
 
Introduction 268.2.
 
Asymmetrical afterbodies 269.
 
Changes to the operating procedure 26

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