Design Revolutions in the Maritime Industry

It is common to view the maritime industry as conservative in their desire to implement new technologies. However as technology develops it has become increasingly important that this industry begins to adopt some new policies, designs and ideas. Excitingly enough, there have been some recent design revolutions taking place inside this industry that could become much more common in upcoming years.


ReVolt is a vessel developed by researchers at DNV GL. This impressive vessel boasts itself as being greener, smarter and safer than conventional ships. The ReVolt is autonomous and powered with a 3,000 kWh battery which reduces operating costs. It is meant to become a solution for the increase in transportation capacity. Impressively, ReVolt can travel 100 nautical miles before its battery must be charged. If that energy is developed from renewable sources, carbon dioxide emissions have the potential to be eliminated.

ReVolt Vessel

Equally as impressive, ReVolt does not require a crew. With no necessity for crew facilities, this vessel can take full advantage of its cargo space. DNV GL estimates that compared to a ship that runs on diesel fuel, ReVolt could save up to $34 million during its 30-year lifetime. The vessel sails at an average speed of six knots. Although this is slightly slower than other ships, it will ultimately save more energy in the end.

The concept vessel which was announced in Hamburg at SMM 2014 is still undergoing testing, however the ship has the ability to be built and utilized with today’s technology. According to Hans Anton Tvete, Senior Researcher at DNV GL, “ReVolt is intended to serve as inspiration for equipment makers, shipyards and ship owners to develop new solutions on the path to a safe and sustainable future.”

Electric Ferry

In Stockholm, Sweden Faaborg Vaerft A/S has just delivered the first fully electrical passenger vessel called “Sjovagen”. This impressive new vessel will operate in the archipelago of Stockholm and transport its passengers on a ship that is silent and environmentally friendly. Jointly designed, developed and produced by Faaborg Vaerft A/S, Principia North A/S, Wilhelmsen Technical Solution and Saft, this electrical passenger vessel is built for 150 passengers.

Electric FerrySource: Marine Link

The vessel is ice reinforced and features a double propelled system. The design allows passengers to board the ship from the bow and access the passenger area through two automatic glass sliding doors. The ship and passenger area is wheelchair friendly and features multiple conveniences for its passengers. It is controlled by two operators who will man the vessel from a high placed wheelhouse.

Other New Innovations

  • Unmanned Dry Tree Wellhead Platform: Focused on the minimization of facilities, equipment and costs in water depths of 150m, this may be a cost effective solution as compared to the alternative (conventional subsea tie-back). These platforms can increase recovery, utilize new jack-up drilling rigs and reduce development costs.
  • X-Stern: Introduced by Ulstein Group, this is a design feature that increased vessel operability in regards to station keeping, wave response, comfort and safety in harsh conditions. This vessel is designed to keep on position during bad weather with its stern facing towards waves, wind and current. Its features include reduced power and fuel consumption.
  • LNG Barge: Bristol Harbor Group is developing a 300 ft. LNG carrier to transport LNG in blue water along the U.S. coastline. This new design is mainly focused on constructability and ensuring cargo safety.
  • Ethane Carrier: Hartmann Schiffahrts Gmbh & Co. KG, Jaccar Holdings, HB Hunte Engineering and DNV GL signed a letter of intent for the classification of five ECO STAR 65k very large ethane carriers. These vessels will have a capacity of 85,000 cbm each and will feature Star-Tri-Lobe tanks which are three cylinders combined into one. This means better utilization of the space in cargo holds leading to more efficiency and increase of cargo capacity.


“Design (R)Evolutions” Maritime Reporter. October 2014; 32-36. Print.

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