DISCOVER Magazine #7

Innovative spirit – The EU’s contribution to Damen’s RD&I, Part II

Published in category: Innovation
European flag Funded by the the Horizon 2020
Framework Programme of the European Union

Because the subject of innovation in the European maritime sector is too large to tackle in one article, we are spreading it over three separate articles. The first article described Damen’s involvement in the EU-funded JOULES and BESST programmes. This second article will cover two separate research programmes relating to sustainable and energy efficient ships.

LeanShips Logo

Project Name: LEANShips EU H2020 project
Low Energy And Near-to-zero emissions Ships

Main focus: To make new and existing vessels more efficient and less polluting.

Project Duration: 4 years

“Where we stepped up our game in JOULES, we really took on the leading role in LeanShips when Damen became project coordinator,” says Damen Head of R&D and Coordinator of LEANShips, Pieter Huyskens. This means that Damen is supervising a research project involving 41 participants.  “Not only  do we manage the biggest Demonstrator Case in the project, but we are also responsible for steering the project and the consortium to a successful completion in May 2019.”

RSD TUG 2513
Damen RSD Tug 2513 Bis Viridis

What is LEANShips?

LeanShips is an EU research programme based on seven, mostly full scale, demonstrator cases on board existing and new build small to midsized vessels. The aim is to combine technologies to achieve efficient and less polluting vessels which still meet the requirements of end-users.

The task of making new and existing vessels more efficient and less polluting requires significant industry involvement. In that respect, 81% of the LEANShips project partners are industrial enterprises. To ensure end-user requirement satisfaction, each demonstrator case has at least one end-user in its dedicated demo team.

How is Damen involved?

Damen’s involvement in LeanShips is twofold. Damen manages the entire project with its 7 demonstrators and over 40 consortium partners. Besides that, Damen is leading the biggest demonstrator case. “This has led to some impressive developments in tug technology, such as a CNG propulsion train and the RSD Tug 2513, which a real leap forward in harbour towage. From a sustainability perspective, the RSD Tug 2513 is IMO Tier II compliant and IMO Tier III ready.” For the last period of the project Damen will further elaborate on the electrification of the propulsion train.

RSD Tug 2513 EU project
On July 19, 2018, Damen shows the RSD Tug 2513 to the European Commission. The tug contains several important technologies resulting from LeanShips. 

Ramsses Logo

Project Name: RAMSSES EU H2020 project

Realisation and demonstration of Advanced Material Solutions for Sustainable and Efficient Ships

Main focus: the use of lightweight and other advanced materials in the maritime sector

Project Duration: June 2017 – May 2021

“In parallel with LeanShips, we are also involved in RAMSSES, which looks at the technology uptake and wider use of lightweight and advanced materials – such as composites in the maritime sector,” Peter van Terwisga, R&D Director Damen, continues.

RAMSSES is another large project involving 36 partners from twelve different countries.

What is RAMSSES?

Innovative materials have the potential to improve life cycle performance of European-built ships and maritime structures. They can not only reduce the environmental footprint of ships, but it also make the industry more competitive at a global scale by creating and maintaining employment.

However, despite considerable progress in research and development and the first commercial applications, the use of lightweight and other advanced materials in the maritime sector is lagging behind its true potential.

RAMSSES addresses the most relevant problems that hinder a broader and quicker technology uptake. At the same time it wants to create a more established role for advanced materials in the European maritime industry.

At the heart of the project are demonstration installations which show the feasibility of using lightweight materials with a higher performance compared to commonly used material such as standard steel. These demos cover the design and production phase of components in addition to their integration into an entire vessel. With key performance indicators orientated towards economic and environmental impact, the demos will prove the potential of at least 30% maintenance and life cycle cost reduction, compared to conventional materials and processes.

Damen’s involvement in composite projects

Damen has been involved in various research projects related to the development and application of composite maritime structures throughout the years. These include Sandcore, DeLight, BESST, and currently RAMSSES. All these European projects have helped Damen to build up its composites technology to where it stands today.

Damen’s role in RAMSSES

Damen’s role in the project is related to composite structures. We specifically look at getting large hull structures approved for SOLAS class ships. This results in a demonstrator of a hull section to be assembled at our shipyard.

Success so far

Damen Composite Waterbus

Commercial success can be seen in new composite products such as the Damen Waterbus 2407; a modular platform that can be fully customized utilising the flexibility that composites offer. The characteristics of durability, lower fuel consumption, less emissions and enhanced safety strategies are directly derived from the EU-funded research output. Moreover, Damen’s next configuration of a full electric Waterbus – aiming for zero emissions – is derived from the JOULES project, and will be shortly introduced into the market.

Damen’s Electric Waterbus in Rotterdam

Damen Waterbus 2407

The RAMSSES project is still ongoing, and Damen aims to scale up the composite technology to larger vessels. For example, Damen is working on larger composites structures for the whole hull (a hull section for a typical 85 metre vessel) and composite elements on steel vessels (which would be integrated into a vessel). Either way, this innovative technology is helping Damen to develop more efficient and greener ships than it builds today, without compromising on safety.

Harriët Slager

Sr. Manager EU Government Affairs

Contact via LinkedIn

Pieter Huyskens

Manager Research & Development

Contact via LinkedIn

Peter van Terwisga

Director Group's Research

Contact via LinkedIn

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