At the beginning of the year, the patrol vessel HNLMS Groningen was fitted with a Hull Vane® and rigorously tested. She has cruised through the North Sea, the Caribbean and, of course, during the passage in between. The results are conclusive. The Hull Vane® works as expected; it reduces energy consumption and brings many other advantages.

Hull Vane® is an underwater wing that converts energy from the stern wave and flows around the ship into forward thrust. Vessels fitted with a Hull Vane® benefit from increased efficiency and comfort and are noticeably quieter and less visible. Depending on vessel type, the savings varies between 5-25%. Naval vessels are top candidates for the Hull Vane® due to the shape of their hull, their weight and the speeds at which they typically need to travel. Hull Vane® was developed and patented in the Netherlands and is currently used on more than 60 vessels.

Reported savings of 300,000 kg of CO2 per year
We tested the Hull Vane® on our Holland-class patrol vessels, which are almost halfway through their lifecycle, with the target to reduce CO2 emissions. The goal was achieved,” says Richard van Dijk, Commander at COMMIT. “During sea trials, MARIN measured a 16% fuel reduction at 17.5 knots and 10% across the full usage profile, because of the Hull Vane®.

The Hull Vane® has proven very effective across a wide speed range,” continues van Dijk. “Based on the user profile of the vessel the resulting savings are 300.000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. It is important to be less dependent on fossil fuels and maintain the same employability of the vessel. Yet the Hull Vane® offers several more advantages. With less resistance, it has a higher top speed with the same fuel consumption, so the range is extended.

Vessels are more expensive to operate when not fitted with a Hull Vane®
We cannot express just how important this project is for our company,” says Niels Moerke, Chief Executive Officer at Hull Vane. “Much like the yachting and offshore markets, the naval industry will be an important market for Hull Vane®. This thorough investigation, conducted by the Dutch Navy, has been closely watched and followed by navies abroad.

In the Netherlands, three other Holland-class vessels are potential candidates for the Hull Vane®, as well as the LCF Frigates and future vessels,” continues Moerke. “We have proven that we can accurately predict how the Hull Vane® will operate and that vessels are more expensive to run when not fitted with one. It is then necessary to get the proper funding in place. It is even more cost-effective to install a Hull Vane® on new-build vessels. Other benefits include increased safety and employability.

Additional advantages
The crew onboard patrol vessel HNLMS Groningen also reported several other advantages of the Hull Vane®. Firstly it reduces the wake of a vessel, which makes movements less visible to drones, satellites and aircrafts. With a Hull Vane®, the launch and recovery of the FRISC via the slipway in the stern is now more gradual, due to less turbulence in the water. The crew no longer has to ‘surf’ their way in. No significant changes to manoeuvrability, aside from the vessel having less heel when making fast turns. The Hull Vane® also dampens pitch motion, meaning the vessel can sail more quietly through waves – meaning helicopter landings onboard are much safer. 

The project is financed and led by MIND (Military Innovation by Doing) and the Innovation Centre of COMMIT (Commando Material and IT). It is a practical example of the Golden Ecosystem, one of the main targets of Admiral Arie Jan de Waard who was, until recently, Commander of COMMIT. The aim of the Golden Ecosystem is to allow the Defense industry to do business with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – which was not possible in the past. It also makes the Defense more agile and innovative. Often these innovations are initiatives that come from smaller companies like Hull Vane BV. It is not an exaggeration to say that Hull Vane BV is taken to a higher level by collaborating with COMMIT. The door is now open to work with other navies across the world.

Click HERE to watch the mini documentary about the design, building and installation process of the Hull Vane® for HNMLS Groningen.