To derive the best vessel designs requires a mix of skills that range from proven competences, experience and creativity to the extensive application of CFD and science to help us find the best technical solutions. Ideas must then be turned into designs that shipyards can confidently build and owners can efficiently operate.
Customer and user feedback is a vital ingredient for development, not only in producing new designs, but in the detail that delivers performance, durability, safety, sea kindliness, maintainability and habitability. Creativity enables demands not yet formulated to be met.
With a renewed industry focus on safety, new stability criteria have been laid down for anchor handling operations. UT-designs have been analysed to ensure they meet these criteria and research is continuing into new ways of instantly releasing wires and chains under tension.
With fuel consumption and emissions now primary drivers, Rolls-Royce has optimised hull designs for low resistance in the required operating ranges, with results verified by from research and operating vessels. The increased environmental focus has resulted in LNG fuelled propulsion systems now becoming an option for offshore support vessels, and more gas fuelled OSVs can be expected.
For AHTS, the concept of the UT 790 WP shows the direction of Rolls-Royce thinking with the design advances now applied to PSVs. There are gains to be made in hull efficiency and diesel electric/gas electric hybrid propulsion systems continue to be refined and improved. Real time equipment condition monitoring has yet to have a significant impact on maintenance and through life costs but it will come.
This paper provides an insight into the latest Rolls-Royce developments and thinking in offshore vessel, systems and equipment design in the quest to improve vessel performance, reduce environmental impact and ownership costs while enhancing safety.