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Classic Energy-Saving Device Achieves Guinness World Record

mol tech
Courtesy MOL Tech

Published Jan 3, 2022 12:47 AM by The Maritime Executive

An energy-saving device attached to the propeller of ships developed by MOL three and half decades ago has entered the Guinness World Records as a global best-seller. 

Japan’s Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) announced that propeller boss cap fins (PBCF) sold by its subsidiary MOL Tech has been certified as the “best-selling energy-saving ship appendage brand (cumulative)” by Guinness World Records. More than 3,500 vessels have been equipped with the device as of the end of December 2020.

The PBCF is an energy-saving device attached to the propeller of a vessel. It breaks up the hub vortex generated behind the rotating propeller resulting in energy savings and higher fuel efficiency, thus helping reduce emissions for the shipping industry.

The device was co-developed by MOL, West Japan Fluid Engineering Laboratory Co. and Nakashima Propeller Co. in 1986 and went on sale in 1987. It was the first device in the world to be commercialized to recover the energy wasted in the vortex that forms behind a rotating propeller.

Analysis has shown that equipping a vessel with PBCF results in energy savings of three to five percent, with a corresponding reduction in CO2 emissions. MOL Tech calculates that the expanded use of the device has contributed to a cumulative 46 million tonnes reduction in CO2 emissions worldwide.

Other benefits include a reduction in propeller torque, reduced vibration in the stern, less underwater noise and reduced rudder erosion.

Since its introduction, sales have increased steadily with orders reaching 1,000 in 2006, 2,000 in 2011, and topped 3,000 in 2015. In 2017, an upgraded PBCF offering further improvements in energy-saving went on the market. By this year, PBCF cumulative sales have exceeded 3,800 with the number of vessels equipped with the device exceeding 3,600.