Water-world mega technologies and projects

The Largest Superyacht in the World – Azzam

Based on the engineering model provided by the Italian ship architectural company, Nauta with technical specifications detailed by reputed maritime engineering expert, Mubarak Saad al-Ahbabi. Azzam’s technical dimensions put it right at the top of the world’s biggest superyacht marvels evensurpassing Eclipse, the world’s largest yacht presently.An overview of Azzam’s  particulars and constructional superiorities can be enumerated as follows:

    • Constructional cost of over US$ 600 million
    • A length of around 180 metres, over 17 metres longer than Eclipse with a beam of almost 21 metres and a draft of nearly 4.5 metres
    • A GRT of around 14,000 tonnes
    • Accommodation provided by way of 50 luxurious cabin suites with an entourage of about 50 crewing personnel
    • State-of-the-art manoeuvring systems accounting for high speeds touching up to 30 knots
    • First vessel to be equipped with heatrecycling systems to operate the equipment aiding in the water desalinisation processes
    • Unique construction allowing for substantial reduction in the emanating of noxious gasesand enhanced operational efficiency.

Poised to sail the seas in the autumn of 2013, the superyacht is currently being built by the revered German shipbuilder Lurssen at their shipbuilding yard at Bremen. A never-seen before ultra-opulent designing further separates the Azzam as a majestic superyacht to roam on the magnificent oceanic waters. Azzam will replace Superyacht Eclipse, presently the world’s largest superyacht.

Azzam’s builder Lurssen also holds the distinction of constructing Topaz, presently the world’s fourth largest superyacht. Alongside Topaz and Eclipse, the list of the world’s largest super yachts also includes the likes of Pelorus, owned by the noted Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.

Stad Ship Tunnel – The First Ship Tunnel in the World

The Stad Ship Tunnel is a proposed ship tunnel that would bypass the Stad Peninsula in Selje, Norway – one of the most exposed and dangerous areas for ships along the coast of Norway.

The western coast of Norway is dangerous for ship traffic and the proposed ship tunnel aims at making the journey much safer and quicker.

According to the reports, the Norwegian Government has backed the plan for construction the Stad Ship tunnel. Once made, the one-of-its-kind channel will be the First Ship Tunnel in the World.According to the Norwegian Government, the ship tunnel would reduce accident risks and improve the condition of sailors sailing in the region. The ambitious proposed ship tunnel would be 49 m high, 36 meter wide, and 1700 m in length.

It is expected that the project will cost approximately 1.7 billion NKR and may start by 2018 if everything falls into place.

The 12 meters deep tunnel when made will boost safety of ships by reducing the effects of weather and would run through solid rock.

Back to the future? Titanic II Cruise Ship

In the present era of sequels and remakes, Australian business mogul Clive Palmer has come up with the unique idea of reconstructing the magic of the real Titanic cruise vessel which met with an unfortunate end on 12th April, 1912. Proposed to be an exact replication of the original ill-omened vessel, the new cruise ship is expected to be put into operation in the year 2016.

The New Titanic cruise ship will be christened as ‘Titanic 2’ and will sail on the same route as the original cruise line vessel between Southampton, Great Britain to New York, USA. Though the spectacle of the Titanic II cruise ship is being eagerly awaited by many across the world, there are many who have also criticised Clive Palmer’s decision to try and recreate the RMS Titanic. The viewpoint of the critics however hasn’t reduced the enthusiasm of the mining billionaire who believes that the success of the vessel would impact the way future cruise shipping conglomerates talk about the Titanic and its reconstructed replication.

The technical characteristics of the vessel along with the interior amenities will singularly blend the features of the RMS Titanic along with the equipping of modern technological gadgets and instrumentations. In order to ensure that the Titanic 2 doesn’t suffer from the same fate as her namesake, Clive Palmer has engaged the services of leading maritime engineering and architectural companies to oversee the cruise liner’s construction. Notable features of the vessel include:

    • Total constructional cost amounting to nearly half-a-billion US$
    • Equipping of contemporary, state-of-the-art navigable instrumentations with highly efficient engine and manoeuvring systems
    • Longer and streamlined proportions to help in better manoeuvring and movement while on water
    • Equipping of adequate safeguard systems and life-rafts to combat against any emergency
    • Thorough constructional similarity with RMS Titanic, including the segregation of cabins as found in the original ocean liner
    • Crewing entourage of around 900 for a voyager capacitance of over 2,400 people
    • Masquerading costumes for patrons to enjoy and experience the feel of the vintage British Edwardian era

The constructional contract for the New Titanic cruise ship has been awarded to the Chinese shipbuilding concern, CSC Jinling at its shipbuilding yard at Nanjing. Construction began on the vessel in the year 2012, with the esteemed engineering corporation Deltamarin overseeing the overall engineering and technical soundness of the vessel. The Titanic II cruise ship will function as the flagship of the newly created cruise company ‘Blue Star Line.’ Yet another brainchild of the Australian businessman, the Blue Star Line also takes its name from the original cruise operators of the RMS Titanic – the White Star Line.

With interests already being generated among the masses about the ship, Clive Palmer’s unique approach in the highly competitive cruise shipping sector has become one of the highly awaited cruise ships. If the Titanic 2 is able to meet the excitement of the potential voyagers even after it starts its operations, then there’s no doubt that the magic of Titanic will be re-lived in a never-before seen modernistic way.

The Aguçadoura Wave Farm – Waves and tidal energy

A wave farm refers to the instrumentations placed in the high seas to effectively harness wave power and convert it to productive wave or tidal energy. Such wave farms are also at times, alternatively referred to as WECs or ‘Wave Energy Converters.’ Researching on the practical applicability of such wave farms has been going on for quite a few years. Based on such researching, in a first of its kind, the Aguçadoura wave farm was put into operation in the high seas near the Portuguese city of Porto in the year 2008.

The world’s first wave farm was the result of a pioneering effort between Pelamis, the British engineering giant, Enersis, a Portuguese company specialising in alternate energy development and an Australian company Babcock and Brown that provided the required substructure for the WEC.

The main equipment used to channelize and harness the tidal power was provided by Pelamis, based on the engineering module developed by Enersis. Details about the wave farm’s technical characteristics of the offshore wave farm can be explained as under:

Aguçadoura Wave Farm: Technical Specifications

    • The offshore wave farm consisted of three main cylindrical tubing, each 120 metres long, positioned in the high seas
    • Each of these three cylindrical tubing were further bifurcated into four separate segments and each segment was connected to the other by way of flexible joints
    • The friction between each of the segments caused by the repetitive tidal action allowed the engine systems built within the tubing, to generate the necessary tidal energy
    • The engine systems were propelled hydraulically

The entire cost of equipping and installing the Aguçadoura wave farm totalled to over US$ 11 million. However in terms of its cost-to-benefit ratio, the wave farm had potential to provide fuel to over 1,500 households in its native country.

The maximum energy generating capacity of the WEC was reported to be around 2.25 mega watts which at that time, was a more than satisfactory statistic.

Technical Problems and the Future of the Wave Farm

Although the world’s first wave farm was highly successful, resultant technical glitches accounted for its abrupt withdrawal from the commercial set-up. The financial difficulties of the Australian firm also accounted for newer collaborators who took over the consequent proceedings of the WEC project. This also affected and hampered the operational viability of the wave farm.

Presently, Pelamis has been engaged in researching activities to restart the offshore wave farm. If the technical analyses are successful, the re-launched WEC would generate substantially greater amounts of wave energy as compared to the earlier Aguçadoura Wave Farm model.

Welcome on board or welcome home? Freedom Ship concept

Freedom Ship is a highly innovative maritime housing project conceptualized by an American engineering pioneer, Norman Nixon. The project is quite similar to the idea of floating cities serving as alternate residential locales in the distant future.

However unlike the floating residential complexes, the Freedom Ship concept has been aimed at providing permanent residential, recreational and commercial avenues aboard a ship to help patrons be free of the innumerable taxation burdens.

Freedom Ship Concept: Details

Freedom ship floating city design Freedom Ship has been visualised as a self-contained vessel with ultra-luxurious amenities that include dockage facilities for private yachts and planes, and premium healthcare institutes.

For a vessel that promises to offer so many feasibilities, it’s estimated that the construction cost of the Freedom Ship could total to over US$ 10 billion. Although actual construction hasn’t yet been started on the vessel, if the Freedom Ship concept duly takes off, Norman Nixon’s maritime marvel would be the biggest commercial vessel in the world with the following salient features:

    • Dimensions of over 4,000 feet lengthwise with a breadth of over 700 feet
    • A maximum occupancy of over 60,000 people, including a crewing personnel of around 15,000 members
    • Educational institutions offering qualitative educational programs
    • Exemption from taxation norms prevalent in the major countries of the world◾Shopping complexes offering non-taxable shopping luxuries
    • Sports avenues like golf, basketball and tennis courts, state-of-the-art gymnasiums, tracks for cycling and bowling alleys
    • Entertainment avenues like restaurants, pubs, discotheques and movie theatres

Freedom Ship will traverse throughout the world and when not in transit will be harboured near some of the major ports thus Freedom shipallowing its occupants to disembark at their port of choice, if so required.

Freedom Ship: Constructional Characteristics

Because of the extremely large size of the Freedom Ship, the construction of the vessel has been pinpointed to be of pivotal importance. In order to ensure that the vessel doesn’t turn turtle because of uneven balance in its base structuring, the foundation of the vessel will be built by connecting by steel cubicles as if to form a longer flat-bottomed hoy.

The Freedom Ship concept also offers highly suitable eco-friendly additions to its engineering concepts. This includes effective waste management systems, sewerage disposal systems and highly effective methodologies for reprocessing and recycling. The engineering brilliance of the ship is also seen in the blueprint of its engine systems. As per the innovator’s vision, around 100 diesel engine systems will be incorporated to manoeuvre the vessel. The cost of equipping these engine systems, each with a capacity to generate almost 4,000 HPs, is expected to touch around US$ one million.

Floating CityPotential owners need to register to book their residential units within the Freedom Ship. Smaller units of around 300 square feet are expected to cost slightly over US$ 1, 00,000 while crossing several million dollars for bigger residential units.

Present-day Status

Construction of the Freedom Ship has been stalled because of several doubts arising about the workability of the vessel. Although various maritime experts are confident about the vessel’s success, the immense cost involved has also acted as a barrier for the vessel’s construction. If these barriers are eliminated appropriately, then the Freedom Ship concept will be truly a wonder worth spending money on.