To ensure efficient propeller functioning while navigating unloaded around shallow inland waters, ships’ hulls are provided with integrated tunnel forms. However, as the water gets deeper, these tunnels become redundant. A tunnel raises the hull’s resistance, while 85% of the time, on average, it is not needed at all. By making the tunnel flexibly retractable, this resistance is reduced, thereby substantially reducing fuel consumption and emission.
Thanks to the strongly reduced hull resistance, neither the engine capacity nor the propeller diameter need be so large, reducing the ship’s weight and allowing more cargo to be transported across shallower waters. And should the water level drop to an exceptionally low level, a ship equipped with a FLEX tunnel will still be able to navigate, because the Van der Velden FLEX Tunnel ensures sufficient supply of water to the propeller. In addition, the FLEX tunnel provides greater design freedom for the stern, allowing optimisation of resistance reduction, thereby creating an even more efficient hull.
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