A waste collection vessel will be built. A contract has been signed | Gdańsk University of Technology

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Date added: 2022-04-08

A waste collection vessel will be built. A contract has been signed

prof. Sławomir Milewski, PhD, DSc, Eng., Vice-Rector for Science and Adam Ślipy
From the left: prof. Sławomir Milewski, PhD, DSc, Eng., Vice-Rector for Science and Adam Ślipy, President of Seatech Engineering. Photo Gdańsk Tech materials
An autonomous ship will be constructed that will collect waste from water and other ships, and will be powered by electricity. On 5 April, prof. Sławomir Milewski, Vice-Rector for Science and Adam Ślipy, President of Seatech Engineering, signed a consortium agreement for the implementation of the project.

The project "Zero-emission Ship for Collection of Waste in Ports and Coastal Areas" (acronym: ZeroWastePorts) will be implemented by a Polish-Taiwanese consortium. It consists of - on the Polish side - the Seatech Engineering design office as leader and Gdańsk University of Technology, and on the Taiwanese side, the National Taiwan University and the Ship and Ocean Industries R&D Center. The cooperation within ZeroWastePorts is an ideal basis for the intercontinental exchange of knowledge and experience, through the joint use of the knowledge of the design office, the current results of research conducted at Gdańsk Tech and NTU, and research infrastructure.

Project goals

The main goal of the ZeroWastePorts initiative is to complete the preliminary design of an autonomous Waste Collecting Vessel (WCV) powered by electricity. The primary function of the ship will be to collect waste both from the water surface and from other ships. The ship will be adapted for operation in open waters and restricted waters that are difficult from the navigational point of view (ports, harbors, inland waterways).

The detailed goals of the project are:

  • designing the shape of the hull with good stability, low fuel consumption and excellent maneuverability,
  • development of waste detection algorithms and autonomous navigation mode,
  • design and optimization of the electric power supply system on board the ship,
  • designing a shore station for collecting waste and charging ship's batteries,
  • assessment of the feasibility of introducing the WCV concept worldwide in different ports.

Modularization, autonomy and electrification

The originality of the design is based on three elements: modularization, autonomy and electrification. In all of these areas, the project will make an international scientific contribution.

The most advanced research methods will be used in the project activities, including model studies and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methods. The methods will be used primarily to assess the efficiency of propulsion and maneuverability of the ship. Moreover, it is planned to use machine learning for waste detection and autonomous planning of the ship's trajectory, and a ship simulator to analyze the ship's reaction in real time.

The consortium operates under the funding program of the ninth competition for joint bilateral projects under Polish-Taiwanese cooperation. The Polish part is supported by the National Center for Research and Development (NCBiR), the Taiwanese one by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST).

The project will be carried out under the leadership of Maciej Reichel PhD, Eng. in the inter-departmental team of scientists from the Institute of Ocean Engineering and Ship Technology at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Ship Technology.