Schneekluth WED: Efficiency on the high seas with ducts from Dinslaken

Schneekluth Hydrodynamik produces and sells Wake Equalising Ducts (WED) for ship’s propellers that increase the energy efficiency of shipping vessels. Those ducts that have already been installed are creating an annual carbon saving of five million tonnes. And the potential is enormous: there are still far more than 50,000 cargo ships that could be fitted with the Schneekluth ducts.

At the beginning of the 1980s, Dr. Herbert Schneekluth, Professor for Shipping and Hydrodynamics at RWTH Aachen and Director of the Versuchsanstalt für Binnenschifffahrt test institute for inland shipping in Duisburg, developed the Schneekluth WED (Wake Equalizing Duct) - a method for making ship propulsion more efficient.

The duct is still being produced and sold under his name. From the first “sketches” in a CAD programme to the loading of the product onto the low loader, each production stage takes place in the Dinslaken plant. Since then, more than 1,700 ships around the globe have been fitted with the climate-friendly WED.

Engine for progress:

  • increased efficiency creates carbon savings
  • considerable potential in the cargo ship industry
  • amortisation within a year
  • 25 jobs at the Dinslaken site

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Photo: Schneekluth Hydrodynamik

Thanks to its construction, the duct feeds sea water, which would otherwise pass it by, directly onto the propeller of the ship’s screw . This saves heavy oil and thus also CO2 emissions.

Duct saves five million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year

Thanks to its construction, the duct feeds the sea water directly onto the propeller. At uniform power, ships fitted with the Schneekluth WED use significantly less heavy oil. This currently adds up to a saving of more than five million tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum. As the duct also helps reduce the vibration of the ship, there is less material wear, thus reducing wear on the electrical devices and the engine. Practical examples show that use of the duct has an amortisation period of a year (or less). In this respect, the economic benefits are combined with climate protection. There are plans to install a further 16 ducts in 2016. In light of the considerable relevance to the climate of the approximately 60,000 cargo ships around the globe, there is even greater potential. They are also light to lift, as retrofitting the duct to an existing vessel requires neither reconstructing nor modifying the propeller design.

Schneekluth climate-friendly production

With the development and sale of their climate-friendly product, Schneekluth Hydrodynamik is playing its part in protecting the climate. In 2016, the company also became a producer of green electricity. 800 square metres of roof area are available for a PV installation, which will yield an installed capacity of around 80 kilowatt peak. This will produce the majority of the electricity the company requires and save around 55 tonnes of CO2 a year.

Photo: private

“With our SCHNEEKLUTH WED, we have already reduced CO2 emissions in maritime shipping by more than five million tonnes per year. We want to install our duct in every ship, so we still have a long way to go!”

Peter Ostra sen., Managing Director

Partners and sponsors

  • Schneekluth Hydrodynamik