GATE Rudder System as a Retrofit for the Next Generation Propulsion and Steering of Ships

Reducing operating costs and improving the environmental sustainability of the shipping industry – across all vessel classes – is a top priority in the EU. The answer could be the Gate Rudder System, which is proving to be a remarkable energy saving concept with excellent manoeuvrability. Bringing together 18 technology experts and stakeholders, the EU-funded GATERS project will demonstrate the benefits of this system and why it can become the next-generation propulsion and steering system for waterborne transport. Specifically, the project will install and operate this system on a coastal cargo vessel. Next, the team will explore the system’s concept for oceangoing shipping operations. The technology is available for both new-build and existing vessels.

"GATERS proposes the first retrofit application of a novel propulsion and manoeuvring device for ships, called “Gate Rudder System”. It specifically addresses at the call text “to develop and demonstrate to TRL6 and higher innovative, cost-effective retrofit solution for marine shipping to provide substantial improvements regarding environmental impacts and life cycle cost"". Taking advantage of the remarkable fuel saving (a max of 14% in trials and 30% in-service) and excellent manoeuvrability of the gate rudder system, ""GATERS demonstrates significantly reduced emissions from ships particularly within coastal and port areas to challenge and even exceeding the current and future legislative requirements of the IMO and local regulations for emissions"".

GATERS aims to bring together 18 technology experts and prime stakeholders, including the patent holder, to demonstrate and exploit the benefits of this system by two complementary deliverables. First is the retrofit demonstration of the system for the European short sea shipping operations by installing and operating on a target coastal tanker. Second is the concept exploration of this system for the oceangoing shipping operations, including fleet level. Hence to demonstrate if the Gate Rudder System can be the next generation propulsion and steering system for the waterborne transport.

The three-phase work programme of GATERS includes the investigation of the technical challenges and solutions in Phase1. The detailed design and manufacturing of the retrofit system on the target vessel are to be conducted in Phase2. The demonstration of the retrofit technology on the target vessel and its impact assessment comprising other ship types are included in Phase 3. The two deliverables of the projects will be exploited by the Consortium immediately and the European Maritime Industry to follow up through the comprehensive communication, dissemination and exploitation activities supported by the Industry Advisory Board.

More information about the project can be found at the project website.