• Jan 3rd 2011 at 9:57AM
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The City of St. Petersburg – Click above to watch video after the jump

Japanese automaker Nissan has unveiled its eco-friendly transport ship: the 21,000-ton City of St. Petersburg. Thanks to its unusual design, which features a semispherical prow that's claimed to reduce wind resistance by up to 50 percent compared to a conventional vessel, the City of St. Petersburg is expected to cut annual fuel usage by 800 tons, which will reduce CO2 emissions by 2,500 tons.

The ship has room to haul up to 2,000 vehicles and will hit the waterways to transport cars and trucks to Northern Europe and Russia from the automaker's factories in the United Kingdom and Spain. In a fitting move, starting in 2013, the City of St. Petersburg will transport battery-powered Leafs from the Nissan's plant in Sunderland, UK. Hop the jump to catch a pair of videos that showcase Nissan's City of St. Petersburg.

[Source: Nissan in the News]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Months Ago
      Very cool maritime design!

      Just the other day I was joking with my father about how boring it must be to be a naval architect tasked with drawing a RORO ship... "We need a box this long and this high..."

      I love taking photos near our waterfront facilities - I'd be stoked to see the City of St. Petersburg in port.
      • 8 Months Ago
      It sounds so obvious, doesn't it? Build the bow round to reduce air resistance.
      Weird that it hasn't happened before.
      This is more than PR, it is a genuine technical advance, and will reduce fuel costs.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Amazing isn't it that it's not been done until now.
      • 8 Months Ago
      These big ships burn the equivalent of lighter crude oil - hopefully sweet.
      Can you imagine the brown plume following these things?

      Could be nuke powered. Of course that would cost more.
      • 8 Months Ago
      So that's why there's so many Leaf delivery delays: they are using a Prius cargo boat.

      All kidding aside, this is another great P.R move from Nissan. Congrats!
      • 8 Months Ago
      That is.... really fricking cool. One of those "why the hell haven't they done this before" designs.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Not really arguing here, because I'm genuinely curious, but wouldn't a RoRo using 2-3 times as much fuel mean that the 700 tons of fuel saved annually is that much less significant? i.e. only 1-2 days worth of fuel saved over the course of the entire year?
        • 8 Months Ago
        Because wind resistance isn't a significant factor in fuel usage on an ocean-going ship?


        A container ship uses about 200 tons of fuel a day. This saves about 3 days fuel per year, or about 1%.

        1% is 1%, but there are a lot of other things to look at first, if you can make the engine more efficient or even the drive screws you can save more than 1%.
        • 8 Months Ago
        We'd need to know how much fuel a similar sized ship uses for a similar trip. The numbers in LS2LS7's link are nearly meaningless, because we have no idea what size ship they relate to.

        Apparently, I also got my numbers mixed - RoRos (due to a smaller average GWT) generally use one-third as much fuel compared to an average container ship. So that would flip the numbers the other way... keep in mind RoRos can be very small while container ships can be very large, so averages might still even be worthless for comparison...

        It might not sound like much total - but it does translate to real-world dollars, so certainly Nissan thought the value was worth the cost of building the design.

        Try this link if you're curious:

        • 8 Months Ago
        A RoRo is *not* a container ship, and can use between 2-3 times more fuel for the same distance.

        Wind resistance is a limiting factor on RoRos, due to the large sail-effect. Their operational profile generally requires lower speeds in order to save fuel. This is a problem because lower speeds mean fewer trips, which decreases profitability. So, most RoRos burn way more fuel just to keep up a profitable schedule.

        "He said vessel speeds drive cost up and increase emissions. "A two-knots speed reduction from Asia to Europe would cut CO2 emissions per transported unit by 21 percent, creating a significantly positive impact on the environment," Iversen said. "Although voyage times would increase by four days, fuel consumption would drop by 17 percent."


        Since the ship doesn't know if it's pushing against water or the wind, increasing the aerodynamics of the ship - and reducing the effect of wind resistance - can allow a ship to keep up its speed while reducing the power needed to maintain that speed, allowing the carrier to maintain their schedules while simultaneously saving fuel.

        A more aerodynamic ship can make more trips, because it can maintain higher speeds, making the ship more profitable.
      • 8 Months Ago

      Wow, these companies are really reaching now.
      • 8 Months Ago
      watched it leave the River Tyne today, MAGNIFICENT.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Indeed, looks like it is somewhat common after all (including the "City of" part). I guess I'm just not a fan of that naming style.
      • 8 Months Ago
      What? I really don't think wind resistance matters much when you are traveling that slow.

      Make the damn cars it is carrying more aerodynamic!!
        • 8 Months Ago
        It does on something that size - work out the area of the front. And:
        'It is being deployed in the North Sea because the area is known for its high winds. Nissan thinks the boats aerodynamics will be of more use here.'

        • 8 Months Ago
        Ships are huge, so reducing Cd a little helps a lot. Also, it is the air speed that matters -- so when the ship sailing into a headwind, the drag must be considerable?

      • 8 Months Ago
      What a terrible name for a ship.

      "Did you hear about the City of St. Petersburg?"
      "The one in Russia, or in Florida?"
      "No, the ship..."
      "I thought you said the city..."
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