DOST Funds P76-M Hybrid Trimaran Project

A boat to be designed and built as a hybrid trimaran will soon crisscross the islands of the Philippines. Hopefully! It’s because the Innovation Council, or the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technologies Research and Development (PCIEERD is funding a 76 million pesos project to build a “hybrid trimaran” cargo vessel. PCIEERD is an agency of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

Online free dictionary Wikipedia says “a trimaran is a multi-hull boat that comprises a main hull and two smaller outrigger hulls (or “floats”) which are attached to the main hull with lateral beams.” Presently, today’s trimarans are either sailing yachts for recreation or racing, as ferries, or warships, it added.

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Officials of the Innovation Council said the trimaran being developed is a “hybrid” because it will be designed with a dual power source, its engine and the energy it can harness from ocean waves. Deputy Executive Director Raul Sabularse, officer-in-charge of PCIEERD, relayed the trimaran project to this journalist, saying the Council will fund the building of the boat.

Rachel Habana, PCIEERD senior science research specialist and project manager of the trimaran, said the boat will have foreign- and local-sourced parts, such as engine and steel hull (from abroad) deck equipment and prototype test model (locally sourced). She said the project is a concept of engineer Jonathan Salvador, owner of Metallica Shipyard.

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It will be implemented by the Aklan State University (ASU) in partnership with the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and Metallica Shipyard. MARINA’s responsibility is to ensure the trimaran will be compliant with international safety and emission standards.

On the other hand, carrying a seven years of shipbuilding experience, Salvador’s shipyard is tasked to come up with the hybrid water-borne craft’s design and specifications. PCIEERD’s description of the boat showed it is being designed, developed, and built to carry 100 passengers, four vans, and 15 motorcycles and will use steel to make sure it has higher structure efficiency and better wave resistance.

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The trimaran will be equipped with wave energy double action hydraulic pumps integrated into its outriggers. Meanwhile, the pumps’ mechanical movements will be converted to electrical energy that can be used to provide additional power to the vessel. The more waves that the vessel encounters, more power will be produced.

The Innovation Council added the technology is expected to improve the vessel’s energy efficiency, making it not only cost-efficient, but also environment-friendly. Habana said the construction will start in 2018 as soon as the foreign parts shall have been procured from abroad.

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Also being ensured is the vessel’s ability to evade total engine failures at sea through a multi-engine technology to minimize maritime accidents. To address the possibility of capsizing, the boat’s builders will construct it with a specifically engineered design, “making it practically unsinkable and able to withstand harsh environments at sea.”

The trimaran is the DOST’s response to the call of MARINA to modernize the maritime industry. PCIEERD will monitor the construction of the hybrid trimaran, which is expected to be completed by 2020.

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EDD K. Usman: 1st winner of “Best Science Feature Story” of 2018 UP Science Journalism Award on February 17; winner in June 2014 for Print Media in Kabalikat Award Media Category of PCIEERD-DOST Science Journalism Award; alumnus of United States’ East-West Center 2008 Senior Journalists Seminar; participant of South Korea 2000 Executive Seminar for Information Technology Journalists; senior journalist at Manila Bulletin until April 15, 2016; stringer/contributor at present for Rappler,, Claire Delfin Online Magazine, Malaya Business Insight, Agriculture Magazine (of Manila Bulletin), and U.S.-based Philippine News. Traveled on assignment abroad more than 30 times. Reports about SciTech, IT, ICT, Current Events, and many other subjects under Heaven.

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