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New tool is a fuel saver for shipping

The pressure on shipping to become more sustainable grows by the day, with more and more ‘emission control areas' (ECAs) in which ships have to comply with tough environmental requirements. New international legislation forcing owners to sail economical. TNO has a tool for the design of new vessels and retrofitting of ships developed, these Energy Optimization Tool calculates both fuel consumption and emissions optimisation of the power management design.

“ECA’s compel ships to switch over to less sulphurous but more expensive fuel. And the emissions like  NOx, SOx and CO2, is increasingly subject to scrutiny. This means in the longer term that the installations on board have to be modified. Our tool shows that fuel consumption can be reduced by a significant amount without the need for complex modifications. With the consequence that the emission levels fall proportionately.”

Smart use of data

The optimisation tool analyses the whole on-board installation and indicates where efficiency can be improved. This results in a recommendation about which parts can best be modified in which way. By making smart use of the data measured for the installation, speed and load, the efficiency of the ship as a whole can be optimised. The saving that can be made on fuel consumption very quickly runs to between two and five per cent for existing installations and up to ten per cent for new. For shipping such figures are spectacular.

Tough requirements for consumption and emissions

Interest in the tool is increasing, now that the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has stipulated that in 2025 new ships must be thirty per cent more energy-efficient than in 2013 in order to cut both fuel consumption and emissions. During the design of a ship the actual consumption during passage is difficult to predict well due to the increasing complexity of the hybrid installations and the greater variation in the sailing pattern.

“The optimisation tool that runs on a PC with algorithms developed by TNO gives shipbuilders and owners an energy model of the ship. It provides a blueprint of the ship, regardless of type, which makes it immediately evident whether the energy management system complies with the forthcoming fuel and emission requirements.” TNO has used knowledge of this field in a range of European projects, including the EU project INOMANS²HIP (INOvative energy MANagement System for cargo SHIPs) in which concepts have been developed to enable container ships to sail more efficiently and reduce harmful emissions.

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