Ferry group DFDS has agreed a partnership in an attempt to cut its emissions by a third in the next 10 years through deployment of vessel optimisation technology and by using alternative fuels
Announcing a partnership with GreenSteam to co-develop and supply an enhanced vessel performance platform, the line said it will use digitalisation solutions such as machine learning to improve performance, achieve trim optimisation and optimise voyage planning.
DFDS has said it intends to cut greenhouse gas emissions from its northern European roro fleet by 25-35% by 2030.
DFDS and Greensteam have been collaborating for more than five years and already have performance optimisation systems installed on 18 DFDS vessels. Adding to the ongoing partnership, DFDS said it will deploy GreenSteam’s Dynamic Trim Optimiser (DTO) across its fleet and will roll out the hardware on its ships in Q4 2020 and Q1 2021.
DTO captures high-frequency performance data from onboard sensors and integrates this with the vessel’s digital model to calculate optimal trim settings. GreenSteam said the process has been shown to reduce annual fuel consumption by up to 6%.
DFDS head of projects and implementation Jacob Pedersen said he was impressed by the reduction in fuel consumption that can be achieved by "applying machine learning to optimise even one aspect of vessel operations”.
He said the results came from trialling and testing GreenSteam’s solution over many years on roro ships.
“Our partnership with GreenSteam will allow us to identify and cut down on unnecessary fuel consumption across our entire fleet,” he said.
The partners intend to develop and install measures to reduce or eliminate other causes of fuel wastage, including hull fouling and speed control. GreenSteam will build vessel-specific digital models for each ship to create a platform for real-time decision support and changes during voyages.
The digital performance models of the DFDS vessels will be based on data across 13 different variables, encompassing ship performance and environmental conditions. GreenSteam’s AI platform identifies the impact each factor has on fuel usage and converts this data into operational recommendations while the vessel is in transit.
"Together, we have demonstrated that a dynamic, machine learning-driven approach can support crews to make the most fuel-efficient decisions for any given voyage," said GreenSteam executive chairman Shaun Gray.
As part of its shift to alternative fuels, DFDS said its long-term strategy is to adapt vessels to use ammonia, hydrogen or methanol fuels and that it is looking for projects and partnerships to help generate and share knowledge in these areas. DFDS has set itself a deadline of 2026/27 to make a qualified choice of fuels and vessels to invest in.
DFDS head of innovation and partnerships Jakob Steffensen said during Riviera’s Marine Fuels Webinar Week in July how the ferry group was looking to test hydrogen as a viable alternative marine fuel.
Digitalisation technology for cutting emissions and fuel consumption are presented during Riviera’s series of Webinar Weeks and Virtual Conferences in Q4 2020 - use this link to view the upcoming events and programmes in the Events page