A new tool under development by an engine diagnostics specialist will help owners to more accurately decide when to clean their vessels’ hulls.
Piraeus-based Propulsion Analytics has already conducted one pilot project for the solution, which draws on engine data processed by the company’s Engine Hyper Cube software suite. A digital twin of the engine enables the system to isolate changes in performance attributable to the vessel’s operating conditions (including weather, sea state and loading).
Any variation in performance that remains unaccounted for can be attributed to increased resistance on the ship’s hull due to fouling. According to Propulsion Analytics CEO Panos Theodossopoulos, this understanding of the state of the hull – and its impact on speed and fuel consumption – will allow shipowners to balance the fuel penalty caused by fouling against the cost of cleaning. This will provide a basis for making decisions about when to schedule hull cleaning.
“We are using our engine digital twin model in a unique way, to get a more holistic view of engine and vessel performance allowing us to isolate the effect of hull fouling,” said Mr Theodossopoulos.
The International Standards Organization published a hull performance monitoring standard, ISO 19030, in 2016. Mr Theodossopoulos noted that although it is, in principle, easy for an operator to collect the data to meet this standard, the quality of data is proving a frustration. Propulsion Analytics’ tool will be able to offer an independent benchmark against which such data can be cleaned.
The company, which has co-developed an engine diagnostics package being rolled out across WinGD’s dual-fuel engines, is running a second pilot trial this year before exploring the commercialisation of the hull fouling assessment tool.