Installing a full propulsion monitoring and management system across a fleet will enable owners to identify the ‘quick wins’
A propulsion monitoring system integrates real-time fuel consumption and maritime condition monitoring with cloud storage and analysis applications.
Vessel owners are advised to install fuel monitoring sensors on ships in their fleet as noon reports are not sufficient for real-time monitoring, said VAF Instruments director of research and development Erik van Ballegooijen.
He was speaking at Riviera Maritime Media’s ‘How to develop and implement a digital performance strategy to optimise vessel performance’ webinar on 14 May.
A total propulsion management solution can offer more than data collation and should also include software and analysis.
“Just placing sensors on board a vessel is not the whole story,” said Mr van Ballegooijen. “It is good to go for automatic data collection and important to show this data on board.
“It is also good to send this data to shore and have this information somewhere in the cloud.”
Once data is stored, display it on board for crew to make immediate performance improvements. It could then be analysed by VAF, third party or the owner to identify trends across the fleet.
“Once in the cloud, you can do a lot of additional things, like data enrichment, creating KPIs and long-term trend visualisation,” said Mr van Ballegooijen.
Shipping companies and technical experts can access cloud-stored data to analyse fuel consumption across fleets of ships and add information from other sources.
“You can get external data, like weather data, or you might also have your own business intelligence tools,” he continued.
These resources can be connected to propulsion management tools or sent to charterers for analysis. “Exchanging and combining data is valuable for analysis,” said Mr van Ballegooijen. “It is also important to find the quick wins and know which data is immediately relevant.”
For propulsion performance management it is important to have a minimum dataset, including real-time measurements of the fuel consumption from flow meters on the fuel supply lines. Other measurements could include speedlogs for vessel velocity over water, global positioning data and ship draught.
External condition information can include wind, wave and current data from onboard sensors or external databases.
This information can be fed into a cloud system such as VAF’s IVY propulsion management solution that uses Microsoft Azure for data cloud storage and applications.
“With this minimum dataset, you can create ship-speed and fuel consumption curves,” said Mr van Ballegooijen. Shipowners and operators can “create baselines and see improvements or why things are going wrong” to decide how to optimise operations further.
Historic data can be incorporated for trend analysis across the fleet. “This allows you to compare vessels and pick out the best-in-class ship,” said Mr van Ballegooijen.
“What we have seen from large groups of sister vessels is there might be tremendous differences in fuel consumption between these vessels,” he explained. “So, it is really interesting to dive into the data and see why one vessel is better than another.”
This will enable owners and operators to learn from the vessels with the best performance and advise masters on other vessels how to make improvements. This can be extended to other aspects of operations, not just fuel consumption. “Once you gain experience with this, you can set additional sensors and additional analysis, which will provide you with even more benefits,” said Mr van Ballegooijen.
He was joined on the panel during the webinar by Van Oord director for digital transformation Mare Straetmans, DNV GL business and segment director for special ships Arnstein Eknes and Startup Wharf founder and managing director Leonardo Zangrando.
Watch the ‘How to develop and implement a digital performance strategy to optimise vessel performance’ webinar in our webinar library