Swedish propulsion optimisation expert Lean Marine has commissioned its ‘on top’ propulsion automation technology FuelOpt in record time, despite challenges faced during the Covid-19 pandemic
Despite travel restrictions and quarantine obligations in place worldwide, Lean Marine completed the remote commissioning of the FuelOpt on board a Suezmax tanker operated by Tipco Maritime, a division of Tipco Asphalt.
The installation on 2000-built, 157,000-dwt Jacob took place in September 2020 in China. Once the installation was completed, Tipco Asphalt announced the risk of delays on commissioning due to Jacob’s voyage plan, leaving only one week for Lean Marine to complete application work and commissioning.
Lean Marine chief executive Mikael Laurin said “Jacob’s commissioning was a record for Lean Marine. I am extremely proud of our team, they mobilised very fast, overcame several obstacles, and the FuelOpt system was customised, installed and up and running only three weeks after it was sent from our warehouse.”
He added, “During the pandemic we have reinvented our installation and commissioning process, created new tools for remote commissioning and levelled up the collaboration with our international partners. We have gained a lot of new experience during the last months and increased our operational flexibility.”
Tipco Asphalt director marine group Louis-Frédéric Sachs said “Jacob will be at sea or docking in countries with travel restrictions for several months. We only had one week left in China and we wanted to start using FuelOpt as soon as possible. Lean Marine was extremely reactive from the moment we requested an immediate commissioning. We are thankful for their great work on this project.”
Tipco Asphalt places great focus on long-term sustainability and performance. Therefore, running its supply chain operations more efficiently and effectively is crucial.
Mr Sachs added, “Our voyages are transocean and our vessels with fixed pitch propellers must adapt to every sea condition instantly to have the highest efficiency, however instant manual adjustments are neither feasible nor as efficient as what can be achieved with an automated system.”
“To support the work of our crew and ensure the optimal fuel efficiency, we decided to install FuelOpt on board Jacob.”
FuelOpt technology is designed to make crew’s life easier and replace the need for constant monitoring and manual adjustments by automating the propulsion line. When using FuelOpt on the bridge, the crew gets full, automated control of vessel speed and fuel consumption. It enables them to avoid potential overconsumption of fuel in harsh conditions, such as high swells and winds.
The bridge crew activates FuelOpt with the push of a button from the intuitive panel on the bridge. From this panel they can set the command for engine power, fuel consumption and/or speed.
Once the system is activated, it optimises propulsion in real-time based on the command set. The system’s adaptive algorithms take varying conditions, eg weather, hull resistance and currents, engine load and shaft power, into account. In this way, FuelOpt ensures maximum power optimisation, minimum fuel consumption and reduced emissions.
Reaching the highest achievable efficiency on vessels with a controllable pitch propeller is also possible since FuelOpt acts as a dynamic tuning system for the propulsion machinery to ensure the engine and propeller operate at optimal conditions. The system achieves this by controlling the propeller’s pitch and RPM separately to produce the most propeller thrust with the least power.
Its patented adaptive and real-time pitch/RPM optimisation also takes temperature and cylinder top pressure into its calculations. Additionally, the system adds an extra layer of operational safety by avoiding the risk of overload on the engine system and propulsion line.
Vessel performance and optimisation is the focus of Vessel Optimisation Webinar Week 7-11 December 2002.