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New generation energy management system cuts fuel bill significantly

Thu 01 Jun 2017 by David Foxwell

New generation energy management system cuts fuel bill significantly
Trials of Rolls-Royce’s new energy management system on an offshore vessel demonstrated a significant reduction in fuel use

Rolls-Royce has launched a new generation energy management (EM) system that trials show can cut fuel costs by 15 per cent. 

The system will allow customers to reduce energy usage, fuel consumption and operating costs while supporting environmental compliance and providing performance information that enables the ship to comply with ship energy efficiency management rules and IMO regulations.

The system offers customers a more data-driven performance management and decision making approach. This will give an enhanced ability to monitor the performance of an individual vessel or a fleet. It can also increase crew awareness of individual ship performance and encourage healthy vessel-to-vessel benchmarking and competition, improving the performance of a specific vessel through the propagation of best operating practices.

The system can be easily retrofitted and is also customisable to meet specific customer needs. It is suitable for a wide range of vessels, particularly those using large quantities of fuel. For example ferries, cruise and ropax ships, offshore vessels, fishing vessels and cargo ships.

The energy management system collects and processes data from a multitude of sensors on the vessel. Data sources include the engines, propulsion system, automation, deck machinery and other equipment. The data collected from frequent sampling is available on board and is securely encrypted before being transmitted via link on to a secure Rolls-Royce-hosted web portal, where much more detailed analysis and comparisons can be carried out.

A cloud-based portal enables fleet operators to compare real-time and historical performance indicators and baseline analysis. Selected information is displayed graphically to make it as accessible and easy to use as possible.

For example fuel consumption and fuel consumption per nautical mile can be displayed, showing current levels against a baseline of historical data. Operators can quickly and easily see whether consumption is higher than needed for the conditions, and whether the number of engines running should be changed to bring the operating engines into the load range with the lowest specific fuel consumption. This allows the crew to minimise fuel use and cut emissions.

Marco Cristoforo Camporeale, Rolls-Royce’s general manager, intelligent asset management, said “Golden Energy Offshore tell us that during trials of the system on board two of their UT 776 CD platform supply vessels they demonstrated fuel savings up to 15 per cent. We were expecting a slightly lower figure, somewhere between 5 and 10 per cent.”

Per Ivar Fagervoll, chief executive Golden Energy Offshore, one of Rolls-Royce’s Energy Management System’s pilot customers who have had two vessels in their fleet of 10 vessels equipped with a trial system since early 2015, said: “For us, as a vessel operator, it is important to maintain a high focus on energy efficiency through our management system – which among other standards includes fully certified ISO 50001 (Energy Management) – and meeting the high goal we set on energy performance indicators.

“Through the energy management system, we are able to optimise the energy use on board by adjusting our switchboard configurations, with efficient use of the generators for standby sailing and when in dynamic positioning mode. Accurate fuel consumption measured at an early stage also gives us the opportunity to adjust the vessels’ speed and trim to save fuel.

“Our experience with the energy management system has demonstrated the potential to save more than 10 per cent on our fuel bill. The information displayed on energy management on board and ashore also has a significant positive effect on human factors and the attention on energy efficiency, which should not be underestimated. Beyond cost savings, we believe that a focus on emissions and energy efficiency goes a long way in fulfilling our responsibility towards the environment, and will also give us a competitive advantage in our marketplace.”

The system has also been installed on a newly-delivered fishing vessel, Ramoen, and a Hurtigruten cruise ship and Norwegian short sea shipping and logistics company. NorLines has ordered the system for two vessels, Kvitbjřrn and Kvitnos.

The system is available in three packages. Package one covers fuel and emissions monitoring. Here both sailing performance and stationary performance of the vessel is shown for the actual operational profile. Different legs of a voyage can be automatically detected and compared, and the system provides the evidence required for energy
efficiency compliance.

Package two – fuel, emissions and ship performance monitoring – allows additional analysis of the ship’s performance including voyage performance, weather resistance indication, trim optimisation and operating cost, and machinery – engine and power-speed – performance. This solution may require more sensors but will give a fuller picture of the ship’s performance, and ways in which its efficiency may be improved.

Package three – comprehensive performance monitoring – provides even deeper insight into ship system performance. This includes speed optimisation and propulsion performance, where the system also detects and advises if propeller cavitation is likely. It also displays energy balance, which maps the produced electrical power on board against the distribution of its major energy consuming equipment. The thermal sankey module visualises the thermal energy path and shows energy loss and recovery from the heat waste system.

The system also offers customisable modules that can be tailored to meet specific customer needs. Some examples include hull growth indication, hull condition monitoring and custom operational key performance indicator reporting.

Rolls-Royce can also provide expert analysis of the data and suggest where further improvements could be made through upgrading equipment, such as re-blading of propellers. Analysis of data from a vessel in service can also improve the design and specification of future vessels in an owner’s fleet renewal programme.

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