Researchers from the University of Southampton and Shell Shipping and Maritime have developed an app that interprets a vessel’s draught and trim to optimise the amount of fuel and power required ‘in any given situation’.
The Just Add Water, or JAWS, app was developed through the partners’ Centre for Maritime Futures, which is focuses on delivering digital and technological advances to achieve safer, cleaner and more efficient shipping.
Engineers trialled the system on a fleet of over 12 300-metre LNG carriers for 12 months, cumulatively recording a saving of 250,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions, which is equivalent to a fuel saving of $90 million.
The new modelling technique was developed by postgraduate research student Amy Parkes during her PhD in the Maritime Engineering research group.
‘LNG carriers have a large surface area so wind, waves and current can make a huge difference to the amount of power required in a journey,’ said Parkes.
‘These ships can be high or low in the water, at different angles in the water and have different levels of fouling, which impacts the amount of energy used for them to move around.’
She continued: ‘Shell collects an enormous amount of data from these vessels and this app is designed to monitor and adapt to these variables to save power without changing the ship’s overall speed.’
‘Once the technology has developed further, we intend for the dashboard to monitor the ship state alongside weather conditions and make adjustments autonomously.’
The Centre for Maritime Futures was officially launched last autumn following a gift of £1.5 million from Shell Shipping & Maritime.