Energy supply

The sail/voyage plan optimization applications for energy transport/tank/supply include sailing time optimization, improved asset preservation and maintenance and the reduction of fuel and emissions.

Efficient transport and asset management

Fuel and emission reduction

Fuel prices for maritime transport are now from 20% up to 60% of total operational vessel costs in yearly averages, but with very significant and unpredictable variations that can cause severe financial impacts to the industry. SpaceNavTM is achieving a significant fuel reduction in the operation of a vessel due to the improved and accurate route plans that are updated in real time. In effect, a virtual vessel-specific IT centre continuously calculates the optimal sail heading and speed for each vessel, based on the most up-to-date Earth observation data and numerous numerical models.

Similarly, the emission of CO2 and other pollutants (such as sulphur dioxides, nitrogen oxides and fine particulate matter) can be reduced, resulting in less pollution along major trade routes and coastal areas. In particular, it allows the vessel operator to become aware of the actual vessel pollution and thereby provides means to comply with environmental regulations at any given geographical location.

Optimized sailing time

SpaceNavTM makes it possible to optimize the route plan according to operational requirements, such as port slot times, channel passing slots (Suez or Panama channel) and tide schedules (for instance, a VLCC needs high tide to enter and leave the port of Rotterdam).

Traditionally, sea masters give a 10% time margin over the journey to ensure a timely arrival at their destination due to various risks, in particular uncertainty in the weather forecasts and sea state conditions. This causes large overheads as typically the vessel operates at very low speed during the last hours of a journey. With a more accurate route plan based on real-time weather and sea state observations, time margins can be greatly reduced.

Asset preservation and maintenance

The life expectancy of a commercial vessel depends to a large extent on the stress the vessel (and especially the hull of the vessel) is experiencing at sea. Commercial vessels are designed for a life expectancy of around 30 years. This can only be achieved with extensive maintenance of the hull according to the stress it encounters. Due to the fact that it is unknown today what the actual encountered stress of the vessel is, maintenance cycles are based on regular intervals disregarding the actual need for maintenance. This can lead to serious safety issues. On the other hand, with the appropriate observational data and fatigue models, maintenance cycles can be significantly optimized to an ‘as needed basis’. Furthermore, an explicit reduction of the exposure to heavy seas can significantly extend a vessel’s life expectancy.