How IRAMS software helped a customer save 20% in fuel costs

2/11/2023

AST Networks IRAMS Maritime Fuel Saving Analysis

Summary

  • Increased regulation, financial pressures to reduce crew sizes and the drive to improve environmental credentials. There are many reasons businesses in the maritime sector are looking to digital technologies and automation. But it’s impossible to realise the full potential in operational performance, cost efficiency and environmental performance without real-time insight and data monitoring.

  • A client that services the UK wind farm industry used AST Networks' IRAMS platform to identify a working crew transfer vessel (CTV) using excessive throttle. This resulted in higher than optimal fuel consumption rates and emissions when benchmarked against similar CTV vessels.

  • We reviewed the historical data, configurable alerts and reports provided by IRAMS. We found the skippering of this specific vessel impacted the optimum fuel consumption and caused disproportionate engine wear.

  • IRAMS enabled the client to increase skipper efficiency, resulting in fuel cost savings of up to 20% – around £96,400 for this single vessel. Oil consumption, engine wear and twin-engine performance will also improve.

  • IRAMS monitors vessels in dock or at sea, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. While at sea, AST Networks' systems will continuously monitor the vessel destination, speed and position, and send anomaly alerts. iRAMS can also harness this data to take a long-term view of vessel data to provide efficiency savings, as in the example above.

Key benefits

  • IRAMS platform provides real-time insight and data with the same level of detail remotely as could be observed onboard.

  • Identified potential fuel savings of up to 20% through simple changes to skipper behaviour.

  • Reduced oil consumption and engine wear, increased twin-engine performance, geofence capability to avoid dangerous areas, on-task and off-task data alerts for cost and risk control, data archival for performance analysis.

The detail - How IRAMS delivered up to 20% fuel savings

Using the dual reporting feature in IRAMS, data was extracted from an actual working Crew Transfer Vessel (CTV) servicing the UK wind farm industry. The data set contained fuel rate vs throttle covering a 12-month period (27/03/2018 – 25/03/2019).

The throttle values were grouped in increments of 5% (e.g. ≤5%, ≤10%, ≤15% … ≤100%) and the cumulative fuel rates that fell within each range were then averaged, giving an approximate fuel use rate for each interval (see Table 1).

This approach was considered to give a fair approximation of fuel rate across the range of throttle positions used on a vessel under normal operating conditions.

By reviewing the results, it was determined that a throttle position of approximately 85% might give the best balance between lower fuel rate and practical vessel operation. Operating fully at 85% throttle showed a potential fuel rate saving of approximately 29%.

It was recognised as unrealistic, however, to expect a vessel to never use 100% throttle (e.g. when operating against the tide, when trying to avoid weather fronts, or for other operational needs influenced by safety).

We compared the behaviour of similar CTVs where IRAMS was installed and actively monitored by the vessel operators. This analysis showed that other similar vessels used 100% throttle for less than 0.3% of their operating time. Instead, those vessels favoured the >80 to ≤90 range (see Table 1).

The subject vessel’s data, on the other hand, revealed that 100% throttle was used for 19.4% of its operational time, equivalent to 698 hours at 100% throttle over 12 months.

We designed a model where 100% throttle was used for 5% of ‘engine on’ hours and ≤85% throttle for the remaining 95% of the time.

Fuel usage was calculated using IRAMS data from the subject vessel, an estimated fuel cost of £0.55 per litre, and an estimated 4,111 hours of total ‘engine on’ hours (2 x 2,056 hours per engine). Interestingly, data also showed that over a 12 month period of time, the fuel rate at 100% throttle averaged 222.40 litres per hour (see Table 2).

The result?

Influencing skipper behaviour and reducing the proportion of time that 100% throttle is used can yield a potential 25.9% saving when compared with the subject vessel’s actual throttle use.

Appendicies

SUBJECT VESSEL

Type: Crew Transfer Vessel (CTV) Length: 27m Engines: 2 x MAN D2 842 (1019hp) Top Speed: 27.5 kn (±2150RPM) Cruising Speed: 25.5 kn Passengers: 24

Data Period: 27/03/18 to 25/03/19 * Operational Days: 284 Operational Hours: ±3597 (total ‘engine on’ hours ±2056 per engine) Operational hours/day: 12.5 (avg) Operational days/week: 5.5 *blown engine Jan 2019; out of service for ±2 weeks

Data methodology and results

Table 1

Table 1 - IRAMS 20 Percent Saving Case Study.PNG

Table 2

Table 2 - IRAMS 20 Percent Saving Case Study.PNG

Note: All data used was extracted from AST IRAMS directly from the vessels’ CAN bus, and not adjusted in any way; therefore, possible high and low anomalies within the data were retained. It was felt this was the most honest way to assess and present the findings. There is no intention to state that the fuel rates are accurate fuel consumption values, but they are intended to illustrate indicative fuel use at given times and throttle position. All data is an averaged over the whole period.

Table 3

Table 3 - IRAMS 20 Percent Saving Case Study.PNG

Solutions used

IRAMS | Integrated Remote Asset Management System

AST has introduced IRAMS, a dedicated software platform designed to support those in the maritime sector looking to improve operational efficiency, reduce costs and be environmentally compliant.

Read more

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