Monitoring service: 'Fuel consumption cut by up to 5%'

Developers say service can have a role in future indexing or rating schemes.

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Updated on 16 Jun 2009 10:42 GMT

Norwegian classification society DNV says that its new Technical Operations Performance (TOP) Monitoring service can cut fuel consumptioin by up to five percent.

The new service, which is the result of an extensive research partnership between DNV, Marintek and several Norwegian shipowners, involves a rigorous regime of inspecting key technical parameters and implementing recommendations for optimising ship operational performance.

“TOP Monitoring covers a broad spectrum of operating parameters and consolidates all cost-saving opportunities for a significant impact on the ship operator’s bottom line. We have, for instance, seen examples of fuel consumption cut by up to 5 per cent, while the typical reduction in our pilot studies was in the region of 1-2 per cent,” said Tore Morten Wetterhus [pictured], managing director of DNV Petroleum Services.

“Given today’s average price of US$400 for 380 cSt fuel oil, this is obviously a very attractive prospect.”

From the performance data collected, a Technical Condition Index (TCI) is derived and corrected for ISO conditions. By evaluating the TCI trends, technical experts at DNV Petroleum Services produce customised recommendations for performance improvements as well as the necessary maintenance tasks.

An important feature of TOP Monitoring is the linking of fuel quality consumed by the vessels with their operational performance and maintenance needs.

“By establishing such a connection, we can further narrow down on specific fuel quality parameters or onboard components that require close monitoring,” said Wetterhus.

"In this respect, not only does TOP Monitoring promote synergy between ship and shore technical office, it provides a result-oriented continuous improvement and competence building loop for these entities," he added.

Apart from the normal engine monitoring equipment, a Torque meter and an MIP calculator are all the additional hardware required for a commercial vessel to enrol in TOP Monitoring.

"This means minimal investment and convenient sign-up for interested ship operators," Mr Wetterhus said, adding that participating vessels can benchmark their performance against their own fleet and against industry best practices.

“In the longer term, TOP Monitoring has the potential to develop into an important and independent ship performance assessment and verification service. It can have a role in future indexing or rating schemes, such as those related to air emission regulations for the shipping industry,” added Wetterhus.