ClassK leads Japanese research project into vessel performance

May 13 2013

ClassK is at the forefront of a unique Japanese industry initiative to analyse vessel performance under all sea conditions.*

The class society is collaborating with Imabari Shipbuilding and Sayonas Shipbuilding in a joint research project in which the energy saving operation support system ‘ClassNK-NAPA GREEN’ has been installed on vessels built by each company to gain data on the relationship between draft, trim, main engine output, vessel speed and weather conditions.

Data retrieved will be used to upgrade vessel design, thereby strengthening international competitiveness and reducing the environmental burden. The implementation period of the full scale ship test is scheduled to take three years.

ClassNK has co-operated before with Imabari Shipbuilding to provide the most comprehensive solution for the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) but the current project differs completely from the previous one.

The main objective is to develop a feedback scheme, using ClassNK-NAPA GREEN, which was developed in response to the entry into force from 2013 of regulations on CO2 emissions for international shipping and the sudden rise in oil prices.

The partnership between ClassNK and NAPA, the Finnish-based software solution provider for ship design and operations, offers a dynamic total solution for shipowners and operators targeting a reduction in fuel expenses and CO2 emissions and optimisation of efficiency during ship operations.

ClassNK-NAPA GREEN collects and monitors, on a broad scale, the information related to ship operations, including the engine rotation speed/output and fuel consumption, hull attitude, meteorological and oceanographic information, among others. It then automatically analyses the causes of changes in ship performance and fuel consumption.

Furthermore, and based on the results obtained after this analysis, it automatically adjusts the ship performance model by combining it with actual performances achieved during operations, consequently increasing the estimation accuracy for optimal operating conditions.

The ClassNK-NAPA GREEN solution is already available and it will be developed further based on wide-ranging tests performed in collaboration with Imabari Shipbuilding group, using ships owned by the group. The results obtained from this demonstration test are planned to be used for further improvements and amelioration and released in the 2013 version.


Joint collaboration

As mentioned, this project is a joint collaboration between ClassNK, NAPA, Imabari Shipbuilding and Sanoyas Shipbuilding. The role to be played by Imabari Shipbuilding and Sanoyas Shipbuilding will be the same and involves installing this new system on ships and developing a feedback scheme on the design obtained from the information related to performances in actual seas.

During the project, we plan to use one container carrier and one bulk carrier constructed by Imabari Shipbuilding and Sanoyas Shipbuilding in demonstration tests from the beginning of 2013. Container and bulk carriers were selected as test ships for the reason that their specifications, such as navigation speed, are quite different.

The system’s effectiveness is guaranteed as it compares actual data measured with the estimated values. In addition, the actual values measured are analysed automatically by the system.

 ClassNK believes that the scheme will reduce the environmental burden and strengthen international competitiveness. Improved levels of fuel consumption are expected during operations in actual seas, so we can say that the scheme will allow the development of ships that reduce the environmental burden. In addition, ClassNK believes that shipyards will be able to provide ships with high added value, leading to a strengthening in competitiveness internationally.

This is one of a number of many research projects in which ClassNK is taking a major role. As of July 2012, 87 joint research projects were being conducted as a result of industry requests for joint research. The content of the research is wide ranging and is related to reducing vessel fuel consumption and oceanic development and the content corresponds to all conventions currently in force.

As a neutral third party, ClassNK acts as a catalyst in research and development projects in the maritime industry. In particular, national research and development projects related to the development of CO2 emissions reduction technology are being conducted with the technical and financial support of ClassNK, playing a central role in collaboration with the government and the maritime industry.

We have carried out certifications on a number of ships in regards to the EEDI (Energy Efficiency Design Index) and are performing various related activities. In addition, as a system supporting EEOI (Energy Efficiency Operational Indicator) calculation we are providing the PrimeShip- GREEN/EEOI to shipowners.

PrimeShip-GREEN/EEOI is a system used for the calculation and analysis of EEOI of a vessel in order to check CO2 emission levels during operation and it is based on IMO guidelines (MEPC.1/ Circ.684).

Users can visually confirm variations in energy efficiency and its contributing factor by displaying EEOI calculation results in a trend chart. PrimeShip-GREEN/EEOI is expected to help facilitate the improvement of the energy efficiency of ships.

Accordingly, ClassNK is playing a leading role in issues, such as the reduction of CO2 emission and improved fuel consumption during ship operations.


*This article was written by Yasushi Nakamura, ClassK executive vice president and general manager.

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