On Board Monitoring: showing real world emissions

Context of Transport Climate Action

The inland shipping industry is looking for ways to reduce its environmental impact. Their approach to sustainable innovations is quite different from the automotive industry, especially as the service life of marine engines is much longer (up to 35 years). Innovations that can be implemented or retrofitted while not making major changes to the current engine are therefore particularly suitable for inland waterway operators.

A method to reduce the fuel consumption of inland diesel engines is On Board Monitoring (OBM). By using sensors and measurement equipment, the shipper gains insights into the performance of the vessel. This knowledge can be used to improve sailing practices. Combined with other measures such as improved maintenance, good engine management and the use of fuel additives, both fuel consumption and exhaust gas emissions can be reduced significantly.

The Dutch inland shipping cooperation PTC has experimented with these technologies on one of its vessels, the m.s. Hendrika, for the duration of a year. While the environmental performance was monitored, the vessel’s CO2 emissions were reduced by 15%, and her NOx emissions reduced by 29%.

Description

On-board monitoring usees sensors and measurement equipment to monitor the performance of vessels. The results can be shown to the vessel operators, captains, and planners in real time, or the data can be logged and consulted at a later stage.

By showing the engine performance and the emissions of the vessel, the operator can gain new insights into the effects of his/her own practices. This enables the operators to learn what the impact of behavior is on fuel consumption and can help identify operational aspects that deserve special attention. The data collected through OBM can be used for advanced route planning and improved sailing techniques (such as the introduction of new maneuvering styles). This can reduce the fuel consumption of inland ships considerably.

OBM can also be used to show the effectiveness of minor changes to the power generation system of the vessel. Using additives is an example of this. The effects of these minor changes are hard to detect without OBM.

Implementation

PTC is a large inland shipping cooperative, consisting of individual ship owners, active in Western Europe and is actively searching for solutions to increase the environmental performance of its fleet. In recent years, PTC carried out tests with fuel additives. In order to identify what fuel savings could be reached, one of the vessels, the m.s. Hendrika, was equipped with an OBM system from Blueco. The ship was followed for a year while using a fuel additive (MeXFuel). The results were compared with historic ship performance data.

The experience gained with OBM and how it can give valuable insights in the engine performance and the real world sailing emissions of their vessels, has encouraged PTC to currently consider using OBM on a larger part of their fleet. Furthermore, PTC is trying to raise awareness among ship owners and other stakeholders of the benefits of OBM.

Benefits

Benefits of On Board Monitoring in general:

  • OBM gives insights into real-world emissions.
  • OBM can show the effect of minor changes, like fuel additives, that would have stayed unnoticed during operations without OBM.
  • OBM can give ship owners the freedom of choosing their own strategy to reduce emissions.

Specific results of the m.s. Hendrika include:

  • The combination of an onboard monitoring system led to a significant reduction of CO2 emissions (-15%).

Furthermore, the pollutant levels of the vessel (NOx, PM10) were similar or lower than of ships with considerable newer engines, i.e the emission levels of a new

Benefits

Benefits of On Board Monitoring in general:

  • OBM gives insights into real-world emissions.
  • OBM can show the effect of minor changes, like fuel additives, that would have stayed unnoticed during operations without OBM.
  • OBM can give ship owners the freedom of choosing their own strategy to reduce emissions.

Specific results of the m.s. Hendrika include:

  • The combination of an onboard monitoring system led to a significant reduction of CO2 emissions (-15%).

Furthermore, the pollutant levels of the vessel (NOx, PM10) were similar or lower than of ships with considerable newer engines, i.e the emission levels of a new type approved engine, CCRII (engines after 2009) were reached using an older type approved engine, CCRI (2001). In this sense, using an optimized operational profile together with small other interventions such as fuel additives can lead to low pollutant levels.

Potential for scaling up

Real time insights into the environmental performance of the vessel can create valuable information for the ship owner and enables users to identify the most effective options to make transport more sustainable. This is especially important for inland navigation (as well as for maritime shipping) because of the large variety in both technical and operational characteristics.

On board monitoring is considered to be an effective tool to gain a better understanding of the real world emissions from the vessel and at the same time monitor the impacts of measure taken to reduce emissions.

The tool is currently being further developed in the European Horizon 2020 project PROMINENT, to develop solutions to make inland shipping more sustainable. As part of the project, onboard monitoring will be further tested on 40 vessels. Furthermore, the project will consider whether OBM measurements can be taken into account in official emission-measurements and type approval tests. This would allow requirements to be based on real-world emissions rather than on test-cycle emissions (lab or bench tests) and would give ship owners the freedom to choose their own strategies to reduce their real-world emissions such as using alternative fuels, installing SCR after treatment systems, optimizing their sailing techniques, using additives, etc

Apart from its potential in inland waterway transport, on-board monitoring can also be implemented in other transport sectors.

Selected references

http://ptcba.eu/download/Groen%20naar%20groener%20041114%20definitief%201.1.pdf

https://www.tno.nl/nl/over-tno/nieuws/2015/6/vergroening-binnenvaart-door-opzetten-van-green-deal/

PROJECT INFORMATION

Location:

Europe, Rhine countries

Start:

2014

Finish:

On-going

Tags:

Europe, Mitigation, Freight, Technology, policy

Organizer/s:

PTC, Blueco

Contact/s:

Martin Seine mseine@ptcba.nl

We’re excited about our results and happy we can show we’re reducing our emissions considerably. All we need now is the support from regulating authorities: if they allow On Board Monitoring to show compliance to emission rules then we’ll equip many of our vessels with OBM. Then the additional costs of fuel additives would be more than just an investment we make to reduce emissions, it would be an investment to meet requirements as well .

Martin Seine, director PTC