Lyngby: Fuel saving is all about reaching optimal speed using as little fuel as possible, according to the homepage of Denmark’s GreenSteam. While this sounds simple, it is anything but in practice. This is because optimal settings of operational parameters – such as trim, speed and propeller RPM – depend on a range of conditions – load, waves, wind, water depth and so on.
GreenSteam offers a simple but at the same time very advanced fuel saving system for vessels making it possible to reduce fuel consumption by 4-5% on average.
In 2006, three computer engineers started a research project looking to improve how draft was measured on big ships. Over time, they realized that there was an opportunity to provide new value to shipping companies by combining modern statistics or ‘machine learning’ with these new sensors and other data collected in real-time from vessels. Since then, several shipping companies have started using what became GreenSteam fuel saving solutions.
This year, DFDS, a shipping and logistics company in northern Europe with 50 passenger and freight ships, chose to roll out GreenSteam solutions on most of its fleet based on extensive testing and comparing with competing products. Another important step for the company was when Castrol Innoventures, a venture capital arm of BP, invested in the company in 2013.
GreenSteam’s ceo and co-founder Daniel Jacobsen, an expert in applied mathematics, describes the latest innovations to be rolled out by the company. The GreenSteam Optimizer is the on-line decision support tool for optimal dynamic trimming. GreenSteam Manager is the on-shore performance monitoring and analysis tool.
“Several new features for both products are planned, though none are official yet,” he says. These products will be displayed at the upcoming SMM exhibition in Hamburg, where visitors can experience live demonstrations.
With shipping still struggling to make decent returns, GreenSteam has responded with a novel leasing system.
“Many shipowners struggle with cash flow,” Jacobsen admits. Thus, GreenSteam is offering low-cost leasing of its hardware components for onboard installation, combined with a relatively small monthly subscription fee to obtain the Optimizer and Manager services.
“This means a big positive ROI after a couple of months,” Jacobsen insists.
The plan going forward is to develop a worldwide distribution network to complement the Danish’s firm’s existing worldwide service network.
“We aim to continue focusing on the ferry sector, followed closely by the container and tanker sectors,” Jacobsen concludes. [22/07/14]