Gas sensor technology helping reduce fuel consumption

02 Nov 2017
Red Funnel ferry

Azurtane technology has helped Red Funnel cut fuel consumption by up to 15% per day. Image courtesy of Fluteflute/Wikimedia

Shipping companies could reduce fuel consumption and improve efficiency with new exhaust gas sensor technology.

Azurtane’s sensors are installed on ships and transmit measurements back to the company’s UK base, where data can be used to monitor energy consumption and compliance with emission regulations and presented to ship operators, plus officers on board the transmitting ship.

This information can identify the actions that need to be taken, compare voyage by voyage energy consumption and ascertain the adjustments required to improve efficiency.

Trial

Southampton, UK-based Red Funnel previously trialled and adoped Azurtane’s technology, subsequently reducing its fuel consumption by up to 15% per day.

Azurtane’s chief scientist, Dr Henryk Herman, said: ““Azurtane technology helped Red Funnel cut operating costs as well as keep fares low.”

The trial, held in 2013, involved second-by-second measurement of the fuel used on each voyage of the Red Jet 4 Hi-Speed ferry service between Southampton and Cowes.

Consumption variations

The fuel measurements uncovered massive variations in fuel consumption. This was due to the way in which the vessel was "driven".

“Until now ships have been sailing blind,” Dr Herman explained. “Big Data can either be seen as the latest management gimmick or be used to identify trends and patterns in inefficiencies in a sea (excuse the pun) of conflicting and confusing external factors.”

The technology was developed with support from the UK government under the Innovate UK programme.