FuelOpt: a comprehensive solution for fuel efficiency

FuelOpt is a user-friendly way of implementing greater energy efficiency, reducing fuel costs, complying with incoming EEXI regulations, and increasing the operational efficiency of a vessel or fleet.

Decarbonization and emission reduction regulations are driving ship owners and operators to look for technical and operational means to make their fleets greener. By cutting down on fuel consumption, and thus fuel emissions, Lean Marine’s FuelOpt solution provides an ideal pathway to compliance, with the added benefit of reduced operating costs.

FuelOpt, which is now part of the Yara Marine Technologies portfolio, focuses on the parameters that matter the most for enhanced vessel efficiency:

  • vessel speed
  • engine power
  • maximum allowed fuel consumption
  • OR a combination of these parameters
On top propulsion automation system

Automated and direct fuel savings

FuelOpt provides a direct interface between the machinery and the vessel crew on the bridge, empowering the captain and the crew with full control of these key vessel efficiency parameters. The automated system FuelOpt dynamically monitors and controls the vessel’s propulsion power in real time, allowing it to optimise energy efficiency.

Speed and Consumption Management

Through the direct control of the main engine and propeller, in the changing environment and loading conditions, add-on propulsion automation system FuelOpt makes sure that the propulsive power is always optimized based on the commands set from the bridge. This offers steady and predictable propulsive power reducing fuel consumption and emissions- unlike the default propulsion systems onboard most ships.

FuelOpt is designed to find the ideal balance between fuel consumption and speed without ever compromising the safety of the vessel. Operating with a constant consumption or shaft power setpoint provides full control on the fuel consumption, emissions and cost levels. By doing so, the crew can avoid unwanted overconsumption during harsh weather, while reaping the rewards during good weather.

Dynamic Pitch/RPM Regulation

For controllable pitch propellers equipped vessels, further efficiency improvement can be achieved by regulation propeller pitch and engine rpm separately.

Today, most vessels are operating in lower than optimal propeller pitch and higher than optimal engine rpm. This is because the actual operating conditions of a vessel are very different from what the vessel was originally designed for.

On vessels with controllable pitch propeller, FuelOpt acts as a dynamic tuning system for the propulsion machinery that separately manages the propeller’s pitch and engine RPM to produce the greatest amount of thrust through the least expenditure of power, significantly optimizing energy usage.

FuelOpt saves fuel every second

FuelOpt is helping over 200 vessels optimise their fuel consumption and reduce emissions.

Average 3- 4 %
Fuel savings for vessels equipped with fixed pitch propeller
Up to 15 %
Fuel savings for vessels equipped with controllable pitch propeller

Benefits of FuelOpt

Easily Integrated

FuelOpt can be easily integrated and functions in any type of vessel regardless of age or size, existing machinery onboard including engine and propulsion, runs independent of energy source/ fuel burned, and can enhance efficiency before and after vessel upgrades.

User friendly

Simplicity of design ensures that implementation and daily operations are user-friendly through intuitive systems that produce automated adjustments per vessel and crew needs.

Improves ship performance

Optimizes propulsive efficiency, improves speed and fuel consumption management, and contributes to improved ship performance.

Real time fleet analytics

Availability of vessel data regarding ship performance and emissions is transmitted in real-time to Fleet Analytics or other performance support systems enabling fact-based decisions to improve vessel operations.

Reduces fuel consumption and emissions

Increased fuel savings which, depending on vessel and operation profile, can be up to 15% of fuel for ships with controllable pitch propeller and average 3-4% for ships with fixed pitch propeller, increasing cost efficiency of operations. Lower fuel consumption will result in significantly lowered CO2 and other fuel-based emissions.

Great customer support

Our services include an initial performance study, onboard measurements, system design integration, and automation and controls as well as installation and commissioning – the latter of which requires minimum installation space and can be performed in the period of a few days with very little disturbance of vessel operations and with no time-off hires required.

Short payback time

Savings are realized as soon as the system is operative, resulting in a short payback time of less than a year.

Futureproofs vessels

Complies with proposed EEXI and CII framework from the IMO.

Reduce emissions and operating costs

Does FuelOpt offer EEXI compliance?

FuelOpt’s innovative design has been compliant with the proposed EEXI framework currently under consideration by the IMO since its initial design and launch in 2013. Compliance with this framework, if approved, is expected to come into force in 2023.

EEXI suggests improvement measures such as engine power limitation (EPL) or shaft power limitations (ShaPoLi), propulsion optimization, energy-saving devices, and more to reduce GHG emissions. FuelOpt carries this out through ShaPoLi, setting the upper limit to the shaft power output in the system without any need for modification to existing machinery. The power limit can be overridden in an emergency to allow access to the engine’s full power.

When the system is activated, FuelOpt ensures that the vessel does not exceed the maximum power limit via any commands set during the voyage or due to varying environmental conditions. In addition to being compliant with the ShaPoLi requirements, FuelOpt is also beneficial in its ability to minimize the impact of engine or shaft power limitations on daily operations.

Does FuelOpt offer CII compliance?

Yes, FuelOpt can help vessels comply with IMO’s Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) measures ship efficiency and is designed to encourage consistent improvement in the global fleet.

Through the data gathered by FuelOpt and processed by Fleet Analytics, Lean Marine solutions calculates how many grams of CO2 is emitted per cargo-carrying capacity and nautical mile by a ship transporting goods or passengers. For complying with CII, this is translated into an annual rating for the ranging from A to E – with the rating getting more stringent towards 2030. It is expected that well performing vessels will receive incentives for port calls and would be less affected by expensive market-based measures such as a carbon levy.

For maximum benefit, FuelOpt should be paired with Fleet Analytics software, so users have an established baseline against which to measure improvements.

Futureproofing your fleet

Transition to new fuels

FuelOpt’s innovative design has been compliant with the proposed EEXI framework currently under consideration by the IMO since its initial design and launch in 2013. Compliance with this framework, if approved, is expected to come into force in 2023.

Regardless of fuel type used, FuelOpt is a key clean technology to assist shipowners and operators in their energy transition strategy. While energy transition will undoubtedly affect a switch to zero-emission marine transport, alternative fuels are likely to have their own pertinent considerations based on production, availability, and cost. As such, fuel savings remain key to a long-term operational strategy that is cost efficient and low on emissions.

FuelOpt‘s futureproof technology works regardless of the type of fuel used. Whether the vessel runs on multiple energy sources (such as wind power, batteries, LNG, etc), it can easily be adapted to future vessel upgrades. The system continues to ensure that control and optimal power is maintained regardless of the addition of any new power sources.

AI-powered ship operations deliver most energy-efficient voyages

As AI-powered operation support systems create efficient solutions while planning of voyages, real-time execution of these predicted voyages needs solutions of their own to ensure this performance is possible.

The future of maritime is in making the most energy-efficient ship operations possible for any vessel and every crew, and AI-powered solutions are one of the best means by which to achieve this goal. A growing numbers of ship owners, ship operators and charterers are eager to harness AI-powered voyage optimization solutions that can adjust for ongoing weather conditions in real time.

FuelOpt is key to successful AI-powered voyages as it optimizes the propulsion line based on commands set by the captain and/ or provided by an AI-powered voyage optimization solution. The system acts as a direct interface between the crew, machinery, and the AI-based solution, empowering them to work together and execute a voyage efficiently.

FuelOpt can be integrated with Lean Marine’s Route Pilot AI, a ship operation support technology (commercially available soon). Route Pilot AI calculate the optimal journey based on data from previous voyages and historic sea conditions on specific routes. For vessels operating with other AI systems (those created by third parties), FuelOpt system can also be integrated to those systems.

Find more information on Lean Marine’s work on an AI-powered ship operation support system at the Via Kaizen project page.