ECO-Assistant is the name of the software developed by FutureShip, the maritime consultancy unit of classification society GL.
With trim being a central driver of energy efficiency, the ECO-Assistant delivers an optimum trim angle for a specific ship with an input of such operational parameters as current speed, displacement and water depth.
GL says that it can help reduce CO2 emissions and save enough fuel to amortise the initial investment over a relatively short period.
During a sea trial carried out on one of the eight 14,000TEU containerships operated by CSCL the shipping line calculated that it reduced fuel consumption by up to 8.2 per cent.
As a result, CSCL has rolled out ECO-Assistant on its entire fleet of eight 14,000TEU container vessels. It also signed an agreement to expand the deployment of the trim optimisation software to another eight 9,600TEU container vessels of its fleet.
Vincent Li, vice president of FutureShip China, says that ECO-Assistant is easy to install as there is no need to modify the vessels.
“The software itself is also very user friendly, so the training required is minimally time intensive,” he notes, adding that the system can be deployed not just on containerships but on all types of vessels, including multi-purpose vessels and bulk carriers.
GL says that there have been more than 300 installations of the tool on board and onshore since it was launched in 2009.
In related news, GL has also developed a web-based application designed to help in the preparation and the maintenance of a vessel's Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM).
The IHM Green Server (IGS) aims at supporting shipowners in managing IHM aspects of the newly adopted European Union regulation on ship recycling and the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships.
The new EU regulation is scheduled to enter into force at the end of the year. It requires owners of EU flagged ships or ships calling at ports within the EU to establish an Inventory of Hazardous Materials.
GL says that IHM Green Server can gather and process the entire volume of ship component data, which are required to be maintained and updated through the ship’s lifetime. From the central web based data repository all parties involved, such as shipowners, shipyards, suppliers, hazmat experts, class societies and recyclers, can work in parallel on the same platform.
IGS also allows for the management of all the required documentation, e.g. Material Declarations, Supplier Declarations of Conformity and IHM Documents.
“We have developed the IGS as a smart tool for generating documents which comply with the regulations in the most transparent and easy manner possible,” said Gerhard Aulbert, GL's head of global practice Ship Recycling.
“It facilitates communication between the various parties and will support owners in maintaining high quality ships and a clean working environment on board, while also enabling ship recycling facilities to benefit from comprehensive IHMs for preparing to recycle vessels and monitoring of hazardous materials on board of ships.”