Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


SPLASH Report Summary

Project ID: 736776

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SPLASH (Sail PLAn service for energy efficient SHipping (SPLASH) - innovative and revolutionary sail planning)

Reporting period: 2016-08-01 to 2016-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The maritime industry is facing great challenges to increase its energy efficiency and decrease its environmental impact as a result of economic pressure and stricter environmental regulations. Measures to reduce fuel consumption are weather routing and voyage optimisation, together also known as sail planning systems. However, 80% of the market is currently not utilizing any type of sail planning system due to there not being a standardised procedure to evaluate the benefits of implementing one or another system. Now, through a series of development projects, a generic and standardised ‘fuel consumption module’ (FCM), able to benchmark and compare the performances of many different energy efficiency solutions, as well as a new sail planning system called SPLASH, combining many innovative technologies in novel ways to deliver superior results, have been developed.
The SPLASH sail plan provides a complete and user-friendly 24/7 automated surveillance and sail plan service (a) through a robust combination of weather routing and ship voyage optimization obtained by a combination of models and sub-models ingested with ship specific parameters (such as yaw, pitch, roll, sailing speed, GPS position, structural stress, engine parameters, etc.), real-time multi-sensor and satellite observations and forecast data, structured in a way to approximate the operational conditions of the serviced ship and combined with a feedback-loop set-up for system performance upgrading, (b) consisting of the most optimal route with respect to minimum fuel consumption, lowest air emissions, expected time of arrival (ETA), sailing course, ship speed, engine power output, structural service life, etc., for a given voyage, and added ship’s operational performance data and environment data for automated and more efficient ship management.
The overall objectives:
• 7% decrease in fuel consumption
• 7% decrease in CO2, SOx, PM emissions
• 90% correct ETAs berth to berth
• 15% extension of the service life of ships
• 90% effort saving concerning administration workload
• 40% effort saving concerning navigation functions in sail planning
• 20% savings in ship maintenance and inspection costs
• 50% risk reduction by avoiding ice collision, ice blocked routes and heavy weather conditions.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

To evaluate if the commercialisation of the SPLASH service is possible, a feasibility study has been performed. The feasibility study included an introduction and definition of the problem. Secondly, we elaborated on innovative business solution, which would describe the objectives and intended added value of the service. Thirdly, in depth discussion of the product and services that will be offered was carried out. Fourthly, we focused on historic and current technical and developmental status of the proposed business solution, the requirements and process to bring the solution into production, proprietary features and protection of the innovative elements of the solution, quality assurance and contingency plans. Moreover, we analised the overall and specific markets in which the proposed business solution has to operate, including an analysis of the competition. The marketing strategy, sales and financial analysis was prepared. Furthermore, the project focused on listing all risk factors involved with launching the proposed business solution. Finally our business and organisational structure was discussed and agreed.
When it comes to the feasibility of a commercialisation of SPLASH and the FCM, the study performed noted the following key results:
1. The FCM has been fully certified as a standard and independent way of evaluating the benefits from any efficiency technology implemented on board a ship.
2. SPLASH outperforms the competition by:
a. Using innovative technologies and system design
b. Delivering superior efficiency gains that have been statistically confirmed;
c. Offering many services that are not provided by any of the alternative solutions;
d. Being a self-upgrading system that continues to improve over time and with each added customer;
e. Being user-friendly with an intuitive GUI;
f. In short, by providing a real answer to the current shipping industry’s needs and by going beyond those needs by anticipating future industry, political and societal developments.
3. The IPR connected to SPLASH and the FCM have been patented and as such protected from direct competition.
4. The distribution platform ONL is thoroughly prepared to perform its tasks by having adequate funding for the initial marketing efforts, royalty free access to all background technology and having patent ownership of all foreground as to be able to freely produce, commercialise and sell the system, possessing in-house expertise and support for further system development and system upgrading, having well thought-out marketing and sales strategies.
5. The market has been evaluated as having a high sales potential seen that 80% of the potential end-users do not currently use any sail planning system
6. Sales forecast studies have delivered positive results with even a ‘worst case’ scenario leading to sufficient market penetration for mass market uptake.
7. The commercialisation project is being fully supported by a multitude of expert companies delivering their expertise where needed
8. Risks associated with commercialisation are relatively few and they are all at low to medium level with each having foreseen mitigating measures.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The innovative design of SPLASH combined with the benchmark capabilities of the FCM allows for a disruptive business approach to market penetration as the FCM will confirm SPLASH’s superior performances against the competition. These superior performances are a result of SPLASH’s innovative design consisting of:
• State-of-the-art central repository (ORC) with communication links that can efficiently handle and transfer extensive weather/sea-state (ship-external) datasets from various weather/metocean modules, satellites, buoys, surrounding vessels, etc. and that can deliver the optimized (real-time) sail plan to the end-user.
• Multi-sensor input observations (satellite, coastal-stations, waterborne), with the key inclusion of EO satellite data, to record a ship’s encountered sea environments and her real-time operational performances in high special and temporal resolution.
• A framework of modules and sub-models that create a “feedback-loop” or self-learning/upgrading system by monitoring ship behaviour and routing performance during and after its voyage using a ‘big-data’ approach including neural networks and machine learning analytics, as well as by performing an input data quality and applicability check
• Numerical ship performance algorithms that are not only fed with theoretical calculations but also with a-priori input data to have better continuous estimations of performances (fuel, emissions, stability, etc.)
• Real-time sail plan optimization for any vessel by combining the self-upgrading ship performance modules directly with the advanced routing optimization algorithms.
• A graphical user interface to communicate and to display in a user-friendly way the current, predicted and estimated fuel cost, time left for arrival etc., in addition to the most recent weather/metocean forecast information.
Next to its direct benefits in relation to shipping operations, the implementation of SPLASH by the shipping industry will also lead to many societal and industry wide benefits.

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