“Climate-friendly and innovative maritime shipping is crucial for reaching the goals of the European Green Deal. The international maritime industry also wants to significantly tighten its climate targets and aims to be climate neutral as early as 2050. Jayems Dhingra and his team developed a virtual ship navigator, which aims to optimize fuel consumption by using Sentinel-3 data. His idea is a good example of how satellite data can contribute to reducing CO2 emissions.”

Stefan Waas, German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI)

There are 1344 ideas for meeting the objectives of EU Green Deal but only one idea to reduce the pollution caused by ships, and that is using nuclear fission reaction to power electric motors like in submarines.

TiberiasMC Team is declared as winner in the Copernicus Masters 2021 Challenge – Transport Sector Winner

Yahweh’s Virtual Navigator – Contributing to European Green Deal Yahweh’s Virtual Navigator (YVN) aims to optimize ships’ fuel consumption to help reduce emissions, which will contribute to the goals of the European Green Deal and compliance with the European Commission’s Fuel EU Maritime “Fit for 55” Regulation. The solution works by analyzing wave pattern data from Sentinel-3 to dynamically optimize the resistance caused by sea waves. The planned course of a voyage, the speed of the ship, and the pitch of its propeller can therefore be adjusted with minimum human intervention. This enables the ship to exploit rough conditions to its advantage and consume less fuel.

YVN also aims to chart courses to prevent the capsizing of vessels and other incidents that can result from unexpected stormy weather and rough seas.

Project Description

The proposed Project through the launch of Yahweh’s Virtual Navigator (YVN) aims to contribute significantly to the European Green Deal objectives and strategies in achieving zero net emissions of GHG by 2050.  The transport sector of Land, Air and Sea, is expected to account for 59% of total end-use sector liquid fuels (residual fuel oil, diesel, motor gasoline, and jet fuel) consumption in 2050, about the same as in 2018 (EIA, IEO 2019). Within the transport sector, global shipping industry accounts for 7 to 10% of fuel consumption.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) in its 2018 GHG Strategy set the goals of reducing Green House Gases (GHG) by 50% by 2050 and to work towards zero GHG emissions from shipping. The targets are to reduce the carbon emissions by 40%, that of the 2008 levels, by 2030, and 70% by 2050. This objective has led to the MARPOL Annex VI IMO 2020 Resolution, by mandating the use of low Sulphur (0.5% Global and 0.10% for EU and Special Emission Control Areas) fuel for ships with effect from 1 January 2020.

The shipping industry, for a decade before Covid-19 and its impact, has been faced with challenges of low charter rates and under pressure for trimming the cost of operations to stay competitive, by reducing fuel consumption.

Thus, to meet the challenges of reduction of GHG gases and costs of fuel, a number of technological innovations are underway for new ships. However, for existing ships, there are limited options of retrofitting scrubbers to reduce COx, NOx and SOx gases, besides operating at lower speeds to reduce fuel consumption.

In order to optimise fuel consumption, the vessel can either avoid the path of high wave resistance, i.e., changing the course, which may not be useful if it increases the time (and distance) to reach the destination, or improve the propeller efficiency. In a fixed pitch propeller, no further variations are possible except for changing the trim of the vessel, which is normally done before the commencement of the voyage or during sailing, and within permissible limits, depending on the loading condition of the vessel. However, in Controllable Pitch Propellers and ships with twin screw, manipulation of pitch and power can be done to achieve optimum fuel consumption without any loss of speed. This is called Combinator Control, and it has been the prevailing practice of the shipping industry in general.

In order to further reduce the GHG emissions and fuel consumption, external variables related to sea conditions, which in turn are directly related to wind speed & direction, wave height, wave frequency and wavelength are being monitored to statistically analyze the optimum propeller pitch, shaft revolutions (RPM) and load, which could result in fuel saving. The analytical data is used for studies so as to achieve future enhancements. It is not dynamically applied to the main engine and propellers, but rather, the navigators use their own judgment and skills to adjust the pitch controls in achieving optimum consumption.

The challenge is to strategically reduce fuel consumption in real-time by dynamically overcoming added resistance due to the waves of the sea which otherwise differ from calm weather conditions. Furthermore, this should be done without any human intervention (or error), but with an eye on the entire sea passage, from commencement of voyage till arrival at the destination.