After completing stringent market testing, remote marine data monitoring company, Azurtane Limited, is now commercialising its cutting-edge exhaust gas sensor technology for sustainable shipping from its new company headquarters in Southampton.
From Southampton Azurtane will market sensor technology for ships developed with support by the UK government under the Innovate UK programme. Designed to address the needs of shipowners and shipping industry regulators world-wide, Azurtane supplies clients in every major country around the world.
In 2013, Azurtane began trialling its recently developed exhaust gas sensing equipment with Southampton-based ferry company, Red Funnel. The project 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. The fuel measurements uncovered massive variations in fuel consumption which were discovered to be due to the way in which the vessel was “driven”. Red Funnel adopted Azurtane’s technology and, as a result, reduced fuel consumption by up to 15% per day.
“Azurtane technology helped Red Funnel cut operating costs as well as keep fares low,” says Azurtane’s chief scientist, Dr Henryk Herman. “Red Funnel ferry masters really took to the new technology and were motivated to reduce fuel burn which is costly and increases CO2 emissions.”
The latest addition to the Red Funnel fleet has been “made ready” to utilise the same Azurtane technology to allow both the master and the Red Funnel office to monitor fuel consumption in real time and make adjustments to save money.
Azurtane uses its exhaust gas sensors installed on ships to transmit measurements back to Southampton. The company converts the data into
useable management information for ship operators and the ship’s officers on board the transmitting ship. This information can pinpoint noncompliance with pollution regulations, identify the actions that need to be taken, compare voyage by voyage energy consumption and ascertain the adjustments required to improve efficiency.
“Until now ships have been sailing blind,” Dr Herman explains. “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.”