Ships Checking Others SOx Emission Challenge



On Wednesday evening, six teams of engineering students presented their emission control ideas to a panel of judges from industry and the public sector in Denmark, with the winning presentation proposing ships check the emissions of other ships passing by.

The ideas developed as part of the SOx Challenge aimed at ways of detecting if ships comply with international SOx emission regulations.

Two step solution:

The winning team proposed a two-step solution looking at both SOx deposition in the stack and ships monitoring each other en route using installed sensors. The results would automatically be relayed to authorities in the target ships’ next port of call where Port State Control would analyse the sulfur content of the soot from the ships’ stack to use as proof of non-compliance. The team behind this concept was praised for having combined several innovative elements to arrive at a holistic solution.

Tamper free black box:

Other ideas included a tamper free black box mounted on ships that collect emissions data and a new concept for extending the reach of surveillance drones to make them a viable solution.

The idea itself to have a student competition was hatched by a team of private companies and authorities.

Support from all sectors:

While developing their projects, the student teams were supported by mentors from each of the partnering organizations, Boeing Company, Maersk, the Danish Technical University, The Danish Environmental Protection Agency and The Danish Maritime Authority.

Innovative perspectives lauded:

“In a very short time we have gotten six fresh, innovative perspectives on a problem that is shared by almost every coastal and flag state in the world – the need for effective and uniform enforcement to ensure a level playing field for the industry”, says Director of Maritime Regulation and Legal Affairs at the Danish Maritime Authority, Henriette Bytoft Flügge.

“Securing adequate enforcement of such global regulations is by no means an easy feat, but Maersk is ready to play its part in ensuring that a level playing field for the industry subsists”, says Niels H. Bruus, Head of Future Solutions in Fleet Management and Technology, Maersk.

There were cash prizes for the winners as well as the second and third place. The competition and the prizes were sponsored by the Danish Maritime Fund.

Limit on sulfur regulations:

Two major port State control regimes, Paris MoU and Tokyo MoU, will increase focus on the sulfur limit regulations after reaching an agreement to carry out a Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) in 2018 focusing on air pollution from ships. The decision was made on the basis of a Danish/Dutch proposal, and the 2018 campaign is the result of efforts made by Denmark to ensure enhanced international focus on enforcement.

A group of Danish organizations will be running a pilot Internet of Things project this year to test the collection of real-time data from equipment on board ships. The Aalborg-based company GateHouse is behind the pilot project, and a number of other companies including the ship-owner Uni-Tankers, Logimatic and the Danish Maritime Authority will contribute to the testing of the new technology.

IoT perspective:

The Internet of Things refers to the wireless networking of physical things consisting of installed sensors, electronics, and software enabling the ‘things’ to collect and exchange data.

In practice, the Danish solution consists of sensors that measure the condition of the ship’s equipment and record emissions from the ship. All the sensor-generated information is collected and continuously transmitted to shore in real-time, where stakeholders with access to the data can use the information for various purposes, including ongoing optimization of the machinery, more efficient maintenance, ongoing fuel consumption optimization and continuous emission monitoring.

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Reference: Polar DTU, Maritime Executive


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