A Step-by-step Guide To Make Your Vessel Energy Efficient


Greetings readers!

Hope you all have read my first blog on energy efficiency.

In case if you have missed it, please click here to read it.

So here is my second blog on energy efficiency.

Before we come back and discuss the 6 steps (described in the previous publication) which can be taken by vessel for fuel efficiency and MRV process, we should discuss the preparations which are to be made on the shore side.

  1. A well-planned energy management policy for the whole fleet along with a repetitive approach, improving each voyage.
  2. Accurate data monitoring supported by instrumentation and software to get reliable data through an integrated energy management infrastructure.
  3. Software applications on board your ships that improve energy efficiency, continuously calculate and identify areas for efficiency improvements and communicate the results to the ship’s officers and engineers.
  4. Reliable onshore software that encourages transparency promotes awareness, tracks key performance indicators and utilizes analytical applications to determine the optimal energy saving measures.

Energy Efficiency Management Policy:

The management should ensure that energy efficiency policy should show commitment to manage vessels in a proactive energy efficient manner in line with IMO SEEMP requirements covered by MARPOL VI regulation 22.

This requires the provision to all vessels of a ship specific Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan.

This plan consists of

  1. Company Energy Efficiency Management Plan
  2. Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan
  3. SEEMP data collection through appropriate softwares.
  4. SEEMP review in a timely manner.

The plan requires a collection of data from the vessels operating records and presents them in a format for review and records the actions to be taken.  These actions are then to be followed up by the responsible parties.

Real Time Fleet Monitoring:

In present day scenario, there are many companies who have developed sophisticated tools for vessel monitoring. These tools enable vessel managers to acquire vessel data at pre-set intervals from the vessel. This pre-set interval can be as little as 6-12 minutes. Therefore, vessel manager on shore can see in real time all data from ships VDR and Engine Data-Logger (temperatures, pressures, alarms etc.)

Please see a block diagram below for ease of understanding.


The cost of change and its impact on the return on investment is always an issue when decisions on whether to proceed with the introduction of an energy conservation technology.

The size of the benefit needs to be significant therefore to make the effort worthwhile although unfortunately the need for a low-risk short payback period often dominates the decision-making assessment.  The reduced cost of fuel is making these payback periods longer and challenging.

In a case where fuel can be saved with little or no cost to the ship operator, the benefits are both environmental and economic. Fuel is energy and it has to be conserved.

The fuel savings or the energy savings as you may call it can be presented in one of the many ways depending upon the measurement of efficiency.  This can be achieved by introduction of good management practices.

  1. A reduction in specific fuel oil consumption (SFOC) – This would be used for direct measurement of fuel consumption and a reduction in same would make diesel engine and its system operate very efficiently.  This can be achieved by good maintenance and will also result in lesser spares cost and Zero breakdown maintenance.
  2. A reduction in propulsion fuel consumption – This is related to main engine energy use, the power delivered and overall hull resistance.  Just in time arrival helps in avoiding anchorage and drifting.  This helps in keeping hull clean.  Several studies have indicated that a 10-day anchorage at a high SW temperature will result in hull fouling and may increase fuel consumption by up to 6%.
  3.  A reduction in overall vessel fuel consumption – This includes fuel used by auxiliary engines, boilers and is related to total fuel cost for.

To break up the theme of ship’s energy efficiency into discrete elements, we have:

  1. How operations can be innovated to reduce Emission of GHG. This issue is covered by  SEEMP, EEDI, EEOI
  2. Global diversity of expectations – how can trade manage this contradiction? This can manage by education, training and by various government bodies who use rewards and punishment as carrot and stick.
  3. Technology for Retrofitting Vs New building. – At the moment, there are quite a few Market-Based Measures available for the marine industry.

We will return to MRV process in our 3rd and final instalment next week.

Have a great weekend!

Mr. Prakhar Singh Chandel,

Corporate Fleet Manager (Energy Efficiency),

Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement.

About the Author:

Prakhar-Singh-Chandel.jpgMr. Prakhar had an exciting sea career from 1989 to 2001, where in 2001, he stepped forward from the shoes of a Chief Engineer to a powerful Manager heading various Ship Management divisions.  Starting as a Ship Surveyor with a classification society, he joined Bernhard Schulte Ship Management as a Technical Superintendent.  Thereafter, a Senior Superintendent and a Fleet Manager with successful execution of various dry dock projects around the globe.  As a Corporate Fleet Manager for Energy Efficiency in BSM, he is well qualified in QHSE management and trained many Masters and Engineers at BSM training centre.  A Class certified auditor, Mr. Prakhar, is heading Energy efficiency projects for BSM group which has more than 350 vessels.


  1. A very logical approach to energy management.
    I am sure that the author has carried an extensive study of the issues involved, analyzed these in great depth, and thus come up with this brilliant, easy to understand approach. I feel his advice, if followed, will go a long way in energy savings by many companies, reduce their operational costs and above all reduce the damage to our environment and save this planet from the future possible ecological disaster.
    Author’s views on real time monitoring cannot be over emphasized. Unless you monitor a process effectively you cannot hope to control and improve it.
    Please remember also that MRV (Monitoring, Reporting and Verification) will, very soon, not be a matter of choice but will become a regulatory requirement and the ship owners / operators need to be ready. While some enlightened owners / operators have developed and adopted systems as suggested by the author there are many others who have not paid attention to this very important aspect of ship operation.
    I may mention here that VISWALAB, the well-known testing laboratory, has developed system including hardware and software to take care of all essentials mentioned by the author. Many such systems (Viswa Energy Efficiency Management Systems – VEEMS) have been installed on board a number of vessels and operating with very satisfactory results. To know more about VEEMS you may contact customerhelp@viswalab.com and or amit@viswalab.com

  2. Operating DGenys at best efficiency and highest designed loads is a challange. CE,s are reluctant to run engines beyond 80% loads.most vessels run two engines when total load odds just about 100%. Even performance tests are done at much below design loads. Your daily f.o consumption will effectively be higher by atleast a ton a day. This aspect is not addressed by many companies.

  3. It is nice to see commitment within BSM and other organisations building up for energy efficiency. The tools that we need to apply with advancement in portable and on-line sensors for data capture and putting them on a web-enabled platform for analytical practical approach for EOI improvements and CBM approach can be a enriching approach for mariners, for smart operations. The economic benefits sometime are difficult to measure but can be perceived by top management. Right investment in this area is still lacking.
    I congratulate Prakhar Singh Chandel for his concise thoughts and driving zeal for vessel efficiency.

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