Uni-Tankers invests heavily in intelligent engine management

(Image Courtesy: Uni-Tankers)

Ten months of test sailing using Frugal Propulsion on the tanker Endelo Swan shows a fuel saving of 12.2%, which is now driving Uni-Tankers to install the system on more ships in the fleet.

Uni-Tankers is continuously working to make its oil- and chemical tankers more efficient. That is why the Danish shipping company now choose to invest in Frugal Propulsion, a system which provides unprecedented opportunities for optimising fuel consumption on engine-driven ships.

Frugal Propulsion, which is developed by the Danish start-up Frugal Technologies, was installed on the Chemical/Oil Products Tanker Endelo Swan during docking in June 2020. The result is a fuel saving of 12.2%, and Uni-Tankers has therefore decided to install the system on three more ships during 2021.

“With Frugal Propulsion, we have a system that enables us to reduce the climate impact of our fleet while at the same time strengthening our competitiveness. Endelo Swan is a strong business case, and it is obvious for us to expand the collaboration with Frugal Technologies,” says Peter V. Stokbro, Technical Director at Uni-Tankers.

Self-learning system optimises the engine and propeller

Frugal Propulsion is a patented and class-approved on-top system which ensures that the engine and propeller are constantly optimised in relation to draught, load, waves and wind. There are no manual adjustments.

“Our system is based on sensors, Big Data and learning algorithms which are constantly getting smarter. For the shipowner, this means that the fuel savings will increase as the system gets to know the ship,” explains Peter Hauschildt, naval architect and CEO of Frugal Technologies.

Together with CTO Lars Stoustrup, an IT specialist, he established Frugal Technologies in 2017 and developed Frugal Propulsion, which has been extensively tested and documented on a number of ships at various shipping companies. These tests show an average fuel saving of 10-15% and an ROI of 6-18 months, depending on consumption.

“We have proven that the system works and that it requires minimal modification of the ship. Fuel is by far the largest ongoing expense on cargo ships, and it is not difficult for shipowners to see the potential in this. With Uni-Tankers, we now have an extremely strong case which can hopefully make others follow suit,” says Peter Hauschildt.

Options on additional ships

Uni-Tankers has initially selected the tankers Fenno Swan, Feo Swan and Lillo Swan for installation of Frugal Propulsion because these ships have roughly the same construction as Endelo Swan. But the company may expand its investments further over the coming years.

“Frugal Propulsion is a new technology with few references, but the documentation behind the system is convincing. We initially had a concern about whether the engine risked overloading. However, Frugal Technologies was able to quickly quell this through performance tests. If the next installations perform as expected, we are ready to invest further,” says Peter V. Stokbro.

Sea News, May 6

Baibhav Mishra
Author: Baibhav Mishra

Associate Editor, Sea News