25 January 2012 - A Singapore technology firm is eyeing a wider market for its fuel consumption and bunkering monitoring system, currently in use on tugboats to reap fuel savings.
Ascenz, a relatively new company, is planning to install the technology on 100 vessels this year, primarily in the Asian region, according to general manager Sia Teck Chong.
Currently about 40 vessels, mainly tugboats, are using its Remote Fuel Monitoring system.
“This technology is suitable for any ships, and we are also targeting to install it on ocean-going ships,” Sia told Bunkerworld.
“Tugs using marine diesel oil are able to save 40-50% on fuel consumption with our remote fuel monitoring system. A 5-10% reduction in fuel consumption is expected on vessels burning (fuel oil) bunker fuel.”
The Remote Fuel Monitoring system allows any shipboard equipment to be monitored remotely from any part of the world.
Information such as the vessel’s fuel consumption, location and speed, fire alarm data and RPM reading will be sent from the system’s controller box via wireless network to Ascenz’s onshore server and monitored remotely from the individual vessel operator’s office. By knowing and monitoring the speed of the vessel, the operator is able to control and save on fuel costs, and use accurate historic data to plan future operations, Sia explained.
“The remote system saves operators the hassle of going onboard a ship. No human interface is needed and the data sent to the operator’s office is as accurate as what is being captured on shipboard equipment,” he said.
Another advantage of the system is that crew members do not need to learn how to operate the system as it is fully automated and no shipboard personnel is required to maintain the technology, he added. The cost of installing the system including a mass flow meter, ranges from S$50,000-100,000 ($35,820-71,640) for tugboats.
“The cost is subject to the vessel’s pipe sizes and flow rate. It is fully customisable and depends very much on the vessel’s configuration,” Sia highlighted.
He encouraged the use of mass flow meters in conjunction with the remote system to collect more accurate data on fuel usage and remaining fuel quantity onboard the vessel. The digitally-calibrated mass flow meter technology is an alternative means of measuring bunker fuel quantity. Traditional methods are tank gauging or sounding.
Operators wanting to use the Remote Fuel Monitoring system need only worry about a vessel’s downtime cost for a few hours during the installation, which involves running electrical cables and some welding works, Sia said.
Ascenz has sold its technology in Indonesia, China, Taiwan and Singapore. Some of its customers include Bourbon Offshore, IMC and Smit.
Established in 2008, Ascenz was one of five companies out of 19 selected by the relevant Singapore authorities in June 2008 to invest S$2 million to develop solutions to enhance the capabilities and sophistication of Singapore’s seaport community.