Lean Marine – Reducing emissions through optimisation of ship propulsion

Lean Marine offers innovative solutions for fuel saving and increased operational efficiency for the marine industry. The aim is to reduce the environmental impact of operating vessels and increase the competitiveness and profitability of the industry.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) aims to reduce the total annual GHG emissions from shipping by at least 50 percent by 2050 compared to 2008, and eventually phasing them out entirely. In addition, both the EU and national authorities are increasing the regulatory environmental requirements, and on 16 September the European Parliament voted to introduce shipping into its Emissions Trading System. Moreover, an increasing number of companies jump on the eco-friendly bandwagon, which could catalyse the marine industry to go beyond mandatory requirements.

fleetanalyticsA variety of zero emission ship concepts are already being developed around the world. While many of these solutions are ready for deployment, others require capital investment and planning at the newbuild planning stage. Some also require significant vessel modifications. Improving the operational efficiency of an existing vessel, on the other hand, can be deployed immediately. Lean Marine offers shipowners and operators two tools: FuelOpt™, an automated and direct fuel-saving solution, and Fleet Analytics™, a cloud-based performance management and reporting software. 

Lean Marine was founded in Sweden in 2012 by a team with extensive experience in naval architecture, specialised in hydrodynamics, propellers, electrical engineering, and propulsion control systems. With an increasing customer demand for better efficiency in propulsion systems, the company saw the opportunity to unlock the vast potential of automation.

Up to 15 percent direct fuel savings and emission reductions

As fuel costs represent up to 70 percent of the total operating costs for a vessel, improvements in fuel consumption are an important parameter to meet the environmental requirements and thus increase competitiveness and profitability. Sarah Zitouni, Regional Sales Manager at Lean Marine, explains that ‘on top’ propulsion automation system FuelOpt™ can deliver up to 15 percent direct fuel savings and emission reductions, depending on the type of propulsion, trade and existing system settings for the vessel. “With FuelOpt™, we are aiming to have a quick return on investment time for our customers, ideally less than a year. For the bigger vessel, the payback time is usually much shorter. Going further, if the FuelOptsystem is used with Fleet Analytics, additional indirect fuel savings and emission reductions of up to 10% are possible”.

fuelopt2FuelOpt™ allows the bridge crew to receive full, automated control of vessel speed and fuel consumption. In this way, the crew can avoid potential overconsumption of fuel in harsh conditions, such as high swells and winds. To do this, the crew activates FuelOpt™ with the push of a button from the user-friendly, intuitive panel on the bridge. Zitouni explains that the panel allows their customers to set the command for engine power, fuel consumption, speed or a combination thereof. Once the system is activated, it optimises propulsion in real-time based on the command set. The system’s adaptive algorithms take varying environmental conditions into account. In this way, FuelOpt™ ensures maximum power optimisation, minimum fuel consumption and reduced emissions.

To achieve maximum efficiency on vessels with a controllable pitch propeller, FuelOpt™ acts as a dynamic tuning system for the propulsion machinery to ensure that the engine and propeller operate at optimal conditions. The system achieves this by controlling the propeller’s pitch and RPM separately to produce maximum amount of propeller thrust with minimum amount of power, reducing energy waste. Additionally, FuelOpt™ adds an extra layer of operational safety by avoiding any risk of overload on the engine system and propulsion line. 

Compared to other solutions, FuelOpt™ can be installed on any type of vessel, existing or newbuilding, and any type of conventional propulsion system for fixed pitch or controllable pitch propeller and energy source/fuel (wind-assisted systems, hybrid-engine solutions, alternative fuels etc.). A large part of Lean Marine´s existing customer base is within tanker operations and Ro-Ro/Ro-Pax owners, but the company is also working with container vessels, bulk and vehicle carriers, cruise ships and more. Of the commercial ships in operation today, Lean Marine estimates that about 35 000 have a configuration which is certain to benefit from FuelOpt™. The tool can also be used during the sea voyage in any waters and under any weather and sea conditions. In addition, FuelOpt™ enables data gathering for digitalisation without any additional cost.

Turning big vessel data into knowledge

Lean Marine´s second tool, Fleet Analytics™, centralises the FuelOpt™-generated data and data gathered from multiple other sources, turning this big vessel data into operational knowledge. This empowers shipping organisations to become ‘lean’ and ‘green’.

Fleet Analytics™ provides direct insight into the operational performance at vessel and fleet level. Its automated reports help reduce the workload onboard and ashore, and the advanced analysis tools enables in depth analysis and comparison of performance KPIs. The system can be used both for daily follow-up and for analysing long-term performance.

Riding the AI-wave

Mikael Laurin, CEO at Lean Marine, reveals that today, their products sits in the centre of Artificial Intelligence (AI) based developments due to the ability to gather and transform vessel data, and apply the commands from AI-based technologies regarding power, speed and consumption. Lean Marine plans to launch new versions and modules for both FuelOpt™ and Fleet Analytics™. “We are building new ways for our systems to socialise with complementary solutions in order to create a wide and integrated information platform that will be the tool that ship operators use to plan, perform and evaluate their day-to-day business. We are also developing new functionality with focus on AI-modelling to be able to predict and plan the perfect voyage”.

Lean Marine has already delivered its technologies to more than 180 vessels of varying sizes and engine power, ranging from small cruise vessels of 650 deadweight tonnage (DWT) to bulk carriers of 200 000 DWT. The effect of their solutions is calculated to a CO2reduction of 167 million kg per year. In the coming years, the company is aiming for reaching 500-1000 vessels and strengthen FuelOpt™ and Fleet Analytics™ role in ship optimization, hence seeking collaboration opportunities with new customers and synergies with other green technologies and vessel efficiency solutions. “The industry has been taking initiatives towards greener operations. To achieve this, ship owners and operators might need to combine few clean technologies to answer different needs. Hence to support them on their journey, we, clean-tech innovators, should be open for collaboration and further developments together”, Laurin continues.

Scandinavia is currently Lean Marine´s main market, followed by Asia, and the company hopes that markets like Germany and the Netherlands will welcome their solutions too.“We are dedicated to making the marine industry more efficient and eco-friendly”, adds Laurin.

Contact Lean Marine:

Email: info@leanmarine.com 

Phone : +46(0)31 780 64 00  


Images © Lean Marine

By Anna Lygre Solvang