Why this challenge?
Air quality issues linked to port operations in urban areas have become a major concern for government bodies, businesses, associations and local residents alike.
Eco-driving is an action that already allows each and every person to reduce emissions produced by private car journeys by adapting their day-to-day driving style, with applications available that help measure the impact.
The same can be done in the field of shipping, particularly where port manoeuvres are concerned, where new manoeuvring techniques and traffic regulations can reduce fuel consumption and the associated air pollution emissions.
Already, campaigns are underway to reduce port approach speeds and speeds inside harbours during periods of pollution (prefectoral orders covering the implementation of emergency measures in the event of pollution peaks) and on a continuous basis for cruise ships (Blue Charter).
In addition to these actions, the aim of the challenge is to provide pilots with a tool that shows the relevance and impact of eco-friendly pilotage practices while taking into account the imperative safety measures imposed by the weather and traffic, and the vessels’ characteristics.
With regard to feasibility, given the safety conditions required for the operations to be carried out, the eco-pilotage scheme could be envisaged on a conditional basis or subject to an ongoing procedure. In Marseille, the worst-case scenario for local residents weather-wise is a period of alternating breezes, for which AtmoSud could provide forecasts for both weather conditions (using meteorological data from the port provided by the GPMM) and the pollution expected from the ships’ smoke emissions (work undertaken as part of the DIAMS project with PMSS).
The challenge will aim to provide pilots with tool with which to measure the environmental impact of manoeuvres. Speeds, courses and engine power settings are parameters upon which the pilots can act to apply this new approach to ships’ manoeuvring.
In concrete terms, a new application will be developed to quantify emissions throughout the approach and manoeuvring phases, based on “standard” vessel types, using data from the manoeuvring simulator at the Marseille Pilots’ Station.
To ensure the data is relevant, comparisons will be made with real values calculated using data collected “in situ” and supplied (on a voluntary basis) by shipping companies as well as those provided by engine suppliers (type of engine, fuel used…).
Example of situation
Using the bow thruster instead of the main propellers when swinging around 180° uses considerably less energy. But how can this saving be quantified in terms of reduced air pollution? (Each vessel necessarily completes a 180° swing-around at each port call).
Likewise, depending on circumstances, and whether the pilot has the choice of side alongside, using a tailwind can reduce engine time and therefore emissions.
Depending on the available data, the results will be able to quantify emissions such as CO2, SOx and NOx and allow relevant figures to be transmitted to local authorities, environmental organizations and local residents.
Subsequently, these results will be used as benchmarks for a more comprehensive project involving not only pilots but all port stakeholders, with a view to creating optimum conditions for eco-manoeuvring within the GPMM’s harbours (going beyond the pilot’s actions and including the ships’ approach speeds, right up to berthing).
Trial, resources and co‑innovation
Most of the research will be carried out in the manoeuvring simulator at the Syndicat des Pilotes Marseille-Fos’ headquarters at 190, Quai du Port, Marseille.
In order to limit the quantity of data to be collected, the research will concentrate on a selection of “standard” vessel types (ferry, liner, ro-ro, container ship...)
The Marseille pilots will provide their professional expertise as well as the results obtained from their manoeuvring simulator.
They will also, as far as is possible, provide access to the “in situ” data from the selected vessels.
AtmoSud is providing air quality data and available data on vessel air pollution factors and will participate in modelling the emissions.
The challenge partners will facilitate contact with professionals necessarily involved in the research.
The challenge partners and the start-up will work towards developing a reliable tool for quantifying air pollutant emissions.
The simulator will be used as a tool for innovation by generating the data bases to feed the computational algorithms and to identify the most efficient levers in developing eco-pilotage techniques.
The tool will provide a means to quantify the relative reduction of pollutant emissions and to feed indicators to be defined (e.g. manoeuvring performance indicator…)
Successfully completing this challenge will subsequently lead to new approaches to port traffic regulation being envisaged in order for pilot operations to be as virtuous as possible in terms of air quality and for information regarding the port’s environmental performance to be communicated.
Likewise, depending on the results, eco-pilotage could be included in the simulator training programmes for pilots.
Profile for the expected startup
- Knowledge of the shipping sector
- Knowledge of the marine engine ecosystem
- Ability to extract and process existing data
- Competence in the field of computational algorithms, evaluation tools and optimization models