School of Engineering


Development of an Advanced Performance Monitoring System

Develop a method to accurately and scientifically identify the performance of anti-fouling coatings and their effect on overall ship performance in service.

During the last decade fuel prices have increased in almost fourfold. In combination with new IMO regulations to ban TBT in hull coatings, there has been a growing interest in fuel saving solutions and improved operational ship performance. The paint industry has responded to this need by the development of new types of copper and silicon based anti fouling coatings.

Newcastle University in collaboration with International Paint Ltd has been involved in research in this area for many years. This has resulted in a deep understanding and scientific methodologies to define the roughness and drag characteristics of coated surfaces and propellers. This project is sponsored by International Paint Ltd. IRISL, the largest ship owner and operator in Middle East is to provide a container vessel for system development and testing. OSG, one of the largest tanker owner and operators has been collaborating with the research team by providing operational data for a large tanker for testing of the proposed performance analysis system off-line.

Performance analysis

The only way to evaluate and compare ship performance data is by converting the in-service performance to a standard reference condition (e.g. no wind, no waves, design draft/trim, no course alterations etc.). Furthermore, the performance of engine, propeller and hull should be separated to avoid misleading KPI’s. One way of converting the data is by carefully measuring the environmental (wind, wave, water depth, density), loading (draft, trim) and operational conditions (speed, speed over ground, engine torque, rpm, fuel consumption), the extra power compared to the reference condition can be calculated. If this additional power is deduced from the measured output power and the effects of the condition of propeller and engine are taken into account, then the remaining difference is the power loss due to hull fouling/roughness. This way of analysis not only gives insight in marine anti-fouling performance, operational decisions can also be quickly evaluated. Condition based maintenance strategies can be applied and vessels can be compared regardless of their operation (speed, weather etc.).

Project objectives

To address aforementioned problems, project objectives were set to focus on data quality, transparency in analysis methods and improved quality in KPI’s. A tailor-made data acquisitioning and analysis system installed on a ship, performing all data collection, conditioning and analysis real-time and fully automatic is believed to be a suitable solution. Requirement for this is availability of ship data, i.e. hull offset, propeller data, towing tank results etc. Every ship behaves different to wave and wind and unless ship characteristics are available estimations are too inaccurate. Furthermore, the interface of the system should be such that the user can have real-time insight into which data is logged, what conditioning is applied and how it is used in the analysis algorithm to produce the final KPI.