Keep your cost of ownership on course for profitable operation

Frank Frenzel_Round

October 14th, 2021


Frank Frenzel

Global Product Line Manager, Measurement & Analytics


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Sailing the seven seas can be an expensive business, with operators faced with a variety of cost challenges. For all operators, fuel represents a significant expense that can have a major impact on profitability. In this blog we look at how accurate measurement delivered by ABB’s Torductor shaft torque sensor and CoriolisMaster flowmeter can help to reduce your cost of ownership by managing fuel supplies more efficiently.

Today’s ships consume a lot of fuel. For a large cruise or container ship travelling between 20 to 24 knots, for example, consumption can average around 150 to 250 tons per day. It’s therefore not surprising that fuel accounts for a significant proportion of the running costs of a ship, varying between 40 to 60 percent depending on the type of vessel. With the cost of bunker fuel currently around $552 per ton, a ship’s fuel bill can easily run into hundreds of thousands of dollars.

To maintain profitability, ship operators need to ensure their vessels’ engines are running at optimum efficiency. This is measured via a value known as Specific Fuel Oil Consumption (SFOC), which is the mass of fuel consumed per unit of time to produce each kilowatt of power.

To achieve the measurements needed to calculate a vessel’s SFOC, ABB offers two key measurement solutions. The first is Torductor Marine, a contactless device used to measure a ship’s propulsion power.

The key component of Torductor Marine is its sensor. A truly contactless device that requires only 25 cm of free shaft length to operate, the sensor is based on a magnetic operating principle, which eliminates the need to bind electronic devices to the propeller shaft. The latest version provides these benefits but in an even more compact package, making it even easier to install.

Torductor Marine looks at key performance indicators including propulsion power, the total number of shaft revolutions and the total amount of energy developed during a voyage.

The solution is easy to integrate with the ABB Ability™ OCTOPUS - Marine Advisory System to allow analysis and reporting. This information can then be made available to the ship’s owners and managers through ABB’s fleet portal.

With no moving parts that can be affected by wear or drift, Torductor is virtually maintenance free and is also reliable and repeatable, giving consistent measurements.

ABB’s second measurement solution, which is used in conjunction with the Torductor, is its CoriolisMaster flowmeter. With its ability to measure mass, volume and real time density, the CoriolisMaster can be used to measure fuel flows, with the resulting data being used as part of the SFOC calculation. Highly accurate, the CoriolisMaster features a compact design that enables it to be easily retrofitted, even in confined spaces.

Like the Torductor, the CoriolisMaster is maintenance free, with no moving parts that can be affected by wear.


Make saving fuel plain sailing

When it comes to finding ways to save fuel and maximise vessel performance, improvement ultimately starts with measurement. Being able to count on accurate and reliable propulsion and fuel flow data will help to provide the information needed to cut fuel consumption, making cost effective operation a matter of plain sailing.

To find out more about how we can help you to optimize engine performance, reduce fuel consumption and cut your emissions, take a look at our marine industry TechTalk webinar.  

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