Royal Caribbean Cruises teams up with Eniram, cutting fuel costs by millions of dollars and reducing emissions of CO2 by tens of thousands of tons by improving energy efficiency through innovation.
Cruise shipping is one of the fastest growing sectors in tourism, in 2015 attracting approximately 23 million passengers around the world. Cruise company Royal Caribbean Cruises is constantly designing and building new futuristic ships and partnering with the shipyards, engineers, architects and innovative minds, with a focus on guest experience, safety, energy efficiency and minimizing the impact on the environment.
“We are building new technologies from scratch. Regarding energy efficiency we are cutting edge. Energy efficiency also means minimizing the environmental impact as a direct consequence of reduced fuel consumption,” explains Harri Kulovaara, Executive Vice President, Maritime at Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
Every generation of cruise vessels from the ’90s and forward is still in use in the Royal Caribbean fleet. It goes without saying that the development regarding energy efficiency has been accelerating and the older vessels are not nearly as optimal as the latest ones. However, it is quite possible, at a reasonable cost, to achieve considerable savings by upgrading them closer to the latest generations.
Eniram, a provider of energy management technology and analytic services to the shipping industry, picked a significant challenge in 2005, when the company decided to start optimizing the energy consumption onboard cruise vessels. Today, the company optimizes the operations in over 130 large cruise vessels, which is two thirds of the world’s seagoing fleet.
The process begins with collecting a massive amount of data onboard the vessel during normal operation, using over a trillion measurement points. The data is used to build a model – a mathematical relationship between the different performance elements onboard. Eniram also model the relationship between the ship and the sea with all the affecting factors.
Thanks to advanced statistical methods, Eniram brings real-time guidance to onboard engineers and deck officers on how to best trim the vessel, what speed to operate, how much load the engines should have and what route to take. The guidance is presented in an uncomplicated way on screens with “traffic lights”, a principle developed by Eniram. Green light means that the system is performing in an optimal way, yellow light gives a heads up about a negative trend in performance and red light indicates the prompt need for action to restore optimal operations.
An example of a current products is Eniram Performance, a system tracking the total energy efficiency of the vessel. It includes a service power model, where the user is able to look at the different components of service power, such as the hotel, HVAC and machinery. Another product installed on cruise ships is Eniram Speed, a system that calculates the ship service power needed for arrival on time with maximum fuel efficiency.
Since 2009 Eniram has been collaborating with Royal Caribbean in order to further improve the performance of the fleet. The first trials resulted in fuel savings of 6 percent on the test vessel. Royal Caribbean was delighted with the result as the vessel was on one of the best performing in the fleet and no further savings was thought to be possible. Today energy management and energy optimization has decreased the fuel consumption by an average of 4 percent fleetwide in Royal Caribbean. This means an annual saving of approximately $16 million in fuel costs and an annual reduction of 35,000 tons of CO2 – equivalent to the emissions of 7,000 cars.
The accumulated data and information from the systems is also provided by Eniram for naval architects and marine engineers at Royal Caribbean, enabling them to design and build better and more optimal ships in the future. The collaboration between Eniram and Royal Caribbean has resulted in several improvements and when comparing energy efficiency of the Quantum-class with previous versions, the Quantum-class is now more efficient.
When Royal Caribbean Cruises were designing the Quantum class, Eniram provided the tools for holistic optimization of ship energy management. Trim and speed management were a part of an industry-first ship-wide energy management system (EMS). The latest version of Eniram Performance for Cruise vessels is currently operational on two vessels in addition to Quantum of the Seas. Now through the enhanced KPI feature, officers, engineers as well as onshore personnel can continually monitor, communicate and discuss the overall performance of a vessel as needed to ensure optimal fuel and energy use.
“Eniram is a great example of the type of companies with whom Royal Caribbean is partnering strongly. Eniram use technology and data mining to improve operational efficiency of our vessels, and we are most pleased with the results so far,” Kulovaara says.
Still, there is much more to be won. Looking forward, Eniram and Royal Caribbean are confident that based upon the actual collected data and their joint experience so far, an additional 10 percent savings can be achieved for both newbuilds and existing vessels.
“The emphasis will be on real-time management of the whole fleet of vessels, enabling a predictive capability for the crew to take measures. For example, if a vessel for any reason should deviate from the planned and forecasted performance, Eniram and Royal Caribbean, as well as the officers onboard will get instant notification. Royal Caribbean’s shoreside specialists and Eniram's support team are able to identify the deviation online and assist the crew to solve the problem and get back on track,” says Henrik Dahl, CEO of Eniram.
“What we are doing is not about controlling the captains,” Dhal continues. “It is rather about Eniram and Royal Caribbean together supporting the crew to make savings. It will be what Houston is for space crafts, indeed a command center, but there for the officers onboard the vessels to provide support.”
Both Eniram and Royal Caribbean are convinced that the 10 percent goal in further savings is quite realistic. A crucial issue is to navigate the vessel in the most efficient way, regarding for example the routes and the service speed. Under the loop are also the operation of other onboard systems, such as power generation, propulsion, fuel, not to mention the energy consumption of the hotel part and supporting infrastructure of the ship. Not a stone must be left unturned to run the operations in the most efficient way.
“The potential is also perhaps more substantial and harder than the onboard optimization. Going from optimizing 40 vessels to a fleet involving over 50,000 people needs a completely different approach, especially as there are only 75 Eniramers. This is why the approach needs to be a joint partnership,” Dahl says.
The future approach to energy management is to expand it to cover all areas of operations and utilize the experience when designing new ships. The development is going towards more and more automated ships with smart sensors and intelligent algorithms monitoring every element of operations and design ensuring that the vessel is operated at its optimal performance in every situation.
On the shoreside the trend is transparency. Every vessel will have a dynamic efficiency rating of its own, which could even be made public to drive a change and provide full transparency. This will enable Eniram to make sure that not only the Royal Caribbean fleet is state-of-the art, but that all cruise vessels and other types of ships are operated as efficiently as possible.