When maritime software services and data company NAPA wanted to build a system that could simulate vessel performance in any sailing conditions partnered with Tidetech in order to integrate its tidal, wave and wind data and create a service. In particular, together with AIS position and other information, the Tidetech data is integrated into NAPA’s Fleet Intelligence and Class-NK NAPA Green Monitoring programs, which use proprietary algorithms to provide a view of global performance and ship-specific performance analysis.
Pekka Pakkanen, Director of Development, NAPA Shipping Solutions, says:
We use the Tidetech data in our Fleet Intelligence tool which provides an overview of voyage across all vessels and in our NAPA Green monitoring program to provide automated post-voyage analysis. The weather data is a very useful tool in helping owners understand how the conditions where they operate will affect vessel performance and fuel consumption.
NAPA is developing a new cloud-based vessel optimisation tool which will support further improvements to voyage planning and budgeting, again featuring Tidetech data. This will be NAPA’s first solution which moves performance optimisation and assessment from the vessel to a scalable cloud-based system accessible from anywhere.
The new service will feature enhanced, automated data collection so the frequency of information updates can be increased, with transmission via a satellite connection.
The company’s philosophy is that with more accurate data comes the opportunity to share information with a range of stakeholders so that scheduling can be improved, avoiding the ‘hurry up and wait’ model of much of today’s tramp shipping market. Pakkanen believes the efficiency gains from this element alone could be more than 15% globally.
“When we start to think in terms of the stakeholders involved, the owner, operator, manager, charterer and the port, there is an obvious benefit in being better co-ordinated if we can make access to the information more transparent,” he says.
Metocean data can be generated at any given waypoint to provide weather, wave and current values along the whole voyage track, ideally suited to commercial post-voyage analysis. Using enterprise-grade cloud-based servers means Tidetech can generate tidal model output in minutes which would have previously taken a day on a supercomputer – and it can deliver group files for ingestion into onboard systems.
Tidetech provides a range of weather model outputs from sources including the US Global Forecast System, the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting and the Canadian Meteorological Centre. Statistical metrics averaged over the latest month’s data compare the performance of six operational models at the global and regional scale.
Tidetech supplies wave data from the NCEP WW3 and Meteo France models with validation via the World Meteorological Organization, which publishes monthly summary statistics for wave parameters from all operational wave model forecasts against a common set of wave buoys
For tidal data, Tidetech constructs hydrodynamic models of tidal elevation and currents using techniques developed at the UK National Oceanography Centre with model output validated using available observations including tidal currents obtained from current meters.
Ocean model data is obtained from the Mercator (NEMO) model run by the Copernicus Environment Monitoring Service and US Naval Research Laboratory HYCOM system. Validation metrics comparing the model against in-situ or satellite observations are routinely calculated for several parameters including salinity, temperature, sea level anomaly and sea surface temperature.
To validate sea surface temperature, Tidetech uses a 1km global blended product, produced daily, combining different satellite feeds and produced by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California with comparison of the global product and in-situ data carried out daily.
This data has been put to work analysing the performance of more than 10 million voyages and has been used by NAPA to improve thousands of real life vessel journeys. As a result, tens of thousands of tonnes of CO2 have been saved through voyage optimization – and the ultimate potential is much larger.
Mr. Pakkanen adds:
We like the Tidetech data because of the high quality it gives us. Shipowners that understand that this is data of real quality realise that the results will be valuable for them. Being able to show that the Tidetech data is reliable and accurate makes it easier for us to demonstrate that we can deliver positive outcomes.