Technical: Royal Caribbean: Ship Optimization

“The biggest opportunities for fleet optimization are in operational excellence and execution of voyages,” said Captain Patrik Dahlgren, vice president of marine operations for Celebrity Cruises and also in charge of global fleet optimization for Royal Caribbean Cruises’ six brands and 45 ships.

 “We are focused on energy-, asset- and project management.” Captain Dahlgren said. “These areas are key to optimizing the fleet. The main goal is to make sure we have a structure for safe, effective and efficient operations.” “We are also looking for innovation and continuous improvement.”

“We are looking 10 steps ahead, not just one,” he continued. “I like to call our approach disruptive innovation, meaning we question every single thing we do. As a marine industry we have been built on traditions that tend not to be questioned.”

The Harmony of the Seas is probably the most energy efficient passenger ship ever with many firsts in the industry, according to Anshul Tuteja, director of energy management, global fleet optimization and marine operations for Royal Caribbean Cruises. “She is equipped with state of the art automation and energy management tools and systems, which enable officers to make the right decisions based on real-time data and at the right time,” he said.

But for all this to work, the foundation has to be right, he added, meaning a hydrodynamically and aerodynamically optimized hull, superstructure, propeller and appendages, and that the systems and components represent the latest and most energy efficient technologies, ranging from the propulsion plant to LED light bulbs.

Secondly, he said, tools must be in place to monitor and control the various systems, including the machinery, HVAC and the many other hotel functions. The ship’s automation system serves as the control, alarm and monitoring tool.

Last, but not least, he continued, are the energy management tools to constantly collect and analyze performance data from the ship’s operation and advise officers onboard to make the correct choices and take needed action in case abnormal phenomena occurs or the performance deteriorates. The energy management system aboard the Harmony reports in real-time both aboard the ship and to shore.

“We set targets for reference and to push the shipboard personnel toward excellence,” Tuteja said. “Targets are dynamic and can often change according to a new optimal point being discovered or external conditions such as weather. We set targets for propulsion power, machinery, HVAC, hotel services electricity and so on. The values set for the Key Performance Indicators are there to motivate the operators to achieve an optimal operational profile at all times and sustain the same under all conditions.

“Our concept is based on total energy management onboard, that is, producing the energy required for a given voyage in the most efficient way,” he added.

“Ultimately, however, the comfort of our guests is paramount. We will only go as far as we can justify being energy efficient. For example, if need be, we will extend fin stabilizers to reduce the rolling effect, which in turn will cause an extra drag to the ship and consequently higher fuel consumption.

“With the energy management system, we expect to reduce fuel consumption from 3 to 4 percent. The fleetwide target is to save an additional 5 percent in fuel (10 percent in propulsion power) by 2020. That translates into $40 million in savings and 200,000 tons of CO2 emissions,” Tuteja said.

Excerpt from Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine: Summer 2016

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