Windship Modelling and Voyage Optimization




740.000 Euro

Sponsored by:


"Ship Efficiency" is currently one of the most important issues for shipping companies to keep their fleets competitive. A wide range of technical offers to improve efficiency has emerged, but a common problem of all measures is to prove their effectiveness and forecast the actual savings on a particular ship in its operational area. This results from the strong dependence of the parameters determining efficiency on environmental conditions and ship operating variables. All relevant factors influencing the speed/drive power ratio must be taken into account in order to be able to assess the efficiency within the required accuracy. A complex integration of data as well as ship modelling and simulation are required for this.

For this purpose, a software-based system was developed in the project Windship Modelling and Voyage Optimization, which combines the data of the ship sensors with weather, environmental and navigation data and integrates them with ship modelling software. A special focus was put on the "user interface", which provides the user with a quick overview of the ship efficiency in the context of relevant ship operation and environmental data, as well as the identification of potential for improvement and the optimization of the planned voyage.

The weather routing system developed in the project was completed as a prototype. A functioning system for equipping the "Fehn Pollux" with the Eco Flettner rotor was brought on board. The system installed on board integrates all components developed in the project: The weather routing software SPOS, which was extended by the project module to take into account the resistance and power model of the Fehn Pollux and the Flettner Rotor, and the ECDIS eGlobe to display the optimised routes and to be able to carry out a "safety check".

This system could be used to test all components extensively and under real conditions on board. The tests were accompanied on board by a student of the University of Applied Sciences Emden/Leer, Department of Maritime Studies and Maritime Sciences.

This system can best be described as a complex service that combines data from a variety of sources (ship, weather, sea chart) to generate an "optimal" voyage plan. This voyage plan includes the routing taking into account safety aspects, weather, ocean currents and takes into account the performance of the ship under the given conditions.

Contact person

Prof. Michael Vahs
phone: 0049 (0)491 92817-5022
e-Mail: michael.vahs(at)