A semi-empirical ship operational performance prediction model for voyage optimization towards energy efficient shipping

Ruihua Lu, Osman Turan, Evangelos Boulougouris, Charlotte Banks, Atilla Incecik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Citations (Scopus)
235 Downloads (Pure)


Voyage optimization is a practice to select the optimum route for the ship operators to increase energy efficiency and reduce Green House Gas emission in the shipping industry. An accurate prediction of ship operational performance is the prerequisite to achieve these targets. In this paper, a modified Kwon's method was developed to predict the added resistance caused by wave and wind for a specific ship type, and an easy-to-use semi-empirical ship operational performance prediction model is proposed. It can accurately predict the ship's operational performance for a specific commercial ship under different drafts, at varying speeds and in varying encounter angles, and then enables the user to investigate the relation between fuel consumption and the various sea states and directions that the ship may encounter during her voyage. Based on the results from the operational performance prediction model and real time climatological information, different options for the ship's navigation course can be evaluated according to a number of objectives, including: maximising safety and minimising fuel consumption and voyage time. By incorporating this into a decision support tool, the ship's crew are able to make an informed decision about what is the best course to navigate. In this study the Energy Efficiency of Operation (EEO) is defined as an indicator to illustrate the ratio of main engine fuel consumption per unit of transport work. Two case studies are carried out to perform the prediction of ship operational performance for Suezmax and Aframax Oil Tankers, and the results indicate that the semiempirical ship operational performance prediction model provides an extremely quick calculation with very reasonable accuracy, particularly considering the uncertainties related to the parameters of interest for the case study data. Within the case studies, the additional fuel consumption caused by the combined hull and propeller fouling and engine degradation is included in the model as a time-dependent correction factor. The factor may assist the ship owner/operator to determine the hull coating selection, and/or the dry-docking and main engine maintenance strategy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-28
Number of pages11
JournalOcean Engineering
Issue numberPart B
Early online date8 Sep 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015


  • energy efficient shipping
  • voyage optimization
  • ship operational performance
  • fuel saving
  • CO2
  • emission reduction


Dive into the research topics of 'A semi-empirical ship operational performance prediction model for voyage optimization towards energy efficient shipping'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this