EconomyPlanner; optimal use of inland waterways

Bons, A., van der Mark, R., Molenmaker, K., & van Wirdum, M. (2014) EconomyPlanner; optimal use of inland waterways. European Inland Waterway Navigation Conference.

In order to strengthen the position of inland shipping it is important to make optimal use of inland waterways. This paper reviews the state-of-the-art of the EconomyPlanner system which enables skippers to reduce fuel consumption by energy efficient ship operation. The development of the EconomyPlanner is commissioned by the European Commission (FP7 EU project MoVeIT!) and the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management Rijkswaterstaat (Dutch projects IDVV and Covadem [5]). The projects are carried out by a consortium in which knowledge institutes, waterway authorities and representatives of the inland navigation branch participate.

By using the EconomyPlanner the vessel owner gains fuel efficiency, reliability in terms of ETA and a maximised cargo capacity regarding real time and future riverbed information, water levels and flow velocities. The main goal of the EconomyPlanner is to create a real time local water depth chart based on cooperative navigable depth measurements. In addition the Virtual Ship module of the EconomyPlanner is able to determine the optimal track and advises skippers on optimal rpm settings during the voyage in relation to the desired ETA, for which fuel consumption and emissions are minimal.

A prototype version of the EconomyPlanner has been developed and tested successfully. In the middle of 2014 about 40 inland ships have been equipped with the EconomyPlanner concept. The validation results and the onboard measurements will be used to calibrate and further improve the EconomyPlanner.