OWA launches app developed to optimise offshore vessel performance

New app developed to measure and enhance performance of crew transfer vessels.

OWA launches app developed to optimise offshore vessel performance
Photo: Carbon Trust

Improved operating efficiency reduces costs, drives down vessel emissions, and supports mission to accelerate move to Net Zero.

The Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) has launched a new dedicated app, designed to estimate the motion and performance of seagoing vessels by using the in-built sensors within a smartphone or tablet device. The app will help improve operating efficiency by reducing costs, driving down vessel emissions, and ultimately accelerate the move to a decarbonised future.

The Vessel Motion Monitoring App (VMMA) has been developed through the OWA, the Carbon Trust’s flagship collaborative research, development and demonstration (RD&D) programme, with support from Enigma Interactive and Seaspeed Marine Consultants.

The VMMA will measure and compare the performance of crew transfer vessels (CTV’s) in different sea states, when transporting wind farm technicians offshore, and when transferring between offshore structures. Having this data will facilitate the optimisation of operations and maintenance (O&M).

Previous OWA research undertaken in 2014 established performance plots, or ‘P-Plots’, as a method of quantifying and displaying the performance of vessels operating on offshore wind farms. However, generating P-Plots is time consuming. Understanding the impact that P-Plots have in optimising the industry’s operations led the OWA to pioneer an app that would rapidly produce P-Plots efficiently and effectively by using the motion sensors built into a smartphone or tablet device.

Anders Wikborg, Marine Operations Manager at Equinor, commented:

“The VMMA is a handy tool to measure and compare transit and transfer performance of CTVs and Daughter Crafts. It will be particularly useful for offshore sea trials of vessels and can complement a permanent onboard measurement system (VMMS).”

Alistair Morris, Associate (Offshore Wind) at the Carbon Trust, added:

“The release of the VMMA signifies the completion of an extensive collaborative project between the OWA partners, Enigma interactive and Seaspeed Marine Consultants. The VMMA will allow a wide range of offshore wind, and broader maritime users to better understand the motion and thus performance of vessels.  This can in turn improve health and safety, operational planning and help reduce carbon emissions of vessels.”    

This app is designed primarily for the offshore wind industry, with a dedicated login feature that allows pre-approved users to record, share and connect specific ‘transit’ and ‘transfer’ P-Plots through the app and associated web portal. Users can evaluate a CTV’s motion and performance in various sea states. The VMMA also has the potential for numerous applications across the wider maritime industry. The basic functionality of the app (which does not require a dedicated login) allows a user to display and record vessel attitude, acceleration, speed, position, and course using the sensors within a smartphone or tablet device. This data can then be saved and exported to be further analysed by the user. 

The accuracy of the data provided by the app has been validated against a permanent Vessel Motion Monitoring System, through a rigorous offshore testing process at Rhyl Flats windfarm (RWE) onboard the NSL Excalibur CTV. It is however not intended to replace these dedicated systems or be used for contractual purposes. 

The VMMA can be downloaded in the App store or Google Play by searching VMMA, or by using the QR code provided below.