Floating device

Study of a floating bunkering device in the Port of Vigo


The study of the floating device was mainly focused on the development of an optimal design for a device that would provide LNG bunkering services, as well as thermal and electrical power supply (cold ironing) fuelled by LNG. To achieve this, a wide range of activities were carried out including:

  • the design of the barge
  • the study of the working operative (including weather and vessel traffic)
  • the study of the potential demand and the supply chain
  • the design of an automated control tool for the operation systems

Operational and environment analysis

The key factors, which are most influential in the operation of the barge, are wind and wave intensity and vessel traffic density in the vicinity of the barge. Historical data was collected on key external factors in order to establish how much time, if any, the operations would be likely to be postponed or interrupted. Vessel routes were also studied to make sure that the proposed safe distance for operations was correct and feasible.

Study of potential global LNG demand at the Port of Vigo & LNG supply chain study and study on the location of an intermediate LNG storage

Focusing on Ro-Ro vessels, cruisers and containerships, the study looked at detailed information regarding the most important potential clients, in order to ascertain a range of operability. This has provided valuable input data for deciding the optimal logistics alternatives for the LNG that will be necessary for the bunkering and cold ironing operations, and for powering the barge itself.

Conceptual design of the multimodal energy barge

From the initial concept to developing the final design, the barge design underwent substantial changes – not just at a superficial level but at its foundations.

The studies concluded that the optimal design should be equipped with a LNG type C tank of 600 m3, situated underdeck to improve stability, and two electrical generators, each with a capacity of 500 kW, situated below deck. Two versions were created: one which would require external propulsion and the second which would be self-propelled.

Study on adaptation of the vessel & Study of energy demand

These studies focus on the identification and analysis of the various steps to adapt a traditional vessel in order to connect it to an external power source (the objective is to be able to use Cold Ironing while harboured in port allowing the connected vessel to shut down its auxiliary engines)

The study of the energy demand aims to create a detailed profile of all power consumptions of the objective vessel during its time at port. All the collected data was used to determine the optimal characteristics of the power source.


Technical design of the intelligent control system

The intelligent control system, which will monitor and control the relevant inputs and outputs of the bunkering process, has been designed by INOVA LABs and has been named PHILEAS (Ports and Harbour Intelligent & Low-risk Energy Advanced System) during the last stages of the development. It will register the surrounding external conditions (such as weather and oncoming vessels) and operational variables of the barge such as the LNG levels in the tank, pressures, temperatures, and consumption levels. The system also features a client frontend through which all client communication from initial booking to billing is processed and organized. Processing all these variables through its data systems (powered by a machine learning engine) PHILEAS will be able to predict and react in the most efficient manner to ensure the operational efficiency and safety of the process. PHILEAS is thus a system optimizing safety, operability, and efficiency of the system using modern IoT, industry 4.0, and bigdata analytics.



Contributions of partners on the Vigo sub-activity:

Port of Vigo

  • Study of potential global LNG demand at the Port of Vigo
  • LNG supply chain study and study on the location of an intermediate LNG storage

Ghenova Engineering

  • Conceptual design of the multimodal energy barge

Flota Suardíaz

  • Study on adaptation of the vessel (ship side)
  • Study on energy demand (ship side)

Inova Labs

  • Technical design of the intelligent control system
  • Operational and environment analysis