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5’ to identify whether boiler consumption at sea is an issue for your fleet

Use below step-by-step instruction to get a quick overview whether boiler consumption at sea is a topic you should further investigate. This article is primarily applicable to container vessels where the best practice is that the boiler is switched off during sea passage once a certain speed (corresponds to load of ME) is reached, but can be adapted for other ship types likewise.

Let’s get started! Open “ECO Insight” and proceed to “Modules” – “Voyage” – “Consumption” as shown in below screenshot.

ECO Insight: main menu

Step 1 – Set the applicable filters, our proposal:

Extract ECO Insight

  1. Select vessels for ranking” – either select all vessel or a group which is of interest to you
  2. Select consumer types”  – boiler
  3. Data presets” – choose the applicable time frame you would like to assess
  4. Operational mode”  – sailing
  5. Speed”  – fill in the field “from” with the speed starting at which you expect the boiler to be switched off

PS: Did you actually know, that you can save the filter settings to be reused next time? Once you have selected all applicable filters, go to the top, expand the “Filter presets” menu and find the “Save as” button.

Step 2 – Identify a vessel to have a further look at

In the module “Voyage” – “Consumption” and as seen in the example, use the ranking widget on the left to identify:

  • inhomogeneous distribution between sister vessels or a vessel standing out to be further investigated.

Inhomogeous distribution between sister vessels

Example of a vessel standing out from its peers.

Based on the highlighted observations, it is necessary to further focus on the following questions:

Can a pattern be identified?
Are there technical/operational reasons behind?

Or is it possibly a convenience issue?

Step 3 – Identify the pattern!

Let’s have a further look on the highlighted vessel which is standing out from its peers. At first check the FOC per day. It can reveal whether the consumption related to boiler appears scattered over time and reoccuring as can be seen in the attached screenshot or only for a limited timeframe. The latter can indicate a resolved technical error on board.

FOC per day distribution over the timeline while sailing.

Aggregated “Daily” consumption over timeline reveals if there is a specific pattern, which the boiler consumption follows. Changing the aggregation to “Voyage leg” could reveal specific legs that are repeatedly affected (e.g. identify increased boiler consumption due to cold heavy fuel oil bunkering after leaving bunkering port). In attached example – it is shown, that on her way to Japan, the boiler is mostly off, but is used on her way back.

FOC related to boiler; aggragated to voyage leg

Step 4 – Operational optimization – how are other C/ENGs doing?

Referring to above screenshot, take the next step and check the speed profile. In the attached example you can find the same aggregation “voyage leg”; the speed profile shows, that on her way to Japan the vessel maintains significantly higher speed then on her way back. But does she then really need the boiler on her way back?

Speed profile

Let’s have a look at the sister vessel and up to which speed boiler is operated. Using ECO Insight, proceed to “Modules”“Voyage”“Speed/Consumption” using the same settings.

Speed/consumption overview for the vessel of concern; green dots highlight the vessel group average.

Sister vessel in comparison

One might argue, that one ship is having longer trades, the other one is only operating short trips – so have a look! Remember the FOC per day overview in ECO Insight. Please find the small map symbol in the upper right corner to have the consumption for the selected time frame plotted on a map.

Boiler consumption plotted on map for vessel of concern, intensity of color relates to fuel consumed related to boiler

Sister vessel in comparison


The vessel stands significantly out from the group of peers in terms of boiler consumption while at sea. The speed profile shows, that boiler is switched off in high speed periods (around 18 kn). The comparison with the sister vessel reveals, that starting at a speed of 12kn boiler consumption is actually avoidable. The specific voyage does not justify the boiler running as both vessels operate in short trade schemes – it should then be further investigated from the technical team, whether there are technical reasons for that or whether this is an operational/maintenance matter and needs a remark to the vessel.

Curious? Check your fleet in ECO Insight!

1 Comments Add your comment
Avatar Chrysanthos Chrysanthou says:

Waste Heat recovery systems with EGB/Economizers have been in use for decades. This is a well proven technology which is relatively easy to operate and with great potential for fuel savings. WHRS application on Auxiliary Engines (medium speed) has not been considered in the past but the short payback period and challenging economic times gives the option to further lower fuel cost (if technically feasible). Auxiliary Engines are in service 24/7 (at sea and port) and can meet steam demand during port stays, leading to less operating and maintenance cost for oil fired boilers .

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