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Malacca Straits tidal model targets fuel savings

Tidetech reports that it has developed a new high-resolution tidal model for the Malacca and Singapore Straits, with simulations showing that transit time savings of between three and 12 per cent can be made depending on vessel type, speed and tidal phase.

The company says that its high-resolution (up to 800m) Malacca and Singapore Straits commercial tidal model is the first of its kind in this region.

The model data is available in up to 10-minute time steps and can be integrated into ECDIS as a layer (or into other bridge systems), supplied within specialised optimisation software or as raw data.

Tidetech says that, until now, the existing tidal information for the region was limited and based on short-term, single-point observations, whereas its system uses global bathymetry data, satellite altimetry information and local observations to calculate hydrodynamic models using equations of motion that govern fluid dynamics.

This information can then be used to improve voyage efficiency, with the aim of reducing the amount of fuel required.

“By arriving at the optimal time, a ship can benefit from a favourable tide or current through busy, narrow or restricted shipping channels,” said Tidetech managing director, Penny Haire.

“This means a vessel can reduce speed (or maintain slow steaming speeds) and save fuel – and also means the vessel can avoid having to increase speed to counter adverse current.”

“We have run a simulation for vessels steaming between 14kt and 22kt and the difference between slowest and fastest times through the Straits’ amounts to a significant difference. This means time and money is saved and emissions reduced.”

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