New Technological Trends in Offshore Vessels




Most of newbuilding service vessels have state-of-art facilities. Due to tough weather conditions of operation areas, vessel’s technologies are changing and developing day by day. On the other hand, due to the different type of difficulties encountered in the offshore market, vessel’s facilities or concepts are always evolving.

Lowering cost and emission with a safer working area is the core of investments for new technologies in the marine industry so trends have to meet firstly these main objectives. Expectations from concept designs are consisting of innovative solutions with energy efficiency and strategies to reduce operation and maintenance cost including systems such as energy storage systems and frequency controlled electrical configurations, automatic controlled waste heat recovery systems, regenerated powers from dynamic equipment onboard, advanced fuel monitoring systems focused on to achieve more efficient and sustainable vessels.

The most common trend in aggressive competition to be more efficient is the hybrid solution which is using energy storage system in power configuration. Batteries provide shorter response time during operation; peak shaving and reserve power which also provides reducing fuel consumption as well as emergency power possibility. Choices of battery solution sub-elements are developing continuously thanks to cooperation between marine stakeholders; ship owners & end-users, yards, regulatory bodies, and suppliers, etc. With this remarkable growth, it can be observed that the land-based battery manufacturers have entered the marine sector by bringing the technologies they developed for landside for many years. While the hybrid solution is the common trend in these days, full battery solutions on large vessels are still a challenge because of high power consumptions and high shore infrastructure costs.

Motion compensated deck equipment such as crane and gangway is progressing through the most robust shape with workability and safety and direction is to be more autonomous every day. Height adjustable pedestal with also crane function, autonomous gangway, combined gangway & crane solution, active heave compensated crane, 3D motion Colibri crane are current trend topics in this segment. All new launched technological features change the game because all gangway and crane innovations resulted of analysis and studies are about safe personnel transfer and operation. If the next generation equipment presents a safer version on technology, the market can adopt the new features immediately.

Software developments and digitalization are also a rising trend together with world’s direction on technology. In general, these developments are including improvement of current situations; cloud computing, big data analytics, Internet on Things, cyber and electronic warfare are the core of software and electronic improvements of the marine industry. “Fourth industrial revolution” addresses transition to more “smart ship” principle and domain the focus of marine developments. According to Global Marine Technology Trends 2030 Report released by Lloyd’s Register Group Limited (LR), QinetiQ and University of Southampton, as short to medium term that situation is going from digital ship to intelligent ship which is intelligent, real-time and proactive decision making in the design operation and maintenance ships. As the medium to long term to be from intelligent ship to the autonomous ship concept which is exploitation of sensors and robotics technology to replace human operators, leading to semi-autonomous or fully autonomous ships.

In conclusion, it can be said that technological trends tell us new vessels are coming with optimum solutions and these optimum solutions make the vessels flexible in workability as complex as. Challenge in this situation is that while all solutions maximize the efficiency in using the vessel facilities, this increased usage needs new technologies together. For example in new vessel accommodation numbers are increasing and high accommodation areas force to the vessel more energy saving mode using solutions such as advanced heat recovery alternatives. If we would like to have a deep understanding of the trends in the marine industry, firstly we check the existing demands and results of these demands.