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Entwicklungszentrum für Schiffstechnik und Transportsysteme e.V.

MariShallow – Propulsion Characteristics and Power Requirements of Ships in Waves at Shallow Water


MariShallow is the sub-project of the joint research project MariData. The mutual goal is to develop a Decision-Support-System (DSS) for sea-going vessels. The system will provide guidance on the choice of vessel speed, trim and ballast conditions to reduce the fuel consumption. Advice on vessel operation is based on optimization strategies for the energy management and weather routing. In this context, DST focusses on the shallow water hydrodynamics and its influence on the propulsion efficiency in restricted waters.

Numerical as well as experimental methods are used to calculate the additional resistance in waves and in shallow water conditions. Surrogate models will be developed to emulate the effects on the vessel’s resistance and to predict the power demand at changing environmental conditions. The results of each surrogate model will be implemented into the DSS on board. Project partners and DST conduct full scale measurements on board to validate the surrogate models.

Model test with a sea-going vessel in a wave at shallow water conditions.

The project is coordinated by Hamburgische Schiffbau-Versuchsanstalt GmbH. The consortium consists of industry partners AVL Deutschland GmbH and AVL Software & Functions, Carl Büttner Shipmanagement GmbH, Friendship Systems AG and 52°North – Initiative for Geospatial Open Source Software GmbH as well as the Technical University of Berlin, the Technical University of Hamburg, the University of Lübeck and the Maritime Centre of Flensburg University of Applied Sciences.

The energy consumption of merchant ships is largely determined by their hydrodynamic properties and the systems on board. In some cases, up to 90% of the primary energy consumption is used for propulsion and must be optimally managed. Therefore, MariData aims to develop, improve and classify simulation-based modules for ship energy management using a carefully selected combination of state-of-the-art maritime technologies and experience as well as AI-based tools and methods for a groundbreaking product for holistic ship energy and operations management.

The DSS and a geo-information system bring together technical, environmental and economic data. This way energy consumption information will be integrated into a platform that can be used both on board the ship and shore-side by a shipping company. The platform will provide on-line simulations for decision support to the ship’s management, as well as assistance with short-, medium- and long-term forecasts and decisions related to ship operation.

MariData’s innovations lie in the precise determination and analysis of the current ship’s resistance, propulsion and respective fuel consumption under realistic operating conditions, taking into account wind and wave influences and hull / propeller condition. On this basis, a rational analysis of the influences of the individual components is carried out, thus improving the quality of the forecast and the basis for navigation decisions. Integration with state-of-the-art geoservices takes the planned system to a new level. In addition, flexible approaches to quickly generate missing data (e. g. geometry) will be considered and integrated into the analysis.


Project duration:

  • December 2020 – November 2023

Project management:

Project coordination:

Collaborative partners:

  • Development Centre for Ship Technology and Transport Systems (DST)
  • AVL Deutschland GmbH
  • AVL Software & Functions
  • Carl Büttner Shipmanagement GmbH
  • Friendship Systems AG
  • 52°North – Initiative for Geospatial Open Source Software GmbH
  • Technical University of Berlin
  • Technical University of Hamburg
  • University of Lübeck
  • Maritime Centre of Flensburg University of Applied Sciences

Förderhinweis BMWi


This project has received funding from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy under grant agreement No 03SX528C.

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Development Centre for
Ship Technology and Transport Systems

Oststr. 77
47057 Duisburg

Tel.: +49 (0)203 - 99 36 9 - 0
Fax: +49 (0)203 - 99 36 9 - 70

E-Mail: dst@dst-org.de