Retrofitting is defined as the installation on-board ships of state-of-the-art or innovative components or systems and could in principle be driven by the need to meet new regulatory energy and emission standards or by the ship owner interest to upgrade to higher operational standards. While sea transport market conditions alone might not justify retrofitting, public interest expressed through national and international policies foster a  reduction of energy usage and emissions.

Project Retrofit developed methods and supporting tools for the benefit of the shipbuilding and ship-repair industry, as well as the shipping community involved in (ship) retrofitting activities. These developments will allow to identify worthy retrofitting candidate ships and select appropriate (green) technologies that can be fitted at minimum cost and lead time. The condition of the particular ship such as service profile, remaining life cycle and the existing and expected regulations, must be taken into account.

Technologically rejuvenated ships might / will “age” again within years after retrofitting. Possessing the capability to monitor and manage the retrofitted ship overall performance throughout the remaining life cycle will a) ensure optimal performance and b) help identify emerging conditions which justify new retrofitting action(s). Retrofitting should therefore become an established practice in the shipping industry involving the entire value chain and exploring the possibilities that may open to the industry on a continuous basis.

The focus points of project Retrofit were:

  • Methods to identify ship candidates for retrofitting;
  • Methods and tools for simulating the working of the ship main and auxiliary systems;
  • Methods and tools for extracting geometrical data (reverse engineering) from existing ships/ship systems, this to build product models for re-engineering work of retrofitting processes;
  • Methods and tools to control ships energy and emission performance: decision support systems for emission control and energy optimization over the entire service profile;
  • Design-for-retrofitting methodology based on standardisation and modularisation principles;
  • Efficient corresponding yard processes for minimum out-of-business time for retrofitting ships.

The project work programme contained 5 technical and 1 management Work Packages (WP’s):

  • WP1: Retrofit Ships in operation. WP1 developed a method for identifying “worthy” retrofitting candidates and tools for full-scale ships voyage and energy usage simulation.
  • WP2: The Retrofit ship. WP2 handles the new (retrofitted) ship configuration in terms of safety and functionality, and investigates a “design for retrofitting” approach.
  • WP3: Retrofit Green technologies solutions. WP3 selects, evaluates and combines green technologies into an existing ship configuration, and develops a Decision Support System (DSS) to control ships energy and emission performance.
  • WP4: Retrofit process. WP4 deals with the process of retrofitting, in particular reverse engineering and process simulation & planning methods and tools.
  • Work Packages 1, 3 and 4 made use of full scale experiments and measurements to validate the developed methods and tools.
  • WP5: Retrofit impact, knowledge and dissemination
  • WP6: Retrofit project management

The project consortium contained fourteen European partners, including ship owners, major equipment suppliers, engineering bureaus and research organisations.