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World Leader
in Fuel Flow Computers
Case Study

discovered that by running their vessels using FloScan as the guide to speed and engine RPM they were burning significantly less fuel, saving money and hence reducing operating costs.

“Fishermen were introduced to FloScan by the scientists they were working with through SeaGrant and GEARNET,” said Chapman, “and the ‘Prius effect’ quickly came into play.” Erik’s “Prius effect” is a reference to the instantly recognizable fuel savings seen by owners of hybrid cars, which he compared to the benefits of using FloScan to consistently monitor fuel consumption and the savings they realized as a result. “Once a captain sees the results he has to have it!”

When Steve Eayrs started incorporating FloScan systems into fishing gear modification programs the feedback from the captains was similar to Erik’s. “From our experience,” Eayrs said, “every commercial vessel should be equipped with a FloScan system. The economics are undeniable, the time it takes to recoup the cost of the unit in fuel savings is short and the savings are continuous.”

F/V Ellen Diane, Seabrook, NH

The F/V Ellen Diane is a 44’ Stanley built day trawler operated by Captain David Goethel. It is powered by a Detroit Diesel 8V92. Dave had a FloScan system with a FloNET network hub installed and linked to a laptop running an early data logging software program called Blue Flow. Much like FloScan’s more advanced DataLog software, it tracked and recorded fuel consumption, engine RPM and other operating parameters at predetermined intervals during actual project testing. However, the vessel’s fuel consumption was instantly available to the captain even while operating the vessel during regular fishing trips.

“The FloScan system was initially installed on my boat for testing of an experimental system that produced hydrogen from seawater and injected it into the air/fuel mixture of the engine to reduce fuel consumption,” Captain Goethel explained. “The FloScan/FloNET system was in place to ground truth the unit’s performance. The FloScan equipment proved that it simply didn’t work, that there was no significant reduction in fuel consumption.”

But there was a significant reduction in fuel consumption realized by the F/V Ellen Diane just by using the FloScan as a guide to general vessel operation on regular fishing trips. Dave explained that he started experimenting with engine RPM and speed while cruising to and from the fishing grounds; the most fuel costly part of a typical day trip. He thought his most efficient cruising speed was at 1380 RPM running about 9.1 knots, but the FloScan indicated that the engine was burning a shade over 10 GPH at that speed. He found that by reducing RPM a couple hundred revolutions and running at about 8.7 knots his fuel consumption dropped to 7.5 GPH, a small reduction in speed, but a 25% reduction in fuel consumption reducing operating expense.

“I became a FloScan believer in no time,” Goethel said. “I figure I purchased at least a thousand gallons of diesel fuel less per year than before I installed the system and the savings go right to my bottom line.”

F/V Ellen Diane

Capt. Dave Goethel’s day trawler, the F/V Ellen Diane, benefits greatly from the fuel savings he realizes by using a FloScan FloNET system.

More recently Dave has been involved in net modification studies to see how using various nets for specific species effects fuel consumption and catchability. These also require the highly accurate data generated and saved by the FloScan/FloNET/DataLog system, which is then downloaded and analyzed by Chapman for GEARNET evaluation.

 
 
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