Enabling energy efficiency

Lauren RIga
Lauren Riga
Estonia’s Port of Tallinn has been taking advantage of holistic and sustainable intelligent solutions
Estonia’s Port of Tallinn has been taking advantage of holistic and sustainable intelligent solutions
The Port of Tallinn is currently in a phase to develop and implement a smart port system both for passenger cars and cargo trucks for all four ferry operators
The Port of Tallinn is currently in a phase to develop and implement a smart port system both for passenger cars and cargo trucks for all four ferry operators

With ports becoming increasingly important in the global economy, cities are turning to intelligent solutions enabled by the Internet of Things (IoT) to improve occupational and environmental efficiencies, writes Lauren Riga, international energy and sustainability analyst.

Ports and the Internet of Things (IoT)

Internet of Things (IoT) is not just a technology industry coined term, it is infiltrating every aspect of society; transforming the way people, businesses and governments live, work and build – including global ports. In other words, ports around the world are improving utilisation of existing maritime infrastructure and enhancing port facilities with smarter, more intelligent designs enabled by the Internet of Things.

IoT is about the connecting of devices and intelligent utilisation of data, which creates visibility for asset management and visibility of where the (energy) savings potential is. According to Cisco, by 2020, more than 50 billion devices worldwide will be connected. Data generated by these objects can give businesses and ports greater insight into the health and performance of their operations by providing visibility of exactly what is going on and where. One of the greatest areas that can benefit from IoT is in energy efficiency and demand management, indicating that intelligence can be used to improve productivity and energy efficiency.

Port of Hamburg: The First Smart Seatropolis

One of Europe’s largest ports, the Port of Hamburg, is fast becoming the first Seatropolis using smart technology to increase trade flows, energy and operational efficiency. According to Cisco, by connecting port logistics to an intelligent network, operational costs will decrease by a targeted 70% over seven years, while capacity will double by 2025, without doubling the space.

In June 2015, Hamburg launched its smartPORT concept at the 29th IAPH World Ports Conference. Hamburg’s partnership with Cisco focuses on how to collaboratively define, develop and deploy inter-linked solutions and services throughout the greater metro-port area – the Seatropolis.

For example, at the 28 square mile port, sensor enabled Smart Parking for large cargo trucks will speed the flow of traffic for both transporters and commuters, as well as reduce pollution from idling engines. With throughput of 139 million tonnes at the port last year, Smart Parking for trucks has resulted in improving supply chain efficiency and quality of life for Hamburg citizens.

The Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) also announced the implementation of Europe's first "smartROAD" at the conference. The smartROAD Proof of Concept aims to improve resource management, traffic flow, infrastructure condition and environmental management, using an Internet of Everything approach with real time data and analytics. IoT is the connecting of devices and the IoT is the utilisation of data for intelligent decision-making. According to Cisco, this will enable the Hamburg port to connect everything from ships, to roads and to bridges to lights - creating a port-wide nervous system that is built on an IT platform which gathers data from around the port, creates intelligence and puts it to use in real-time.

Insights will help enable Cisco, HPA and ecosystem partners to make a decision on a broader deployment of these solutions in the Port of Hamburg – resulting in the world’s first Seatropolis. "With smartROAD, HPA is piloting an integrated concept of the IoT for the first time, with various relevant use cases for port and the city, running on a real infrastructure", says Dr Sebastian Saxe, CIO and CDO of HPA. Cisco also put in place a comprehensive security framework for the whole installation that gives visibility into safety and security,

The result of Hamburg’s smartPORT is faster port traffic, simplified logistics and eliminated delays. Smarter coordination means that larger quantities of goods can be trans-shipped in the port area. By embracing an Internet of Everything approach, the Port of Hamburg is creating the capacity to grow now and in the future.

Additionally, HPA plans to explore new smart lighting solutions that combine the latest lighting technology, motion sensors, video monitoring and digital data. Other cities implementing similar smart lighting have seen notable reductions in energy consumption, costs and even crime.

Port of Tallinn: The Port of Good News

Medium-scale ports, such as Estonia’s Port of Tallinn, have been taking advantage of holistic and sustainable intelligent solutions to enhance their capacity and energy efficiency. Ms Hele-Mai Metsal, head of the Infrastructure Development Department for the Port of Tallinn says to GreenPort, “In all Port of Tallinn’s development projects reducing of carbon footprint is considered.”

The Port of Tallinn is currently in a phase to develop and implement a smart port system both for passenger cars and cargo trucks for all four ferry operators who are operating at Old City Harbor area in Tallinn. “The scope of the project includes the whole car and truck travel process, starting from online pre-registration to the automated check-in procedures and fully automatic traffic management which leads cars to the ship,” explains Ms Metsal.

The smart port system will provide efficient use of vehicle check-in points, passengers’ idle time in the harbour area and clear traffic instructions for passengers in the area. According to the Port of Tallinn, in a feasibility study, it was calculated that time savings can be up to 105,000 to 320,000 hours per year. Less congestion and waiting time in the harbour area reduces environmental impact.

Port of Tallinn has already implemented energy efficient heating and lighting systems in all of its harbours including: LED lights, air-heating pumps for heating and solar vacuum tubes to produce hot water. Additionally, the Port of Tallinn’s office building in Paldiski South Harbour has been using a sea-water based heating system since 2004, resulting in a heat savings cost of 40%. An IoT enabled automation of power switching of outdoor lighting at the port has reduced energy by approximately 10%.

Intelligent port infrastructure enabled by the IoT is the future of city ports as the economic significance of ports is becoming increasingly vital to local economies due to the rise in globalisation and international trade. The IoT is part of the solution to reduce global footprint, increase efficiencies and advance clean energy and energy efficiency solutions.

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