Analysis of uncertainties in the prediction of ships’ fuel consumption – from early design to operation conditions
Journal article, 2018

This investigation presents an approach that contributes to a better understanding of achievable accuracy of fuel consumption predictions of ships and provides an example of how a thorough uncertainty analysis of prediction models can be performed. A generic ship energy systems model is used for the fuel consumption prediction of two reference ships: a RoRo ship and a tanker. The study presents how method and design uncertainties can be categorized and handled in four different phases of a ship’s life – from early design to ship operation. Monte Carlo simulations are carried out for two conditions (calm water and operation at sea) to calculate the mean (expected value) and uncertainty (standard deviation) of the fuel consumption. The results show that the uncertainty in the fuel consumption prediction in a very early phase of the design process is approximately 12%, whereas at a very late phase, it reduces to less than 4%. Finally, the simulation model and the approach to predict the fuel consumption presented in the study are applied to a real ship during operation conditions to demonstrate its features for a real case.

ship design

ship operation

Fuel consumption

Monte Carlo simulation

uncertainty analysis

ship energy efficiency


Fabian Tillig

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, Marine Technology

Jonas Ringsberg

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, Marine Technology

Wengang Mao

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, Marine Technology

Bengt Ramne

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, Marine Technology

Ships and Offshore Structures

1744-5302 (ISSN) 1754-212X (eISSN)

Vol. 13 13-24

ShipCLEAN - Energy efficient marine transport through optimization of coupled transportation logistics and energy systems analyses

Swedish Energy Agency, 2017-09-01 -- 2019-12-31.

Chalmers Area of Advance Transport – funding 2017

Chalmers, 2017-01-01 -- 2017-12-31.

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Innovation and entrepreneurship

Areas of Advance



Subject Categories


Energy Engineering

Vehicle Engineering

Marine Engineering


Basic sciences



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