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Pilot run for automated IMO 2020 emissions monitoring commences in Finland

05 Jun 2020

Finnish state-owned company Arctia Ltd. on Tuesday (2 June) said Meritaito Ltd, part of the Arctia group, and Kine Robot Solutions Ltd have jointly developed the Sniffer Buoy for air quality and emission monitoring regarding IMO 2020 regulations. 

The first Sniffer Buoy prototype has been deployed at the end of May for a pilot period for the spring to autumn period of 2020. It was installed along the Finnish west coast archipelago outside Turku and Naantali.

The Sniffer Buoy consists of remote emission monitoring instruments capsulated inside a robust polyethylene navigation buoy combined with AirNow emission monitoring service, said Arctia.

The Sniffer Buoy is capable of detecting air pollution particles from vessels exhaust fumes. Sniffer Buoy is also coupled with the AirNow service´s AIS recognition and emission measuring instrument that detects the amount of emissions and connects the results to the corresponding vessel. 

Using algorithms, the program then assesses if the passing vessel complies with the adequate regional emission legislations. 

It  is a fully automated watchdog, capable of spending years autonomously at sea working 24 hours a day.

The pilot is a part of the EU-funded Intelligent Sea project headed by Meritaito, in which a variety of technologically advanced buoys are tested in the ports of Naantali and Stockholm, it added.

In remote emission monitoring installation location is vital as the exhaust plume moves with the wind, explained the company.

The Sniffer Buoy can be installed almost anywhere and is easily moved to adjust to seasonal winds or changes in vessel operation routes. 

It has its own power unit, running on solar power, so no external infrastructure investments or regular battery exchange is needed. 

“We expect the Sniffer Buoy to have a huge market potential”, said Seppo Virtanen, head of  international sales at Meritaito. 

“Our collaboration with Kine Robot Solutions was very productive and the knowhow of both companies complement each other”.  

“Several nations and significant merchant harbors still lack an automated emission monitoring strategy. This product could prove to be the missing piece,” added Kimmo Salonen, technology director at Kine Robot Solutions.

The first pilots still have to verify the functionality of the product and the quality and reliability of the measurements. 

Along the Finnish west coast, the Sniffer Buoy will have to identify the emissions of tens of vessels daily.

Arctia reported that the installation of the pilot was successful and has already delivered initial results to be analysed and compared to its reference data.

Photo credit: Arctia Ltd.
Published: 5 June, 2020

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