Sailing through uncertainty: ship pipe routing and the energy transition




Pipe routing, Ship design, Mathematical optimization, Energy transition, Design automation


The energy transition from fossil fuels to sustainable alternatives makes the design of future-proof ships even more important. In the design phase of a ship, it is uncertain how many and which fuels it will use in the future due to many external factors. In fact, a ship typically sails for decades, increasing the likelihood that it will use different fuels during its lifetime. Pipe route design is expensive and time-consuming, mainly done by hand. Motivated by this, in previous research, we have proposed a mathematical optimization
framework for automatic pipe routing under uncertainty of the energy transition. In this paper, we build on the state-of-the-art by implementing design constraints in mathematical models based on discussions with maritime design experts. Additionally, we apply these models to realistic, complex situations of a commercial ship design company. Our experiments show that location-dependent installation costs, which reflect reality, increase the usefulness of stochastic optimization compared to deterministic and robust optimization. Additionally, to prepare for a possible transition to more sustainable fuels, we recommend installing suitable pipes near the engine room upfront to prevent expensive retrofits in the future.




How to Cite

Markhorst, B., Berkhout, J., Zocca, A., Pruyn, J., & van der Mei, R. (2024). Sailing through uncertainty: ship pipe routing and the energy transition. International Marine Design Conference.

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