The following main deliverables are developed by the NEPTUNES project in order to increase the understanding of airborne noise-production and -mitigation:
  1. Inventory report that gives more insight into the problems of noise emitted by seagoing vessels in the ports collaborating in this project. The report also shows the type of ships and source(s) of these vessels, causing the noise, nuisance, and annoyance perceived by residents.
  2. A measuring protocol quantifying ship noise.
  3. A provisional methodology for noise labeling of seagoing vessels.
  4. A Best Practice Guide comprising interventions to mitigate noise, nuisance and annoyance.

Measurement Protocol

During the NEPTUNES 1.0 project, a uniform, worldwide applicable measurement protocol was developed to carry out noise measurements on individual ships at berth. The aim of this protocol is to describe how to conduct measurements of noise emitted by berthed ships in a uniform way. Based on the NEPTUNES protocol, it is possible to exchange and compare noise data from vessels and to label a ship based on its noise performance (see guidelines for noise labeling).

The protocol is based on the experiences and knowledge of multiple noise experts and consultants. Ensuring that the use of the protocol led to reliable, reproducible and usable results, a validation was done. By performing measurements in the participating ports. it was guaranteed that the protocol that can be used uniformly and compared and changed into a noise profile for the ship.

One can find the NEPTUNES Measurement Protocol via this link, together with the corresponding Excel file.

Based on the protocol, the noise measurements shall be performed on individual noise sources on board of the ships, and if possible, supplementary noise measurements at a certain distance from the respective vessels. The sound pressure measurements onboard the ship will be performed to identify the most dominant noise sources of a ship. Furthermore, the measurement results will give an overview of the sound power levels of the individual noise sources on board of the vessel. Sound pressure level measurements at a certain distance from the ship will be performed to obtain an overview of the overall noise emission of the vessel. Moreover, the measurements at a distance should indicate if there is an explicit presence of low-frequency noise, and the measurements can be used to verify the sound emission measurements on board of the ship.

The most dominant noise sources that are in operation during berth and that are radiating sound into the environment, are expected to be the exhaust funnel outlet of the auxiliary engine(s), the openings of ventilation (e.g., for the engine room, the air-conditioning of passenger rooms and the cargo hold) and the pumps on deck. Therefore, specific recommendations for carrying out the measurements on those sound sources are given in the measurement protocol.

Noise Label and Classification

To obtain the typical noise performance of individual ships, the outcomes of the Measurement Protocol can be changed into a noise profile. In order to receive your noise profile, or also called noise label, to see how the ship performs compared to other ships in our database. Please contact and send us the detailed noise data obtained using the  NEPTUNES Measurement Protocol. We will examine this data with other data already sent in, in a small benchmark so that the shipowners can compare the noise emission of their ship with others. The results of the benchmark will be published anonymized on this website. However, to receive a Noise Label, some part of the noise data and an acoustic report should be submitted by the shipowner to ESI, who is responsible for issuing the Noise Label. After receiving your measurement data, we will give you insight into how the ship is performing compared to other ships and their noise profiles.

Furthermore, we developed a formula for the ESI in order to adapt noise into the ESI point system as well.  Since ports want to learn from the ESI-noise score, it was decided by ESI that by filling in the numbers on the ESI website, you will get an incentive for the availability of a comprehensive measurement report only. As of mid-2022, the other scores – total broadband and low-frequency airborne noise – will be taken into account. It is possible that some ports also want to receive the measurement report in order to learn more about the value of the protocol.

Promotional Materials

A PowerPoint presentation has been created that aims to promote the NEPTUNES philosophy among all possible stakeholders and interested parties. The PowerPoint presentation can be found here. The presentation and accompanying notes are also available in pdf format.  The pdf version can be downloaded here.

Best Practice Guide

​In order to exchange knowledge about measures to reduce the noise, the annoyance and nuisance of ships, a Best Practice Guide was developed. This Best Practice Guide includes not only the Best Practices, but also some background knowledge on noise sources, bottlenecks and the other deliverables of NEPTUNES. The Best Practices are elaborated on how to implement the measure, what kind of noise reduction can be expected, what the lessons were when using it previously etc.

If you are interested to read about the Best Practices in order to see if it could be a suitable measure for you, please download the Best Practice Guide here.