With the marine sector moving inexorably towards the greater use of intelligent on-board data, monitoring and managing power consumption and energy flows around a ship is essential to improving a vessel’s operating efficiency.
Now, an Innovate UK supported programme designed to meet this need is nearing an important milestone and in the process is enhancing the marine engineering expertise long associated with the North East.
Ensure vessels are running at optimum performance
Royston is a Newcastle-based diesel power engineering specialist and it is developing an advanced system for monitoring energy usage throughout an entire ship, to ensure that all systems needed to operate the vessel are running at optimum performance and within environmental rules.
The project is especially looking at energy issues associated with smaller, sea-going vessels, such as:
- offshore support vessels
It draws on different work packages that include:
- marine mechanical engineering
- sensor technologies and data collection
- analysis systems
The challenge: managing energy flow through inter-connected systems
The aim of the project is to produce a smart system, capable of understanding and managing the complex energy flows around a vessel by using a sophisticated monitoring system integrated with dedicated software.
This is a complex process, with the performance of any single vessel system invariably being influenced by many other interconnected systems, all of which affect energy usage.
Prototyping on Newcastle University’s Princess Royal
Newcastle University’s School of Marine Science & Technology is a partner in the project and in the next month or so a prototype system will be installed on the university’s research vessel, the Princess Royal, with sea trials to assess its effectiveness being carried out in the North Sea in the next couple of months.
Data from the sea trials will be used to evaluate the different vessel energy flows and identify the most effective control and monitoring systems needed to optimise performance.
Rollout on-board monitoring to maritime industry
In due course, data collection and analysis systems will also be tested on other partner vessels including a Svitzer tug and an Island ferry where the aim will be to use the intelligent analysis of data from different systems to:
- optimise performance
- use fuel more efficiently
- reduce harmful emissions
This ambitious programme will not only lead to the development of important new on-board technologies, but will also help Royston to successfully extend its traditional expertise in marine engineering repair and maintenance services into the high value-added ‘smart ship’ areas of consultancy, data-based vessel monitoring and predictive engine maintenance.
Follow Royston on Twitter: @RoystonDiesel
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