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Fuel management system adds automatic mode detection

Royston reports that it has developed a new auto-mode detection capability for its enginei fuel management system, to assist in more accurate reporting of fuel consumption and vessel emissions.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}The enginei system uses volumetric or mass flow measurement for fuel data analysis, and offers reporting options incorporating performance data and fuel optimisation rates.

Operational modes are defined by different activities being undertaken by the vessel at different times and stages in a journey, with fuel consumption and emissions levels being influenced by the specific type of activity, speed and weather conditions. In a conventional enginei installation, the operational mode of the vessel is indicated by manual notification into the system by a crew member.

Working with marine engineering specialists from Newcastle University, Royston says it has now developed an upgraded version that utilises data processing and statistical analysis to automatically identify the vessel’s operational mode.

By identifying individual operational modes automatically, the auto-mode capability removes the risk of human error and avoids the consequent risk of misinterpretation of engine and voyage data.

Development of the auto-mode system has included trials undertaken in partnership with offshore fleet services company GulfMark, on board its Highland Prince OSV which has a diesel electric propulsion system with four main Caterpillar engines and two auxiliary engines.

“The tests we have undertaken on the new enginei auto-mode detection capability have been very successful. The auto-mode identification was very accurate, enabling close correlation between the different types of vessel operational activities with specific fuel consumption rates,” said Jim Bradford, general manager of operations for GulfMark.

“The automatic logging of vessel activity type will mean that the crew and onshore staff can identify not only the mode of operation but the time spent in each mode.”

In the tests, the Highland Prince voyage data showed that that 52 per cent of vessel time was spent in transit, 5 per cent in port, 23 per cent in Dynamic Positioning mode and 20 per cent spent in standby mode waiting to access the offshore installation.

“Auto-mode will allow better voyage planning with optimum speeds and fuel consumptions achieved during transit. By arriving on time at eco speeds this will ultimately contribute to reducing not only the transit consumption but also the stand-by time at the installation and consequently the fuel burnt when in standby mode,” said Mr Bradford.

“In addition, the conversion of the fuel consumption data will also enable accurate CO2 and other emissions levels to be calculated and operational adjustments to be made.”

“Importantly, having more accurate performance data will also enable us to look at the actual working hours of individual engines, enabling us to more effectively balance their use at optimal levels of power output and to prioritise service and condition-based maintenance requirements.”{/mprestriction}

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