Marine Forum Takes Control to Sea

Shipboard Power Systems Benefit from Rockwell Automation Technology

By Jim Montague

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Fortunately, software-based continuous emission monitoring systems (CEMS) are also going out to sea, and they require no more space than a server, while being easy to install and highly accurate. As an alternative to costly hardware-based systems, Rockwell Automation's Software CEMS uses the Pavilion8 Model Analytic Engine to calculate NOx, CO, greenhouse gas and other emissions.

"Software CEMS continuously monitor emissions by means of an online model using historical and real-time source data," explained Miller. "With software-based CEMS, users end up with cost-effective monitoring, regulatory compliance and highly accurate, reliable emissions reporting."

Electric Propulsion Boosts Performance

In addition, Richard Piekarz, senior marine industry solutions manager for medium- voltage (MV) drives at Rockwell Automation, explained that, "Propulsion systems must meet the rising performance and environmental demands of ship builders, operators and designers. To meet those demands, many owner/operators are selecting electric systems over traditional diesel-mechanical systems. Proper electric system selection requires an understanding of the benefits of electric systems over diesel-mechanical systems, the advantages of MV drives over low-voltage (LV) drives, and how transformerless MV drives differ from standard MV drives."

Piekarz added that, compared to diesel-mechanical propulsion systems, electric systems enable increased vessel speed, better maneuvering, reduced noise and vibration, improved ship layout and flexibility, lower fuel consumption, less air pollution, higher efficiency and reduced maintenance. "The enabling technology in these highly efficient electric propulsion systems is the variable-speed MV drives, which are typically 3300 V to 6900 V," he said. "Reducing the current and allowing more cost-effective and compact electrical components reduces short-circuit bracing requirements for electrical equipment and lowers installation cost and complexity."

Rockwell Automaton offers a variety of MV generator circuit breakers; AC motors for propulsion and auxiliary services; drive isolation and power transformers; VSDs and other components that can be used on ships and other vessels.

Enabling Ship-Wide Control

For example, Troels Severinsen, managing director at Logimatic Engineering in Denmark, reported that his firm has developed a new and innovative Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS) for the five biggest vessels in the Danish Navy. "Their control system requirements have been achieved with COTS equipment, mainly from Rockwell Automation," said Severinsen.

"Systems integrated under the IPMS umbrella include: propulsion control system (PCS); power management system (PMS); ship systems including fuel supply, cooling systems, hydraulics, sanitary systems, etc.; damage management system (DMS); fire detection and control system; conning displays; alarm system, including extension alarms for unmanned machinery; loading computer for ship stability; navigation equipment interface, including gyro, speed log, autopilot, echo sounder; GPS; meteorological instruments; and warfare systems interface."

To control all these systems, Severinsen added that Logimatic used Rockwell Automation's FactoryTalk platform, ControlLogix PLCs and software, I/O-modules, and  PanelView displays, as well as standard, marine-approved PCs.

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