GE’s Power Conversion Business Can’t Control the Weather but Allows the Mariner to Control the Ship.
- Energy Efficient Dynamic Position Control System Supports GE’s ecomagination Strategy
- Up to 10 Percent Fuel Savings
- Stand-Alone or Part of a Fully Integrated System Configured for More Efficient Power and Propulsion Deployment
As much as we hate to admit it, success is based on how well we adapt to situations we simply can’t control. That’s why, when it comes to holding a drillship on-site, as winds whip the sea and the underwater currents into a frenzy, oil companies and their contractors turn to GE’s Power Conversion business (NYSE: GE). It’s what we do.
We are your watchful experts on the bridge with a full knowledge of the ship putting one of the industry’s most powerful dynamic positioning systems at the mariner’s fingertips, and we do it efficiently saving operators up to 10 percent in fuel usage.
The latest dynamic positioning (DP) system from GE’s Power Conversion business is more functional and “mariner friendly” than ever before. GE has introduced numerous improvements to facilitate its use, most importantly through the use of a new human-machine interface (HMI) with a clean and uncluttered control panel that is easy to view and understand.
Meanwhile, behind the scenes, new ways of optimizing the DP control strategy can save significant amounts of fuel, reduce equipment wear and tear and increase machinery maintenance intervals. As part of GE’s ecomagination portfolio, the new DP system supports GE’s commitment to deliver cleaner and more-efficient sources of energy. Operational costs can be reduced and overall system uptime/availability increased.
“The new DP system provides several energy-saving options for the operator, depending on the vessel’s function and its circumstances at any particular time and place,” explains Paul English, marine business leader for GE Power Conversion. “For example, when a supply vessel is alongside a rig, what the captain wants above all else is high accuracy positioning. But if the same supply vessel is standing by at a significant distance off the rig, a greater degree of position accuracy tolerance may be acceptable, and this can be exploited to substantially reduce fuel consumption.”
In Power Conversion’s new Energy Efficient Mode, the position and heading of the vessel are both controlled automatically. Predictive software is used to anticipate position variation and to limit thrust changes if the vessel is predicted to remain within the so-called “soft” operating window, or an inner tolerance band. If the vessel is predicted to move outside its “hard” operating window (outer tolerance band), the system develops optimum thrust to remain within that window. Advanced algorithms are used to optimize vessel heading to further reduce power consumption and limit thruster/machinery wear and tear.
Since GE introduced the new DP system earlier this year, its Energy Efficient Mode has attracted significant interest. This is not surprising, given that studies have shown that fuel saving in this mode may be as much as 10 percent or more, with an associated NOx reduction of as much as 20 percent, depending on environmental factors and exact operational profile.
While GE’s Power Conversion can’t control the weather, yet, we can make sure that mariners have access to one of the best systems and one of the best tools to power, propel and position their ships and rigs.