Ask any Mariner, weathering a storm is hair raising. Weathering the perfect storm literally leaves fingernail marks deep in the leather of a captain’s chair. The making of today’s perfect storms results from a combination of the industries financial restraints and environmental responsibility coupled with the need to go further, deeper, faster in ever more challenging environments. Ship’s crews, captains, owners and operators weather these risks every day.
GE Power Conversion experts and technologies are providing robust solutions to face the planet’s toughest challenges. According to the company, they do this by understanding the operational environments their customers are at work in.
Moreover, GE Power Conversion knows ships. Through taking a global holistic look at ships, the company has been able to improve its customers’ performance giving them a key competitive edge:
1. Power Generation—At the heart of any ship is the power generation system that needs to be robust and efficient. This year, Power Conversion has unveiled its Variable Frequency Active Front-End power and propulsion system, or VF-AFE, which reduces fuel consumption, cuts emissions and lowers maintenance requirement. It is an example of a GE power system configuration that uses conventional components to produce unconventional systems—smarter engineering at its best.
2. Propulsion—Electric propulsion systems are inherently cleaner and more efficient than most other forms of propulsion. Whether it is full electric or a hybrid configuration, GE has experience and solutions to meet the challenges. The latest addition to GE’s propulsion family of products is the Inovelis pump jet-podded thruster—a unique design optimized for efficient operations in transit mode and in DP mode.
3. Controls—Ship automation systems are now built to incorporate Power Conversion’s Visor Asset Management system for data management and analysis in support of remote service and advanced diagnostic and prognostic capability on a fleet level. Visor Asset Management harnesses technology to advance the cause of ship and fleet optimization for improved overall availability and more efficient operational performance.
4. Positioning—Launched in 2013, Power Conversion’s latest generation of dynamic position control system redefines DP with an advanced HMI, which returns ship control to the mariner. Skilled DP operators once again can focus on the task of ship handling and be freed from the constraints of complex computer interface.
5. Systems—Paul English, marine vertical leader at Power Conversion acknowledges what he calls “The GE Advantage”: “At GE, we see the whole ship. That’s because we engineer and supply so much of it, from gas turbines and diesel engines to rotating machines, variable speed drives, drilling systems and automation and control. But it’s when we bring it all together to form integrated systems that the full synergies and harmonies in terms of operational efficiency and performance truly emerge.”
GE’s Power Conversion said it is meeting tomorrow’s challenges head on with some of the most innovative technologies thus far unveiled in 2013—powering, propelling and positioning the marine industry.