GE Improves Propulsion Systems Efficiency

MarineLink.com
Monday, May 06, 2013
GE's VF-AFE, helps optimize engine speed on platform support and helps to reduce specific fuel consumption up to 15%, GE says.

GE’s Power Conversion business unveiled a new power and propulsion system at OTC that they say reduces fuel consumption by controlling engine speed on platform support vessels.

The Variable Frequency Active Front-End power and propulsion system, or VF-AFE, enables ship owners using conventional power system components to lower engine speeds when feasible, cut fuel consumption and reduce emissions and maintenance requirements, the manufacturer claims.

“We are increasing efficiency of existing technology for the benefit of our customers,” says Paul English, marine leader of GE Power Conversion. The VF-AFE system allows the use of conventional power system components (main switchboard drives, etc.), so learning how to operate it is relatively easy, and operators require minimal training.

“Today, when you operate a conventional engine, its speed is always constant, whatever the load,” English says. “So when the load is reduced, you are using more energy than you need because the pistons continue to run at an unnecessarily high speed. This lowers your efficiency. The VF-AFE enables you to recover that lost efficiency.”

When a support vessel is operating in dynamic positioning (DP) mode, the load on the engines is reduced just to counter the effect of wind and waves, but all engines are kept running in order to provide redundancy. This means that if the power from one engine is lost, power is still available from the others to keep the vessel in position. This arrangement while effective is not the most efficient. With VF-AFE, all the engines remain connected, but their speed can be cut when the load is reduced.

“We have made a calculation based on specific operating conditions, assuming a fuel price of $900 per ton,” says English. “We estimate that with the engines loaded at 50% of rated load for a full year on a ship with 8 megawatts of installed power operating for 300 days a year, 24 hours a day, the fuel savings could be up to $300,000 per year.”

The active front end drives more than just the engine. Auxiliaries onboard the vessel still require a fixed frequency, so extra equipment will be needed to convert the variable frequency from the VF-AFE into a fixed frequency. This requires an additional investment by the customer, but even so, GE estimates that the return on the total investment is achieved in less than a year.

The VF-AFE uses a version of GE Power Conversion’s MV 3000 low-voltage drive that has been modified to make it more compact. “This is another example of GE learning from experience and listening to its customers,” says English. “Feedback from customers was that the footprint of the MV 3000 was rather large, so we have acted on their comments. Once again, we are maximizing existing technology. The MV 3000 for the VF-AFE is existing technology, repackaged.”

As with other advanced systems that GE is introducing at OTC, VF-AFE systems will be Visor-enabled, which means that GE engineers will be able to monitor them remotely. “We will use Visor, not only for maintenance purposes for the direct benefit of customers, but also to improve our understanding of the benefits they are getting from VF-AFE, so that we can possibly make further improvements to it,” says English.

GE will build a demonstrator for the VF-AFE at one of its marine technology centers. In the future, this will enable the company to show customers the benefits of DP operation under simulated.

www.gepowerconversion.com

 

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter February 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Technology

Innovative Equipment Will Help Unload Listing Ship

Following Smit Salvage’s salvage of the stricken ship Modern Express in the Gulf of Biscay, another Rotterdam company has now become involved in the rescue operations.

Sea IT, Veritas Tankers Ink Long-term Software Deal

Sea IT has entered a long term ICT agreement with Veritas Tankers. The agreement comprises installation of BlueCORE Generation 4, an ICT platform specifically developed for the marine industry,

Update on Seagull Mobile apps for Crew

The Seagull mobile app for crew training status is set to revolutionise the way seafarers track their training records and receive critical safety alerts, by making

New Products

First ‘Reachstacker’ Starts Duty in the Port of Ravenna

Liebherr Maritime Cranes delivered a LRS 545, the first model out of the new reachstacker series, to the Italian Port of Ravenna.   The Port of Ravenna is one

Cummins Expands Marine Tier 3 Product Line

Cummins Inc., a manufacturer of diesel engines and generator sets for the marine industry, has launched a new Onan marine U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tier 3-certified generator,

Honda Marine on Display at Miami Boat Show

Honda Marine is set to market its complete range of outboard marine four-stroke engines at the 2016 Miami International Boat Show, February 11-15, 2016.   At this year’s show,

Marine Propulsion

Cummins Expands Marine Tier 3 Product Line

Cummins Inc., a manufacturer of diesel engines and generator sets for the marine industry, has launched a new Onan marine U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tier 3-certified generator,

James Troop Supplies Engines for 3 Naval Vessels

Liverpool City Region (UK) based ship engine specialist James Troop & Co has won an order to supply Volvo Penta diesel engines for three European naval vessels being built on Merseyside.

The Next Generation of Hull Performance Management

Hull performance monitoring solutions can offer significant fuel savings potential, a fact that is prompting growing interest from the maritime industry. To spur

Offshore

Eni, Exxon, Statoil Win Irish Offshore O&G Licences

The Irish government said on Thursday it had awarded oil and gas licences to companies including oil majors Eni, Exxon and Statoil , allowing them to explore for hydrocarbons off the coast of Ireland.

Maersk Drilling Posts Record Profit

Maersk Drilling delivered the best result ever with a profit of USD 751m (USD 478m) in 2015 generating a ROIC of 9.3% (7.1%). The result was positively impacted

Update on Seagull Mobile apps for Crew

The Seagull mobile app for crew training status is set to revolutionise the way seafarers track their training records and receive critical safety alerts, by making

Marine Power

Cummins Expands Marine Tier 3 Product Line

Cummins Inc., a manufacturer of diesel engines and generator sets for the marine industry, has launched a new Onan marine U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tier 3-certified generator,

James Troop Supplies Engines for 3 Naval Vessels

Liverpool City Region (UK) based ship engine specialist James Troop & Co has won an order to supply Volvo Penta diesel engines for three European naval vessels being built on Merseyside.

Honda Marine on Display at Miami Boat Show

Honda Marine is set to market its complete range of outboard marine four-stroke engines at the 2016 Miami International Boat Show, February 11-15, 2016.   At this year’s show,

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.0881 sec (11 req/sec)