Reduce Fuel Consumption – Enhance Safety
The need to save fuel combined with enhancing safety and documenting historical data of a ships voyage are on-going requirement in the modern marine industry and business.
Improved and new methods and instruments are constantly trying to address this ever increasing demand. The so-called Electronic Inclinometer can be used as a tool to pursue these goals.
The principle of an Inclinometer is basically to measure angles of slope (or tilt), elevation or depression of the object with respect to the gravity.Different technologies can be used within an inclinometer. These include electronic, gas, and pendulum designs.
The Electronic Inclinometer is minimum capable of reading angles to very precise degrees. These models use as one element an internal gyroscope to measure the direction of gravity’s pull. The gyroscope stays in one position, no matter the orientation. The results of the measurements are displayed on an electronic readout.
The Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted a Performance Standard for Electronic Inclinometers in its session on June 14th, 2013 – Resolution MSC.363(92). It is recommended that Electronic Inclinometers installed on or after July 1st, 2015 must conform to this performance standard.
An international ISO standard provides the testing methods for electronic inclinometers to confirm that a given electronic inclinometer meets the performance standard.
In addition the new and revised performance standard for the Voyage Data Recorders (VDR) in effect from July 1st, 2014 stipulate that data from the type approved Electronic Inclinometer if installed on-board a vessel must be duly recorded.
Daniamant Electronics A/S has newly launched its own Electronic Inclinometer named DanEI-300. It conforms fully to the new performance standard and is being type approved by BSH – Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie (Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency) in Germany.
Daniamant Electronics A/S has a long history in the marine industry developing and manufacturing advanced and type approved products and systems such as lights for lifejackets, buoys and rafts in addition to BNWAS (Bridge Navigational Watch Alarm System) and salinometers for fresh water generators, boilers and BWTS (Ballast Water Treatment Systems). The products and systems are sold and delivered to ships globally either directly or via an extensive distribution network.
The new DanEI-300, as shown on the picture, consisting of a sensor unit including very sophisticated ‘scale-down’ gyroscopes and accelerometers which combined with complex mathematical algorithms being performed in the electronic computer and display unit can measure the heel (the vessel’s rotation about its longitudinal (front/back) axis) and pitch (the vessel’s rotation about its transverse (side-to-side) axis) with a very high precision and accuracy. The sensor and its integrated and self-learning software provide the flexibility that the sensor can be placed basically at any practical and convenient location on or near the bridge / wheelhouse.
The parameters to be measured are angle of heel (+/- 180o) of which the display will show the analogue range of +/- 45o. Further the period of roll is measured and shown in the range of 4 to 40 sec. The pitch angle is also measured (+/- 90o) and shown on the front image of the display. Page two of the display image will show a trend-plot of the heel angle and roll amplitude.
According to Anders Rasmussen, Sales Director at Daniamant, there has already been shown very good interest for the DanEI-300 to be used both for general safety; possible optimisation of the ship’s trim to save fuel and gathering of additional information and documentation during and after the voyage. So in addition to in the worst case assist in a maritime casualty investigation the intention is also to support certain decision-making process on board in order to avoid dangerous situations. He adds that the aim of the DanEI-300 was to bring to market a type approved instrument with following important characteristics and features:
- Easy installation on the bridge / wheelhouse with no requirement for the sensor to be aligned exactly at the centreline or amidships. Straight-forward installation and first-time calibration which can be done by the ship’s (technical) crew without prior special instructions or training courses.
- Logical MMI (Man Machine Interface) with clear symbols and icons on the display and ability to set ‘Heel Angle Warning’ alert individual for port and starboard.
- Ability to show a trend-plot of the heel angle of the last 3 minutes and 30 minutes of the roll amplitude.
- Easy communication interface either serial or via Ethernet to VDR (Voyage Data Recorder) and BAMS (Bridge Alarm Management System) and/or into INS (Integrated Navigation System).
- No requirement for any annual inspection or calibration.
- A very cost effective solution to be used as a stand-alone instrument and/or integrated into bridge console avoiding investment in expensive and complex systems.
“We look very much forward to work with the owners, superintendents and technical management of the many different vessel types e.g. workboats (tug, anchor handlers, crew, OSV), cargo, dry bulk, passenger and cruise ships to hopefully utilize the potential in the DanEI-300 to enhance safety and potentially reduce fuel consumption and if required document data from the voyage. As we get more experience with actual installations and daily use of the DanEI-300 the next step can be to transmit data on shore to the ship-owners offices for analysis of e.g. trim and roll versus fuel consumption“, says Anders Rasmussen and concludes with a smile “it will of course be one of our prime products to display at our booth B6.118 on the upcoming SMM2014 marine exhibition in Hamburg early September”.
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