Rolls-Royce Power Systems and ZF are developing a new electronic monitoring system to achieve maximum availability for ships, while keeping fuel consumption and CO2 emissions to a minimum.
The digital solution, which is being tested by shipping group Förde Reederei Seetouristik (FRS) on its Halunder Jet ferry in Hamburg, Germany, uses an equipment health management system (EHMS) to collect and analyze data from the MTU engines, ZF transmission systems and other key components on a vessel, taking into account additional factors such as wind, waves and currents.
According to Rolls-Royce Power Systems, as of 2021 the system will ensure that fleet managers are able to operate their fleets as efficiently and in as environmentally friendly a manner as possible, and will allow them to monitor and align that in real time.
As a result, FRS, which has 58 vessels operating ferry and crew transfer services for offshore wind farms in Europe, North Africa, the Near East and North America, and currently has 40 MTU engines in service, will participate in the development of the new electronic monitoring system to meet its own specific requirements.
“Reliability is what we value most of all,” said Tim Kunstmann, managing director of FRS Helgoline. “When you have 680 passengers standing on the St Pauli Piers in Hamburg waiting to board the Halunder Jet ferry to Helgoland, reliable ship operation is a top priority.”
The next steps will be to set up an interface from the ZF transmission systems to the EHMS, collect data from the various components of the powertrain on the Halunder Jet and then analyze the data obtained. Interim results will be repeatedly examined by the customer to determine to what extent they meet requirements. On the basis of this collaborative arrangement, Rolls-Royce and ZF hope to be able to offer maritime customers optimized and integrated propulsion solutions. To date, 70% of MTU’s marine engines have been delivered with ZF transmission systems.