A green dynamic positioning (DP) system has been developed that saves fuel and enables sailing efficiency.

dynamic positioning system

RH Marine’s green DP system optimises the fuel consumption of generators and thrusters. Photo: RH Marine

RH Marine’s green DP system optimises the fuel consumption of generators and thrusters. As a result, ships can sail more efficiently and save fuel. By switching completely to batteries, the DP system also enables vessels to sail more quietly in DP mode.

The new DP system is connected to the Power Management System (PMS) and Energy Management System (EMS). If the DP system knows its operational time and the acquired kilowatt-hours, the EMS can predict and calculate how much power needs to be generated over time. After that, it allocates on the various sources in the most optimal way based on an operational goal.

Smarter distribution

“If the DP system can indicate how much energy it will consume, then the EMS can calculate the most optimal energy generation allocation to minimise the fuel required,” explained consultants Ehab el Amam and Despoina Mitropoulou from RH Marine. “The benefit is that the required load can be distributed in a smarter way, but also control the consumption using a priori knowledge, which means vessels can save significant fuel.”

The EMS can also store power from the generators in batteries or – in the future – in other forms of storage such as fuel cells or flywheels. In that case, the thrusters run on battery power and the generators can be switched off. Then the ship can DP silently and sail with strongly reduced emission. In some Emission Control Areas (ECA’s) this is mandatory.

The optimisation of energy consumption can also be extended to other functionalities on board, for example air-conditioning, maintenance and onboard noise.

By Rebecca Jeffrey