MOVE project takes to the water thanks to Falmouth Pilots

Falmouth Pilot boat 'Arrow' (Photo: David Barnicote) Falmouth Pilot boat 'Arrow' (Photo: David Barnicote)

Sea trials have begun on two Falmouth, UK-based pilot vessels which will provide data for the Innovate UK funded MOVE (Monitoring for Operational Vessel Efficiency) project.

MOVE is an Innovate UK project under the ‘Managing Energy on Marine Vessels’ Competition.

Rising fuel costs, emissions regulation and concerns about carbon emissions are severe challenges for marine vessel operators and their supply chains.  The MOVE project aims to develop a novel solution to all three, initially targeting the commercial work boat sector.  MOVE technology will allow operators to optimise vessel performance by maximising cost-effectiveness through improved selection of propulsion and generation systems. Additionally, it will enhance mission planning and enable better targeted maintenance.

MOVE is developing and validating an easily-fitted system to measure and record the instantaneous power and torque outputs from the vessel’s engines, in conjunction with more standard monitored data (engine speed, vessel speed & heading, fuel consumption).  Although technology already exists to gather this data, it is often time consuming and expensive to install.  The project is refining this to provide a device which can be quickly retro-fitted or removed making the system commercially more attractive for vessel owners.  MOVE technology will be deployable on a wide range of marine engines including main propulsion and auxiliary power. 

The MOVE project partners are:

*             Datum Electronics Ltd

*             Gardline Geosurvey Ltd

*             Lloyd’s Register EMEA

*             Marine South East Ltd

*             REAPsystems Ltd

*             Triskel Marine Ltd

*             University of Strathclyde

Project partner, Datum Electronics Ltd, has considerable experience in the practical application of shaft torque meters.  Malcolm Habens (MD) said that “The MOVE project has given Datum a fresh view of the practical application of this technology.  Key issues for users such as applying strain gauges and accurately mounting instrumentation have been addressed. The system coming through testing with the MOVE program will reduce both the installation time and the skills required.  Any engineer or service technician should be able to install a system in under an hour.  The MOVE system will also benefit from the latest developments in rotating electronics which enable them to operate at lower power levels and transmit a wider range of information from the shaft”.

Initially, the MOVE system will be deployed on two pilot vessels which have been made available by Falmouth Harbour Commissioners.  Data will be collected while the Pilots carry out their daily duties providing ‘real-time’ information from the vessel’s systems.  

Examples of vessel applications that would benefit from MOVE technology include:

*  Vessels servicing ‘green industries’ such as offshore wind farms and ocean energy installations.

*  Vessels that already face a requirement to install engine monitoring capability (eg fishing vessels) for regulatory reasons.

*  Port and harbour vessels (tugs, pilot launches and survey vessels) and short-haul ferries which typically face a highly variable load/speed for manoeuvring, where dynamic performance is important.

To ensure the technology is developed and validated to meet market demand, the project is facilitating the ‘MOVE Interest Group’.  Potential end-users and other interested parties will be able to learn more about the project outputs and contribute their ideas as to how it may be used to best advantage in the marine sector.  Group members will be the first to see public project information and will be able to interact with the project consortium and others in the Group.  Additionally, Interest Group members will be invited to attend workshops, networking sessions and demonstrations as the technology develops.

Membership of the Interest Group is free of charge, to join please use the following link and click the green ‘join’ button.

 By Jake Frith

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