Electric & Hybrid Marine 2019:
Automatization and digitalization of marine operations
Amsterdam has drawn the curtain on Electric & Hybrid Marine 2019 with great success attracting professionals, some of them coming from the world of hybrid and electronic propulsion system design or naval engineering while others are the owners and operators of great ships, shipbuilders and ship manufacturers.
From the 25th to the 27th of June, over 130 national and international developments were on display in addition to 40 conferences on offer focusing on the latest developments in maritime technology. Now in its sixth year, it has rightfully turned into one of the main events for the industrial maritime sector that takes place in Europe.
Naturally, there is great potential for the increase in commercial activity as far as oceans are concerned. Since last year’s edition, the worldwide debate on the sustainability of the oceans has intensified. The stands this year clearly proved to have the issues of this debate at heart.
Climate change and nature’s well-being are not only the major issues this industry must deal with, but rather the whole planet. There is a pressing need to refurbish the standards for efficiency and operations in the maritime sector.
Across all the expert conferences, technical documents were presented which included the latest and the last generation of technology molding the ships of the future. In particular, two conferences stood out. That of Laurens van Mourik, Project Manager in the Department of Navigation in the Netherlands capital, gave insight into the general state of the projects and trial runs which are currently taking place in the canals of Amsterdam and went on to describe how the sustainability goals for 2025 will be met. The second noteworthy conference was given by Jeremy Ward, Manager of East By West Ferries & Wellington Electric Boat Building Company, in which he exposed the case of the development of the first Passenger ferry to run solely on electricity in the southern hemisphere, which is set to be launched in New Zealand in December 2019.
The Blue Economy, coined to give recognition to the sea as a source of wealth, is all the rage. In the next few years, we will bear witness to how digitalization and the use of business intelligence to integrate control throughout the manufacturing processes will all become more important thanks to its greater innovative potential.
REGNER® PARTICIPATES IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN HVAC SYSTEM
Raúl García, Engineering Manager at REGNER, went to the fair with objective in mind to learn more about new electronic technologies, electronic power, communication and the control systems incorporated in the new electric-hybrid ships. We talk with him about the impression the fair has made on him as well as projects that he is actively heading at the moment.
What interested you about the Electric & Hybrid Expo 2019?
The maritime application a part of a significant business sector for REGNER. As we have already thought up some electric systems of our own for boats, I wanted to know more about what’s new in the automatization and control systems that are being applied to the maritime industry.
What took you by surprise the most?
I came across startups that are really making a name for themselves by making systems like intelligent support in decision-making or boats controlled from a distance. Generally speaking, I was able to verify that so much automatization and digitalization is taking place in a great number of commercial, as well as passenger, maritime processes.
What solutions has REGNER designed for this particular industry?
We are currently developing a line of highly energy-efficient and compact actuators for an HVAC system intended for use on cruise liners. This system will allow for the proper renewal of air as well as provide air treatment, giving way to better air as regards temperature and humidity, resulting in greater comfort for the passengers.
What is it about this HVAC system that makes it unique?
What we are dealing with is a smart system for heating, ventilation and air conditioning designed to reduce energy consumption and intelligently distribute heat and cold. Furthermore, it has been designed with the intention to recover surplus heat for other uses throughout the boat.
“REGNER® actuators communicate with the HVAC control, providing real-time data” highlights Raúl García
What type of actuators does this system depend on?
This system works with very compact actuators with RC Servo. They are radio-controlled with a signal of smaller than a 1% discretization pulse, which basically means that it can move into over 100 positions in a 3-cm trajectory. This type of actuator is ideal for automated environments which not only require knowing the position of the actuator, but also allow for its precise control.
How the information is transmitted?
The actuator communicates with the HVAC controller using a communication bus which thereby provides the system with updated information at any given moment. All of this allows the system to switch on from a distance, whether from the boat itself or from land.
How does the navigation of cruise liners benefit from this?
The cabins will now be able to count on advanced HVAC automatization software. Joining this system through a boat management system can allow for having smart control over the cabins. This way, a reduction of up to 30% of energy consumption is possible.
Lastly, what final thoughts do you take with you from your time at this fair?
I have been able to see for myself how the Nordic countries, especially Norway and Finland, continue to lead this industry which is more and more competitive and includes a great range of solutions. Personally, it was mostly useful as a meeting place for maritime companies which inspire me to go on developing and building new ideas.