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Friday, April 19, 2019 

Two technologies have been launched by caterpillar to help cruise ships burn less fuel, run more cleanly and keep uptime and reliability high.

The first, Multi-Engine Optimizer (MEO), integrates with an existing power management system, then uses proprietary performance maps and control algorithms to advise that system on which engines to operate and at what load.

The second, Asset Intelligence (AI), is a total vessel monitoring solution that collects and analyses data from onboard systems, then provides recommendations on when and how to take action.

The technologies help to decrease fuel consumption, saving an estimated 2%-3% percent without making changes to engines or vessel operations. MEO makes that possible by using fuel maps to determine the best combination of engines and enabling dynamic asymmetrical load allocation; i.e. operating engines at independent load factors. Precise fuel flow measuring for each individual engine results in the lowest possible fuel consumption for the entire system. AI helps reduce fuel burn by analysing fuel and energy performance, identifying operational practices and component maintenance issues and recommending ways to address them.

Emissions are also reduced; by using MEO or AI — or both — for each litre of diesel fuel burned 2.68kg of CO2 is eliminated. As a bonus, AI’s automated monitoring simplifies compliance reporting.

With MEO, it is possible to consolidate more power into every hour of operation, resulting in fewer actual engine hours over the same time span. That allows extended maintenance and overhaul intervals. MEO can balance engine use by hours or fuel, either to synchronise or stagger overhaul intervals. AI enables maintenance schedules to move from hours-based to needs-based. By tracking all the data generated by ships’ systems, AI indicates when maintenance and repairs are actually required, based on engine and vessel performance.

AI uses pattern recognition to learn about individual ships’ systems so it can predict potential failures. AI sends additional analytics ashore, for review by engineering experts or a Caterpillar Fleet Advisor.

Caterpillar says that these advantages combine to lower overall costs and ensure maximum revenue capability on both current vessels and as an integrated solution for new builds.

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