LNGCs require constant monitoring and proactive maintenance to ensure safe and reliable operation.
Digitalisation provides the means to accomplish this, and comprehensive data-processing services can extract actionable insights from monitoring data, DNV GL said in a report.
Among the proposed solutions for emissions control is the large-scale production of hydrogen. Long-term forecasts see hydrogen being produced using electrolysis powered by wind and photovoltaic energy, and its conversion to methane (CH4), which could be distributed using existing natural gas infrastructure.
For the time being, hydrogen as an emerging cleaner energy source will primarily result from methane steam reformation of natural gas, the class society said.
All LNGCs, FSRUs and FLNGs carry on board compressors, expanders, pumps, metering and control devices, etc. Monitoring and maintenance play a key role in keeping this infrastructure functional and preventing accidents.
DNV GL can draw on decades of experience in gas-related engineering and vetting as well as maritime operations, claimed Chris Dagnall, General Manager of DNV GL’s Rotating Machinery Group. “We have been active in land-based pipeline network monitoring and data acquisition, working closely with customers to provide the insights they need to run their systems smoothly.
“We know how important it is for a successful condition-monitoring programme to collect and analyse data rapidly so action can be taken promptly. Digitalisation allows us to provide automated data analytics solutions covering a wide range of performance-monitoring and maintenance-related needs of asset operators, including real-time reporting,” he said.
Through satellite and long-distance wireless connections today’s vessels are in constant contact with the Internet and their operators’ computer networks, sending and receiving data that ensure smooth operation. Furthermore, on new ships, critical equipment is fitted with numerous sensing devices, which feed a constant stream of operational data to the ship’s central computer system and data centres on land.
All of this data harbours potential for improved decision-making, performance enhancements and condition-based maintenance. Aggregating, correlating and evaluating this data while keeping it safe is a challenging task, however.
“DNV GL has been providing these equipment data monitoring, analytics and reporting services to many customers, especially where the equipment being monitored is highly safety-relevant, such as on LNG carriers and FSRUs,” explained Dagnall. “We can install data acquisition hardware on a vessel and receive a full set of performance data sampled at regular time intervals, such as every 10 seconds, in an automated daily transmission to our Veracity platform.
“All operational data is then analysed using algorithms developed by DNV GL, correlated with vibration data, and assessed to extract key performance indicators and detect any deviations from the predicted performance,” he explained.