Connectivity - a solution for smart shipping

Now shipowners have a smarter way to ensure compliance with marine regulations. Connected Alfa Laval products keep track on performance and provides correct documentation.

DATE 2020-05-19 AUTHOR Richard Orange PHOTO Alfa Laval and Getty Images

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Alfa Laval is currently in the early stages of launching PureSOx on eight customer vessels to check that the data sent back by the system matches actual conditions on the vessel. Starting from August 2019, the connect system is fitted as standard on all Alfa Laval scrubbers. A looming 0.5 percent cap on sulphur in marine fuel that will be imposed worldwide from January 2020 will further complicate the intricate global patchwork of global emissions regulations, with five ‘special areas’ designated by the International Marine Organisation (IMO) and dozens of different regulatory areas in China.

Fines for being out of compliance can run into tens of thousands of euros and they are not even the biggest potential cost. When Rotterdam port officials recently caught a vessel with no scrubber and only high-sulphur fuel onboard, the vessel had to delay departure by several days, dispose of the non-compliant fuel, and bunker with compliant fuel.

“There you’re talking about serious money,” Van Heerikhuizen says. “If you look at the difference between compliant and non-compliant fuel and add in the charter rate for a vessel today, that ends up costing far more than the fine.”

Alfa Laval’s PureSOx system already collects more than 500 data points every 30 seconds (ten times the regulatory minimum), storing the data for 18 months on the Alfa Laval Remote Emission Monitor. What PureSOx Connect does is automatically load this data up to the Alfa Laval Data Cloud whenever the ship has a 4G or 3G connection, or over a more expensive satellite connection if data sharing is desired in open waters.

The system also sends back the vessel’s location, and planned route, so that Alfa Laval can check the maximum pH and Sox allowed both where the ship is now and where it is going, and advise the crew to change settings on the scrubber to stay in compliance.

Alfa Laval’s service engineers can already use the data to spot if sprayers in a scrubber are wearing down. What Van Heerikhuizen hopes is that as more operations data is collected from more customers, data analysis will allow other problems to be spotted in advance.

If we can recognise certain patterns, we will actually be able start predicting what will happen, and we will be able to tell the customer what to do to prevent it from happening. That’s our ultimate goal.
Olaf Van Heerikhuizen, Service Manager for Alfa Laval's Gas Systems division

Looking ahead, Van Heerikhuizen predicts the service division will focus less on selling spare parts and more on helping customers avoid having to buy them.  If there is an unexpected breakdown or issue, Alfa Laval’s service department will in many cases already have the data it needs to identify the problem. If the problem happens mid-ocean, the crew can switch on a satellite link so that Alfa Laval can receive data in real time.

Since Alfa Laval supplied its first oil separator to the US Navy in 1917, the company has built a broad marine portfolio with 17 product groups. Today, three out of four ocean-going vessels have Alfa Laval equipment onboard, meaning SOx regulations aren’t the only compliance issue that can be made easier to manage through marine connectivity. There are also connect systems for the PureBallast ballast water treatment system, the PureBilge bilge water treatment system, and the PureNOx system.

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PRODUCT - PureSOx statistics

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  • First launched in 2009
  • Builds on more than 100 years of marine industry experience
  • Removes more than 98 % of SOx exhaust gas
  • Reduces particulate matter (PM) by up to 80 %
  • Installed on more than 150 vessels 
  • Provides reliable compliance with MARPOL Annex VI

DID YOU KNOW THAT

PureSOx is the SOx scrubber system at the forefront of wet exhaust gas cleaning, with a track record no other scrubber technology can match. Every PureSOx system ever sold is operating and in compliance with IMO SOx regulations. Yet this is only one reason for the scrubber system’s many returning customers. Experience in SOx scrubber supply and installation, plus comprehensive services and connectivity, make Alfa Laval the leading partner in SOx scrubber technology.

Alfa Laval PureSOx

1. Scrubber 2. Seawater pumps

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