Marine Energy Monitoring and Management

Within the marine sector, heightened attention is being paid to developing ways in which vessels and ships can reduce their overall energy usage.  Innovative marine energy monitoring and management software that assesses engine performance by analysing fuel consumption and vessel speed, and then plots it against voyage data, is a prime example of these developments. This method informs the personnel in control of the ship how efficiently it is running, enabling them to make informed decisions as to how to minimise energy usage, reduce carbon footprint and ultimately save money.

Real-time data from a variety of sensors, analysed by specialist computers, is critical in enabling these solutions to realise their operational potential. The platforms best suited to marine energy monitoring and management applications are 12-inch touchscreen panel PCs that can be mounted on ship bridges to save space and optimise accessibility. The PCs should be specified with reliable, industrial-grade UPSs to protect against power spikes prevalent on ships, as well as high power i5 processors to power the monitoring and management software.

As a result of operation on ships and other maritime vessels, panel PCs must be appropriately equipped to withstand the challenging conditions inherent in such environments. Platforms will be exposed to vast amounts of dust and water ingress, making an IP65 protective front panel a crucial component of the specification. While the marine energy monitoring and management application does not require platforms to be subject to marine compliance testing, it is beneficial to put them through in-house shock and vibration tests to ascertain their suitability to function reliably over extended period timeframes onboard ships and vessels.

The operation of computing platforms in marine environments requires particular care and attention at the design stage to ensure minimal interference with other mission-critical ship systems. Panel PCs integrated on ship bridges must be capable of being dimmed to absolute zero to avoid impacting the performance of navigation systems during night operation. A standard panel PC will not come with this feature inbuilt; meaning modifications to firmware will need to be undertaken, requiring high levels of technical expertise as well as production capabilities.

Ultimately, and as with any mission-critical application, a full and comprehensive understanding of marine energy monitoring and management, its aims and its challenges, is crucial in delivering a platform that is optimised for performance, reliability and longevity.

You can learn more about our marine computing expertise, capabilities and platforms here.

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