Remotely Monitoring Marine Vessel Fuel Consumption

We discussed the challenges in measuring bunker fuels on marine vessels in prior posts. Last week, you may have seen the news item Emerson introduces remote fuel consumption and bunkering monitoring system. The news from the release:

Emerson Process Management, in collaboration with Ascenz Pte Ltd, introduces a remote fuel consumption and bunkering monitoring system to help shipping companies manage fuel costs.

Lack of visible information and rising fuel prices have been driving forces in the need for this bunker fuel consumption information:

Traditionally, there has been virtually no way of obtaining information on fuel consumption from moving vessels. By delivering highly accurate fuel usage and bunkering data from moving ships to the land-based shipping company control office, customers can gain real-time insight into the ship’s operations. The Emerson and Ascenz collaboration joins together fuel delivery measurement accuracy with remote monitoring and data delivery, setting a new trend for the shipping industry.

In the post, Accurate Measurement of Bunker Delivery Quantities, bunker fuel measurement accuracy has also historically been an issue:

Measurement errors are typically 1-3% and can be as high as 5%, which can lead to large discrepancies between fuel supplier and fuel consumer. Imagine if your car’s gas gauge and the gas station refueling pumps were accurate to plus or minus 3%. You’d be wondering if you’d be getting all the fuel you purchased and wondering if you had fuel left in your tank as it runs low.

The Micro Motion Marine Fuel Management whitepaper highlights the difficulty in flow measurement of this heavy fuel oil:

Flow meters must be able to handle the thick, viscous bunker grades used, along with any impurities that have not been filtered out, and varying amounts of entrained gas in the oil. This makes for a very challenging application, not to mention other environmental influences such as vibration, product solidification, and the need for low pressure drop.

Coriolis mass measurement has proven to be effective in this application. The marine industry measurement solutions page highlights more on the Micro Motion components in the solution. And here is more on the Ascenz Remote Fuel Consumption and Bunker Monitoring solution components including data collection, reporting, satellite connection and general packet radio service options.

Posted Tuesday, July 31st, 2012 under Flow, Marine.

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