MARPOL Annex VI: Too high measurement uncertainty impedes technological progress

Reduced emissions, increased energy efficiency: Annex VI of the international MARPOL Convention contains provisions for the global shipbuilding industry to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Ship engine developers are faced with a double challenge: they need to develop new, more efficient propulsion systems and, in addition, adapt their test and measurement procedures.

The measurement uncertainty that can be achieved with conventional methods of measurement is far too high to enable efficiency testing of the new ship engines. Torque flanges from HBM Test and Measurement are the solution to this problem.

New methods of measurement required

Leading manufacturers of ship engines throughout the world are working on solutions for new, enhanced and more efficient propulsion systems. The method for determining the propulsion engine's output power used up to now presents a problem: Lever arms and force transducers are often still used for taking the required torque measurement in the drive train.

The problem with this method: its very high measurement uncertainty for which exact figures often cannot be given. Developers and test engineers need more reliable data with a significantly smaller measurement uncertainty to be able to comply with the new requirements.

Therefore, shipbuilders throughout the world are turning to the torque flange technology as an alternative. This technology allows very precise data to be acquired on a system's rated power values. The measurement uncertainty that can be achieved for the test setup as a whole is considerably smaller than 1%.

High torques occurring, for example, with ship engines are also not a problem. Torque flanges can be used in any test bench, either as standard or custom solutions. More information on high capacity torque applications

On-board monitoring using torque flanges

In addition to increasing the efficiency of conventional engines, international shipbuilders also count on alternative propulsion systems. In this context, gas engines have special significance. Gas engines burn very cleanly and efficiently and therefore are an alternative to, for example, classical diesel engines. However, gas-driven ship engines need to be very precisely controlled to prevent that the engine enters an operating status that might result in damage.

Here, too, torque flanges are the ideal solution. They can be installed directly on board in the drive train and consistently feed the engine control with the required measurement data - offering a small measurement uncertainty.

MARPOL Annex VI places high demands on the shipbuilding industry and its suppliers throughout the world. Demands that can be mastered: through technical innovation and reliable measurement results – thanks to torque transducers from HBM.

See HBM's solution for high capacity torque measurements...

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