At “Marintec China” held in Shanghai in December 2017, the first Chinese smart ship embedded with a domestically developed intelligent navigation system was presented with Lloyds Register (LR) cyber-enabled ship (CES) descriptive notes. The vessel concerned, the appropriately named Great Intelligence, was designed by Shanghai Merchant Ship Design and Research Institute (SDARI). Other partners in the project were China’s System Engineering Research Institute (SERI) and China Class Society (CCS). The vessel is a modified version of the successful Green Dolphin Fuel Efficient Bulk Carrier Design and is China’s home-grown pilot smart ship project. LR’s CES descriptive notes have been assigned to the project with the latest requirements being applied to the vessel herself in the form of Cyber AL2 Safe (Navigation, Propulsion, Steering), Cyber AL2 Maintain (M/E, A/E, Boiler, Shaft) and Cyber AL2 Perform (Energy Management).
Built at Guangzhou Wenchong Shipyard Co., Ltd (GWS), a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC)
Owned and operated by Sinotrans Shipping Ltd. Hong Kong
LR is a leading player in the adoption of digital technologies within the marine and offshore sector by way of a “total-systems” approach. In 2016, LR issued the first guidance on cyber-enabled ships “Deploying Information and Communications Technology in Shipping – Lloyd’s Register’s Approach to Assurance”. The guidance identified the important elements that constitute a cyber-enabled ship and which need to be adopted to ensure that the technology does not introduce a safety risk. Great Intelligence is also fitted with SOMS, a Chinese developed marine system with autonomous learning ability and intelligent operations having the ability to analyze real-time navigation and meteorological data, select optimum routes and alert the vessel to dangers.
The functions within the vessel’s smart system include:
- Ship Operation and Maintenance System (SOMS) Health Management – The SOMS Health Management System monitors the ship’s main equipment operational parameters.
- Ship Operation and Maintenance System (SOMS) Energy Efficiency Management – The SOMS Energy Efficiency Management System provides energy efficiency monitoring, analytics and optimisation (for example energy consumption during the voyage, voyage parameters and ship condition for energy optimisation), energy efficiency historical data analysis, energy efficiency management (for example fuel and emissions control) and decision-making support.
- Ship Operation and Maintenance System (SOMS) Intelligent Integration Platform – The Intelligent Integration Platform (IIP) is the core of the smart ship intelligence, integrating the data from the Energy efficiency management system and the Health management system.
- Intelligent Navigation System – The Intelligent Navigation System is intended to augment existing vessel’s systems and not to replace or impact existing vessel safety systems. Data from ship and shore-based service stations is collected and analysed against baseline ship’s route information in order to identify opportunities for route optimisation. The Intelligent Navigation System also provides smart functions such as ship route optimisation to reach the destination in shortest time, with minimal fuel consumption, with the most comfortable or most economic voyage
The smart ship concept is also designed to lay the foundation for Chinese unmanned ship development. Compared with a standard Green Dolphin design, it is claimed that Great Intelligence has the potential to improve propulsive efficiency by 3% and reduce daily fuel consumption by 4%. The 19th Marintec China attracted 65,000 visits and more than 2,100 exhibitors to Shanghai with the German pavilion being the largest.
Vessel owner, Sinotrans Shipping Limited, parented by the Sinotrans Group and headquartered in Hong Kong, is one of the largest shipping companies in China. The company is engaged in vessel time chartering, shipping service and fleet management.