- GE Will be Showcasing Various Propulsion Technologies and Service Capabilities at Seatrade Cruise Global 2019
- GE is a Valuable Partner to the World’s Cruise Operators; Recently Chosen to Equip Multiple MSC Cruises’ Vessels
- GE has an Expanded Global Service Network, Working with Customers to Keep Operations Running Smoothly
Today, GE’s Power Conversion business will be showcasing a range of propulsion technologies—electric and hydrogen—as well as its service and digital capability at Seatrade Cruise Global 2019. Building on its decades of experience, GE (NYSE: GE) remains a valuable partner for many of the world’s leading cruise operators, committed to advancing the industry towards a cleaner and more efficient future.
The cruise industry is transforming in several ways. Cruise vessels are growing larger, which requires more powerful and reliable propulsion systems to smoothly propel them across an ever-expanding global network of voyages. Moreover, existing and new regulations require vessels to minimize or eliminate emissions; and propulsion and power generation technologies play a crucial role in this transition.
SAILING TOWARDS ZERO-EMISSION
In an effort to curb emissions, regulatory bodies are introducing stricter, global regulations to ensure a cleaner marine environment. If an end goal of zero-emission shipping is needed to meet environmental needs, it will also actually contribute to the quality of the cruise experience itself.
That is why GE is teaming with Nedstack, a leading fuel cell manufacturer, to develop hydrogen fuel cell systems for powering zero-emission cruise vessels for the future. Two companies envisage using this technology on passenger ships, replacing traditional diesel engines with fuel cells and heavy fuel oil with hydrogen.
So far, Nedstack and GE have worked on a concept for a 2-megawatt hydrogen fuel cell power plant on an expedition vessel. GE’s variable speed electrical drive system is a crucial part of the system that optimizes control and efficiency by directing and managing the electricity produced by the hydrogen fuel cells.
RIDING THE ELECTRIC WAVE
Whatever the cruise sector and type of vessel, space on board is at a premium; more cabin and facilities space supports a better passenger experience, and that ultimately means more revenue. Electrical solutions have the advantage of being light and flexible in the layout design, therefore saving precious space for cabins.
Cruise ships are growing in size and capable of carrying more and more passengers. Safety is thus the upmost priority. GE’s in-board propulsion system, consisting of induction-based motor technology and the MV7000 drive with pulse width modulation technology, helps improving propulsion reliability and help lower maintenance costs during a vessel’s operating life cycle. The induction motor has less parts compared to its synchronous peers, and therefore provides higher redundancy, which translates to higher availability and less unplanned downtime.
GE’s electric propulsion systems are targeted at high-performance outcomes for cruise operators. The solution has been repeatedly chosen by the world’s leading cruise lines, notably by MSC Cruise (see also CruiseMapper), with 18 ships of its fleet that will be powered by GE’s electric propulsion technology. It is the propulsion of choice for the four MSC Seaside Class vessels. The first two ships—MSC Seaside and MSC Seaview—have recently been delivered.
SERVICE AT SEA
GE has a long track record of servicing the world’s leading cruise operators including Carnival and MSC Cruises among others. Understanding the importance of providing fast support to global cruise customers whenever and wherever needed, GE has an expanded global service network—Miami, Houston, Busan, Belfort, Shanghai—helping to minimize unplanned downtime.
Also at the Seatrade Cruise Global, GE will showcase the latest training simulator, which has been developed to provide a practical hands-on troubleshooting training experience. With the Augmented Reality (AR), as well as 3D models of the critical electrical equipment such as motors and drives, the simulator will provide a more immersive and productive training experience. Various mission scenarios will be developed alongside the AR technology to train personnel for maintenance and services, troubleshooting the electrical propulsion system tailored to the hardware and software installed on board.
GE’s service portfolio also includes advice on system update and technology insertion options, where GE experts provide new parts or software upgrades to refresh the operating cycle or improve efficiency of older vessels.
Taking the service one step further, GE provides service inspections for machine failure preventions. Geared towards the equipment’s operating environment and criticality, GE provides a tailored, preventative maintenance plan that carries out non-invasive inspections of equipment, evaluating health and maintenance needs. This proactive approach can reduce excessive costs and disruption associated with unplanned outages.
The use of digital technologies and connected economy is driving a sea change, and the cruise industry is no exception. GE’s Power Conversion business’ asset performance management (APM) SeaStream Insight solution is allowing cruise operators to make more informed decisions, enabling predictive maintenance and increasing a vessel’s operational efficiency.
Driven by data, SeaStream Insight can predict potential failure of a part before it strikes. The operator is then informed to reduce the level of engagement of the part, allowing corrective action to be taken. The APM and condition monitoring enable a shift from planned to condition-based maintenance, helping to safeguard against interruptions to passengers’ cruises.
For cruise vessels, fuel efficiency is crucial. The APM solution can identify efficient propulsion modes based on the operational state of the vessel, including the current operational modes, system setup, dynamic positioning (DP) mode, weather conditions and position, to optimize fuel usage.
As part of the SeaStream product range, GE’s SeaStream DP system will also use digital technology to further improve passengers’ travel experience. The DP system is optimized for challenging tasks such as dynamic anchoring when treading into protect marine environment and vessel positioning for safer and easier boarding.
“Serving today’s mega cruise ships with advanced technology and a forward-looking approach, we are evolving our technology together with the industry’s growth. This ensures optimized energy and operational efficiencies for cruise operators, as well as meeting the most stringent environmental regulations that are coming onto the horizon,” said Eric Muller, Cruise Business Leader, GE’s Power Conversion business.