Kongsberg Maritime has completed an extensive refit of a 21-year-old Main Engine, Remote Control System aboard a VLCC (Very Large Crude Carrier) during the vessel’s scheduled docking. The original Main Engine, Remote Control System installed at a newbuilding yard in Japan was de-commissioned and the latest Kongsberg AutoChief 600 was commissioned by a Dedicated Refit Team.
The advanced AutoChief 600 is designed to manage all control, safety and alarm functions necessary for operating the main engine and all other accessories for propulsion control from a single station on the bridge. The system is based on a modular concept that allows flexibility in system architecture, covering a range from the most simplified to the most sophisticated propulsion control system available.
A flexible and modular design makes the AutoChief 600 suited for refitting of older Remote Control Systems. The system employs an advanced, simple to use, Touch Screen Computer providing access to all functions and data. Main variables such as RPM, pitch, start air and scavenging air pressure, engine state etc. are easy to access while several levels of control are available to distinguish between user groups. The system uses a family of ‘distributed processing units’ (DPUs) interconnected by a redundant field-bus, which allows for flexible installation for newbuild and refit projects, as each unit can be positioned near the system to be controlled, into third party electric cabinets, connection boxes and on the main engine.
As the most advanced Main Engine, Remote Control System available today, AutoChief 600 introduces significant opportunities to optimise engine efficiency and reduce the vessel’s environmental footprint, including a unique ‘Go Green’ module. This advanced new system Integrates the AutoChief 600 with the vessel energy management system and navigation system enabling it to automatically regulate the Main Engine according to best practice and to optimise fuel consumption.
When activating the new ‘GoGreen’ function, the AutoChief 600 automatically determines the optimal RPM command to be given to the Main Engine Governor, at all times. The signal is based upon calculations made from the ship and engine characteristics, and the predicted weather situation. Available for most engine types, the ‘GoGreen’ software, automatically performs system checks and ensures that all engine and navigation safety parameters are fulfilled, and provides a visible ‘OK’ for a ‘GoGreen’ sea voyage.
As an alternative to the ‘GoGreen’ module, the AutoChief 600 Constant Power Mode ensures that main engine power output stays constant, in order to support lower fuel consumption. The system, which is currently available for MAN B&W MC-C, ME-C and ME-B engines, allows RPM to vary while keeping shaft power constant. The AutoChief 600 Constant Power function is designed to be simple to use and features a Power Mode switch and a RPM Mode switch, with mode indication LEDs to show when it is active.
KONGSBERG installed its first AutoChief system in 1967 and almost 50 years later, more than 10,000 systems have been delivered to the world merchant fleet. The latest AutoChief technology forms the platform for diverse refit solutions for most low speed, two-stroke engines and includes fuel actuators, engine safety systems, and governor systems. By installing AutoChief 600, vessels with out-of-date systems can benefit from fully integrated digital technology, supporting the safe and efficient operation of main engines from all manufacturers.