Currently, most ships use internal combustion engines (ICEs) either as propulsion engines or generator sets. The growing concern in environmental protection along with the consequent international rule framework motivated shipowners and designers to replace conventional power systems in order to mitigate pollutant emissions. Therefore, manufacturers have made available on the market many technological solutions to use alternative fuels (Liquefied Natural Gas or LNG, methanol, etc.). However, the main energy source is still fossil fuel, so almost all the ICEs are made up of turbocharged diesel engines (TDEs). TDEs have still the potential to improve their efficiency and reduce fuel consumption and pollutant emissions. In particular, the interpretation of Industry 4.0 given by manufacturers enabled the installation of a robust network of sensors on TDEs, which is able to allow reliable power management systems and make ships much more efficient regarding operating costs (fuel consumption and maintenance) and environmental footprint. In this paper, a software tool that is capable of processing the in-live performance of TDEs is described. The great novelty consists in the ability to process all the information detected by the sensor network in-live and dynamically optimize TDEs’ operation, whereas the common practice involves the collection of performance data and their off-line processing.
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