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With the increasing cost of marine fuel oils, ship owners around the world are looking for methods that allow them to use fuel oil wisely and efficiently. In order to save both fuel and energy of a ship, it is very important to first know how much fuel is being consumed. A Fuel Management System allows you to do exactly this. The system helps in monitoring, measuring, and displaying the amount of fuel oil used by a ship.
Fuel management system wasn’t used on board initially; however with the increasing costs of marine fuel it has become an imperative device on ship. The main goal of the system is to reduce the amount of fuel usage of the ship by improving the operational efficiency of the fuel oil system.
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Manual Methods vs. Fuel Management System
On a ship devoid of fuel management system, measurement of fuel usage is done by dipping the sounding tape or stick into each of the fuel tanks or by reading the level gauges of all tanks. Using a manual method, the amount of fuel used during a particular voyage can be easily measured. Whereas a fuel management system not only provides the amount of fuel used but also gives additional data related to fuel usage. A Marine fuel management system provides various other parameters such as the amount of fuel used while traveling at sea or at port, amount of fuel used by a specific engine or generator, comparing fuel usage between voyages, and the amount of fuel used by a particular crew. Apart from this, the system provides a detailed analysis of all fuel oil using systems on board a ship and also allows the ship’s crew to track each and every drop of fuel oil, thus reducing fuel consumption and improving the over all efficiency.
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Benefits of Marine Fuel Management System
A marine fuel management system helps in providing the accurate amount of fuel oil burnt at any particular vessel speed or engine rpm. This helps the ship’s crew to continuously measure and monitor the fuel, an extremely important aspect when the ship is sailing. A continuous measuring system will also help in measuring the fuel burn rate or the amount of fuel required by an engine at a particular rpm in an hour, in a watch, or in one full day. The fuel management system thus helps crew members to take decisions that would not affect the fuel burn rate of the engine and would also increase the efficiency.
The system also helps in keeping a continuously watch on all the fuel tanks levels right from the comfort of ship’s engine control room or bridge. This continuously monitoring also helps in evaluating how much total fuel each engine or generator can consume, and thus provides a clearer picture as to how the vessel uses the fuel oil.
Also, the amount of fuel used by a ship is not dependent on the rpm of the engine alone. Many crew members believe this and they therefore reduce the ship’s rpm to reduce fuel consumption. However, there are several other factors such as the condition of sea, direction of wind, varying load, fluctuation in speed, and condition of the engine and propulsion system which also play an equal role in the amount of fuel used by a ship. A marine fuel management system considers all these factors, along with the speed and rpm of the vessel, and provides the right recommendation after performing various calculations. This helps in saving a lot of fuel oil which would otherwise go wasted.
Fuel theft and illegal discharge of fuel from ship to shore is also a grave threat faced by many ship owners. The marine fuel management system helps in eradicating this problem by comparing the amount of fuel taken on board with the actual consumption of each engine or generator. Apart from thefts, accidental fuel oil spill can also be determined by keeping a continuous watch on the fuel oil tank level. The system also assists in monitoring various other operations such as fuel transfers from one tank to another, bunkering, and preventing low or high oil levels of tanks.
Much of the maintenance of engines and generators is done by comparing the amount of fuel burned by a particular engine with the number of working hours. A performance report is made on the basis of this and accordingly maintenance work is carried out. Thus the fuel oil management system not only helps in choosing the right maintenance job but also saves a lot of additional labor.
Thus, marine fuel oil management system is extremely important on board modern ships with the increasing fuel oil cost and the need for a greener and better environment. In the process, the system not only increases the ships efficiency but also saves a lot of money.