The IPH presents a solution at HANNOVER MESSE 2015 to make ship traffic more reliable while decreasing the maintenance costs at the same time. In cooperation with project partners, the research institute from Hannover, Germany, has developed a sensor system which continuously monitors the condition of the marine gearbox, thus preventing breakdowns. Special feature: the monitoring system works wirelessly and energy-autonomously. The required electrical power is generated where it is needed – directly at the sensor.
As well as cars need to be certified regularly (in Germany by the TÜV – Technical Inspection Association), ships need to be inspected – if the powertrain stops unexpectedly, it is not only annoying but also dangerous. In this context, the gearbox is of particular importance as it is a critical element between the diesel engine and the propeller system, which ensures the reliability of the entire marine propulsion. If the gearbox breaks down, the entire propulsion stops.
Container ship in the port of Hamburg: Regularly maintenance costs time and money. If the condition of the gearbox is monitored wirelessly, the effort of maintenance is reduced.
Source: Gunnar Ries / Creative Commons
Ship inspections cost time and money like the TÜV inspections for cars. The ships need to stay in port and the shipping companies lose revenue. The extension of inspection intervals is only granted if the machinery condition is continuously monitored, which is called ‘Condition-Based Maintenance’ (CBM).
Sensor elements measure torques, vibrations and temperatures in the gearbox around the clock. With the help of these data it is possible to detect failures. A maintenance service can be done before the gearbox breaks down. So far, CBM systems are expensive, because lots of cables must be routed from the board computer and power supply to the gearbox.
In the future wireless CBM is possible: the ‘Institut für Integrierte Produktion Hannover gGmbH’ (IPH) developed a sensor system in cooperation with project partners that works without cables for energy supply or data transmission – and does not even need batteries.
The researchers estimate that the sensor system can work for at least ten years once installed at the gearbox. The entire electrical components are housed in a sturdy metal case the size of a coffee cup, so neither dirt nor sea water can influence the working process.
The energy which is needed to measure and transmit data to the board computer is generated right at the sensor node. This is possible with the help of energy harvesting systems, which use the temperature difference between sea water and gearbox surface. The operating temperature of the gearbox surface is at a constant level of about 60°C.
The sea water temperature depends on the region where the ship is operating: It can be down to 5°C cold or up to 25°C warm, but in any case it is always much cooler than the gearbox surface. Thermoelectric generators use the temperature difference to supply the sensor nodes with electrical energy.
In the research project ‘DriveCoM’ the IPH as project coordinator has worked closely together with industry partners. The microsensys GmbH, based in Erfurt, has realized the radio transmission from the sensor nodes to the board computer: the data are passively transferred using RFID technology, which requires very small amounts of energy. The Bachmann Monitoring GmbH from Rudolstadt has dealt with the selection of sensors and the structure of the receiving station of the CBM system.
The IPH was responsible for the signal analysis: characteristic values can be calculated from the measurement data on the microcontroller of the sensor node and indicate whether a potential damage is about to occur. The energy harvesting system is the specialty of the HSG-IMIT – Institut für Mikro- und Informationstechnik der Hahn-Schickard-Gesellschaft e.V. from Villingen-Schwenningen.
During the research project the HSG-IMIT adapted the thermoelectric generator, so that the sensor nodes are continuously supplied with energy. Finally the sensor system was tested on the gearbox test rig of REINTJES GmbH, a manufacturer of marine gearboxes from Hameln.
At HANNOVER MESSE 2015, the world's biggest industrial fair from 13 to 17 April, the results of the project ‘DriveCoM’ are presented. At the joint stand of the state of Lower Saxony in Hall 2 (stand A08) a real marine gearbox from REINTJES GmbH will be shown – and the visitors learn how the wireless and energy-autonomous sensor system works.
Susann Reichert | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Cutting edge research for the industries of tomorrow – DFKI and NICT expand cooperation
21.03.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI
Molecular motor-powered biocomputers
20.03.2017 | Technische Universität Dresden
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
28.03.2017 | Health and Medicine
28.03.2017 | Life Sciences