Virtual Sensor can replace a physical sensor

We have created a virtual sensor that enables fuel reading when a physical sensor is missing. Knowing the fuel consumption is crucial when it comes to reducing the consumed fuel in order to save money, reduce CO2 emissions and follow future regulations.

In 2021 the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted the goal of globally reducing CO2 emissions. The goal includes reducing emissions from marine transport by 40% by the year 2030 and 70% by the year 2050 compared to the reference year 2008. The energy cost contributes to 33-50% of the total operational cost of a commercial vessel, depending on the application.

It is estimated that 25% of small-medium-sized vessels lack access to their fuel reading. The first step toward sustainability is the measurement of consumption. Awareness is the key factor when it comes to making a change. Knowledge of the operation and fuel consumption is also needed to follow up with regulations to come.

There are many different physical flow meters in the market. In general, we can divide them into Flow meters with moving parts and Flow meters without moving parts like Coriolis flowmeters. In general, flow meters can be expensive, challenging to install, require frequent calibration, and prone to drift over time. Coriolis flow meters do not clog the fuel flow and have good accuracy but are more expensive and can be more complex in installation.

In the absence of a physical sensor, a virtual sensor can measure the property based on other physical or digital sensors. The model used for sensor measurement is created from a model of the physical sensors. Based on the RPM and torque readings, our virtual sensor makes valuable estimations of fuel rates. We can see that virtual sensors can replace experienced sensors and robustness to the system. Used as a “digital twin” the virtual sensor can monitor system health and drifts.

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