Operational profiles help operators choose the right drivetrain configuration

Operational profiles can provide key information when determining how a boat’s drivetrain configuration is used. How does a certain application perform in a particular operation, in certain situations and under certain situations, over time? Finding out the answer makes it easier to choose the best possible solution for a particular operation, and ensure that customers can get the most out of their boats.

An initial operational profile quantifies the customer’s requirements

When an operator – a cargo line, or an offshore wind power company, for example – wants to commission a new boat, the engine manufacturer will often ask the customer for an operational profile indicating how they expect to use their vessel.

During a certain time period (over the course of 24 hours, for example), the customer may expect to use the boat at maximum speed about 10% of the time, 30% speed about half the time, and idling during the remainder of the time. All while carrying different cargo. Variations in cargo directly affect fuel consumption, and as such cost-efficiency and profitability.

Based on this information, the manufacturer can advise the customer about which drivetrain configuration they should choose for their operation. This with regard to the total cost of ownership (TCO), which includes aspects such as costs, performance, fuel consumption, and environmental impact.

Volvo Penta Operational Profiles

A follow-up operational profile helps ensure cost-efficient marine operations

The engine manufacturer can also make a follow-up operational profile; one that scrutinizes how their product performed during an actual operation (or several). The drivetrain stores information about its status and performance. This data can be downloaded, so that the manufacturer can find out how much, and for how long, an engine or drive has been used in practice. It provides a concrete and highly detailed account of whether the product has performed, and been used, as predicted.

The data helps determine if the vessel has been equipped with a suitable drivetrain configuration, and that it is used according to the customer’s requirements definition. The customer may use this information in order to calculate and offer cost-efficient marine operations. A follow-up operational profile can offer useful information in other ways, as well. It can:

  • Indicate that a propulsion application needs adjustment or service.
  • Provide a basis for discussion ahead of upcoming projects or future upgrades.
  • Contribute in the education of the ship’s crew, or company personnel, to optimize the operation.
  • Increase the knowledge about a customer’s operations and applications, and their requirements. This gives engine manufacturers, like Volvo Penta, further insight as to how they can design and enhance their products.
  • Help lower fuel emissions. With the right engine, drive, and propulsion equipment in place, a vessel or application will consume less fuel, resulting in lower emissions.

Operational profiles provide insight and predictability for shipyards and operators alike

As an engine and drive manufacturer, we want to provide our partners and customers with the best possible products. Operational profiles are an important part of this work, and in ensuring that every boat and application can carry out its operation as intended. Thanks to this valuable data, shipyards and shipbuilders are able to choose and install the right solutions more quickly; thus provide even better service.

For operators, operational profiles help make sure that their work can be done smoothly, on time, and according to budget. Unexpected surprises can cause major complications, so predictability is a major advantage both when making estimations and during operations. The importance of looking at relevant data, and using the right equipment based on this data, therefore cannot be overestimated.

Want to know more about Volvo Penta’s work with engine technology, and our innovative solutions for cost-efficient marine operations? Feel free to contact me or my colleague jonas.karnerfors@volvo.com. You will also find a lot of related articles here on the Volvo Penta Professional Power blog, on everything from connectivity and electromobility to how our exhaust aftertreatment systems prepare the marine industry for tougher emission regulations.

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