Contributed Content – Edited for Clarity and Length
Though stabilisers have been around since the 1930s, the technology in recent decades has grown exponentially, especially in active systems. Unlike passive bilge keels, anti-roll tanks or fixed fins, active stabiliser systems are driven by formulae or algorithms that control movement of the fin or rotor underwater. Whether a vessel is underway or operating at zero speed, Quantum Marine Stabilizers can significantly reduce the roll and minimise onboard motion, thus improving safety and overall operations at higher sea states.
ARC3000 Series Control
The proprietary control technology represents the ‘brains’ or intellect that processes data, which in turn directs the appropriate movements to the fin or rotor, all starting with a roll sensor. This detects a change in the movement status of a vessel. From the sensor, the roll angle is then transmitted along with the roll rate and velocity which is sent to the main controller for processing.
An appropriate response is then sent to counteract the roll with the optimal fin or rotor movement and the necessary hydraulic pressure – with little or no human input at all. There are many other sources of data used to define the algorithms and parameters, including natural roll period, vessel speed, metacentric height (GM), displacement, beam and sea state.
SMC4000 Series Control
Over the last 37 years, Quantum Marine Stabilizers has developed three different control systems: the ARC Series, SMC Series and now the latest breakthrough, the 5000S. Many years of experience, listening to customer feedback, using model testing data and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis were all contributors to the control innovations. In development of the new system, production costs and sourcing readily available components were top priorities. Furthermore, it processes data in real time and is able to withstand the inevitably caustic marine environment.
Unlike any other control to date, the 5000S is built on a modular platform, giving it the ability to support legacy, current and future control generations. It can also be configured to support the most basic, underway-only systems as well as Zero Speed™ technology and some of the more advanced, recently-developed stabiliser systems. To do this economically, the controller was designed to have plug in/add on modules, to increase capacity when needed, and minimize construction costs for less complex units. The new technology can be uploaded directly to a vessel already in service.
Defined as the ability for Quantum to conduct service and support remotely, Remote Access is a key advantage to the end user in reducing system down time and avoiding billable travel expenses. For security purposes, the internet modules are individually registered, with licensing fees paid by Quantum. System access is only possible through a dedicated, in-house server at Quantum. When on-board bandwidth is limited, the 5000S is the only control system with recording capabilities that can be stored and downloaded later.
The 5000S interface is via a standard high-definition 10in touchscreen, with an option for a 15in TFT high-performance sunlight-readable display. The system is also equipped with an interface for glass bridge systems, on which operators can create their own graphics to control and monitor the system from the ships common screen interface. The system has the ability to support multiple touchscreens, all with full system control and monitoring capabilities.
The system provides recommendations on individual control settings and how to adjust those settings. The controls can also store critical information about the system, including, but not limited to project specific drawings, technical manual information, fluid recommendations etc.
The 5000S represents a “Quantum Leap” forward, with a platform that supports all control generations, is expandable and will stand the test of time for many years to come.