Bulker features first Chinese smart ship system

China's pilot smart ship, 'Great Intelligence', is destined for the southeast Asian coal and salt trade China's pilot smart ship, 'Great Intelligence', is destined for the southeast Asian coal and salt trade

A recently delivered bulk carrier features the first ship intelligence system produced in China.

Great Intelligence, a modified 38,800dwt bulk carrier of the well-known Green Dolphin design, was designed and built by China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) subsidiaries Shanghai Merchant Ship Design and Research Institute (SDARI) and Huangpu Wenchong Shipbuilding Co respectively.

The ship carries a system developed by CSSC’s Systems Engineering Research Institute which analyses real-time navigation and weather data to select the best routes and alert crew to dangers. The ship operation and maintenance system (SOMS) comprises health management, energy management and an 'intelligent integration platform' that features machine learning capability. It also boasts an intelligent navigation system.

Great Intelligence will become smarter as it accumulates more data,” said Qiu Bohua of the Systems Engineering Research Institute “SOMS utilises advanced sensing technology to build the ship's network. Not only can it spot dangers and system bugs, it also can lower transport costs and raise efficiency.”

Compared with an ordinary Green Dolphin ship with the same capacity, Great Intelligence is claimed to offer a 3% improvement in propulsion efficiency and a 4% cut in daily oil consumption.

Li Xin, innovation centre smart ship project team vice director, SDARI, said: “SDARI has been making effort to design ships that are safe, economic and efficient. Great Intelligence is one of those. We redesigned the ship as a digital ship, we didn’t just apply the smart systems. After the delivery, it will be an example what a smart ship is and make the shipping safer, more economic and more efficient.”

The 179m loa vessel will be used by Sinotrans Shipping to transport coal and salt between China, Australia and Southeast Asia. The Chinese government noted that the ship has passed ‘official assessments’ by the China Classification Society and Lloyd’s Register.

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