Royal Huisman gives yacht SCADA boost

12 June 2008

A boat building company, from the Netherlands, has used a SCADA system to boost energy efficiency on its 58m ‘Ethereal’ yacht. Royal Huisam installed CitectSCADA V7, with integrated clustering, in a move it says will provide ‘unprecedented’ levels of distributed data and control.

The clustering feature was described by Sjoerd Schrichte, manager of the systems integration department at Royal Huisman, as ‘instrumental’ in the project.

‘With clustering, we have been able to combine both controls and facilities into a single system, develop a new data distribution system based on multiple touch screens, and still enjoy the benefits of full redundancy. The value of the clustering feature can be judged from the fact that, without it, we would have been looking at a complete system with 15,000 points; with clustering our facilities system is just 1500 points, whereas the control system is 15,000,’ he said.

Ethereal also contains touch screen terminals situated at various points throughout the vessel. They provide data including information on vessel position, sea depth, wind direction, weather forecast and outside temperatures.

The Citect system for Ethereal uses clustering to integrate control, facilities, and new technology data dissemination throughout the vessel. Supplied by Citect’s Dutch distributor, Koning and Hartman, it comprises 26 PLCs, 2 servers and 30 display clients, with EIB drivers used for communication to the rooms on all levels of the vessel. The system continuously monitors variables from sensors throughout the yacht and presents information to the crew and passengers in all areas of the yacht and in a format that is easy to understand; a feature that is generally beneficial, but especially so when the vessel is experiencing bad weather.

The Citect system stores over 100 historical trends and monitors in excess of 1400 alarms, to ensure that if a problem arises the crew are informed instantly. In this respect the built-in redundancy of CitectSCADA is crucial, ensuring that the system remains operational even during hostile sailing conditions.

Employing System transparency allows authorised Royal Huisman service managers to remotely modify the Citect database or update a PLC program, using the onboard communications network and SatCom interfaces.

Jan Bokxem, design manager for Royal Huisman, said: ‘We originally chose CitectSCADA, back in the late 1990’s, for its flexibility and redundancy; and these features are still at the core of our new development with Ethereal, helping us to achieve efficiencies and make the yacht extremely user friendly.

‘With a project like Ethereal you have to process a lot of data, and decide which data is suitable for each onboard group: for example: alarms, communications, and entertainment. We had to design a system that would not limit this flexibility; and the easiest way we could achieve this by integrating all data requirements into one network. CitectSCADA provided the flexibility to enable us to achieve this objective. In addition, as the Citect graphical interface was not exactly right for our requirements, the system enabled us to access Citect’s base code, CiCode to develop our own alarm system conforming to Lloyd’s regulations.’

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