The control systems of the 5000S and F45 hybrid stabilizers could be a game changer.
When you think of cutting-edge technology, stabilization products aren’t usually the first thing that comes to mind. However, this type of technology has come a long way in the past few years. Fin stabilizers can improve the handling of a vessel, reducing crew fatigue and the risk of accidents. Quantum Stabilizers, based in Fort Lauderdale with offices in the Netherlands and Spain, has made major advancements in stabilization technology with the launch of its 5000S Stabilizer Control System.
The 5000S acts as the brain of the whole system. It is built on a modular platform and capable of supporting old, current and future generations of control with much greater capacity. When on-board bandwidth is limited, the 5000S is the only control system with recording capabilities that can be stored and downloaded later. It is designed for remote access anywhere in the world, using individually registered Internet modules for secure troubleshooting and technical support. The 5000S has the ability to process data in real time and has been designed to withstand harsh marine environments, using readily available components.
Quantum is also developing a new hydraulic/electric hybrid stabilization system that utilizes the best attributes of both power sources. The hybrid system is presented as an efficient and quiet system that does not generate heat. It offers smooth power that does not fluctuate and requires 60% less energy than a standard system. While a traditional hydraulic system will continue to draw 40% of maximum power even when not needed, the F45 Hybrid drops to less than 1kW in standby mode. These efficiencies result in more extreme power fluctuations, but the fluctuations are manageable through the use of a new patented Quantum product that reduces the cyclical power load on the generators.
CEO John Allen noted that the system only draws power when needed, when needed. “By reducing the load on the generators, it also reduces the fuel bill and the load on the environment,” he said.
Electric fin stabilizers on large vessels – 197 feet (60 m) and above – become prohibitively expensive due to the costs associated with gearboxes and servo motors. Electric ailerons with gearboxes should be designed to handle slam loads, which are easier to handle for hydraulic systems with the dump valves. The new F45 Hybrid uses a high dynamic servo coupled to a low inertia hydraulic pump that directly moves hydraulic fluid in a closed loop to sweep the aileron. This greatly simplifies the whole system and removes all components that make hydraulics inefficient.
Quantum believes the F45 hybrid solution will meet both the long-term energy efficiency requirements and the peak transient power needs of the closed marine electrical system. The system will be available in June 2023, while the 5000S control system is available now.
TRITON COREY RANSLEM, TECHNOLOGY EDITOR, IS THE CEO OF A MARITIME SECURITY AND INTELLIGENCE COMPANY (DRYADGLOBAL.COM) AND HAS OVER 24 YEARS OF COMBINED EXPERIENCE IN THE COAST GUARD AND MARITIME INDUSTRY.