WR Systems, Ltd.

New emissions monitoring system could change face of pollution at sea

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Source: WR Systems, Ltd.

A new emissions monitoring system being developed by a Norfolk, VA, systems engineering firm will allow vessels worldwide to continuously monitor pollutants and readily report findings to regulatory agencies and inspectors.

The patent-pending Continuous Emissions Monitoring System (CEMS), developed by W R Systems, Ltd. (WRSystems), is the first technology integration of its kind. A successful land-based test of the CEMS prototype was performed in August 2009. Stringent new regulations regarding vessel emissions are forthcoming from US and worldwide governments and maritime organizations. WRSystems developed the new technology to help the maritime industry meet these new regulations and reduce their carbon footprint. The company, for more than a decade, has been developing sophisticated, high-reliability critical sensor systems for the US Department of Defense.  WRSystems has also provided high reliability monitoring systems to the public transit industry.

“With the CEMS, a vessel manager, in minutes, can provide an inspector or port regulatory authority with an already formatted emissions report that gives real-time, GPS- stamped data,” says Dave Edwards, senior vice-president and director of WRSystems’ Engineering Services Division in Norfolk, VA . “Development of the CEMS has been market driven. We’re providing the maritime industry with a highly accurate, very reliable, and cost effective solution to the challenges coming from new regulations that begin on July 1, 2010.”

The space-efficient CEMS is a 3’ by 5’ by 2’ laser-driven, single enclosure device that can continuously monitor emissions and provide automated analysis and data recordings from multiple smokestacks and boilers. An interface with the Global Positioning System (GPS) provides real-time vessel location data from a single system. The CEMS is the first to provide both multiple gas and particulate matter emission data with acute accuracy, minimal maintenance, and no calibration requirement. Current emissions monitoring compliance ranges from annual engine inspections to the reading of smokestacks and boilers, one at a time, using a portable device bolted to the source for a single-time measurement.

The new technology will enable container ships, tankers, cruise ships, and other ocean-going vessels to better manage and meet the growing global requirements for smaller carbon footprints. A recent amendment to MARPOL Annex VI Maritime Emissions Regulations, which is directed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), mandates strict emissions reporting, compliance, and enforcement beginning July 1, 2010.

The CEMS can continuously monitor, analyze, and record emissions from all of a ship’s smokestacks. It analyzes and records nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur oxides (SOx), and carbon dioxide (CO2), as well as particulate matter (PM). GPS interface data tracks actual vessel position to support regulatory requirements in Emission Control Area (ECA) zones, which usually begin 20 to 25 miles off the coastline of major ports and cities.

An at-sea analysis of the CEMS on a Maersk, LL cargo vessel is scheduled for September.  Certification of the system by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), an international organization that sets marine and offshore classification standards, is projected for February 2010. Product release is slated for Spring 2010. The system has applications for approximately 80,000 ocean-going vessels, primarily diesel engines. WRSystems will manufacture and market CEMS to clients globally, including the shipping industry, cruise-line industry, tugboat inland waterway transportation industry, and military sealift industry.

“CEMS is the only system on the market that can continuously monitor and analyze the combination of multiple smokestack emissions,” Edwards says. “It can provide real-time and historical data for the length of a voyage and can provide information needed to ensure vessel emissions are within compliance when ships are entering and leaving ECA zones. Its data points can also assist with the management of fuel consumption and change over operations from heavy fuel oil to low sulfur fuel oil to support emissions reductions and environmental initiatives.”

CEMS data can be sent online and to almost any data collection network. Emissions recording inventory will also offer vessel and fleet owners the opportunity to enter the emissions trading market, including the Green House Gases (GHG) tracking for carbon trading and the European (EU) emissions trading market.

The CEMS unit features a sampling chamber and embedded control unit with rack display, using a 220v 50HZ single input from ship’s power. A status reporting unit (SRU) is an application that is installed on any standard PC or laptop and can be easily located wherever the customer needs to view real-time emissions data. The SRU computer connects directly to the CEMS via a standard Ethernet connection. The system employs extractive sampling tubes from each stack and inputs to the single rack unit collocated with stack uptakes.

About WRSystems

WRSystems is a systems engineering firm that provides critical and high reliability products and services for Federal Government, Transportation Technologies, and Healthcare Systems. WRSystems is based in Fairfax, VA. The Norfolk site is the company’s Engineering Services Division and the firm’s largest location, employing a staff of 220. For more information, visit www.wrsystems.com.

For more information, or to interview senior staff at WRSystems, contact Scott McCaskey at Goldman & Associates Public Relations at 757-625-2518

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