Samsung to install fibre optic condition monitoring on Sovcomflot LNG icebreakers

Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) is working with Light Structures of Norway, a supplier of fibre optic maritime condition monitoring technology, to deliver ice load monitoring systems for 10 Arctic Liquid Natural Gas Carriers (ALNGC) to be operated by Sovcomflot.

The first of Sovcomflot’s newbuild ice-class ships will be delivered before the end of the year, with six more due in 2022 and the final three arriving in 2023. Using LNG as their primary fuel, the vessels will produce 45 MW of power, which is comparable to that of a nuclear icebreaker, enabling the safe transport of LNG while breaking ice up to 2.1 metres thick in minus 52 degrees Celsius temperatures.

Operating in such extreme conditions, Sovcomflot’s new ALNGC vessels will use the Light Structures SENSFIB system to provide real-time ice load monitoring and alerting so the captain and navigators can make informed safety decisions based on live structural stress data.

SENSFIB has already been used in operation on Arctic routes, following its installation on the first ever icebreaking LNG carrier, Christophe de Margerie.

The fibre optic technology is based on Fibre Bragg Grating (FBG), which reflects particular wavelengths of light while transmitting all others. SENSFIB sensors are installed using an adhesive, removing the need for any welding, and feature no moving parts.

The system is also EX and ATEX approved, and as such is suitable for hazardous environments as found on gas carriers and oil tankers.

“We’re delighted to receive such an extensive order for our SENSFIB ice-load monitoring technology, especially as it reflects the long-standing and positive working partnership we have with SHI,” said Niklas Hallgren, Chief Executive Officer, Light Structures.

“The contract also shows that leading shipyards and owners are willing to invest in precision structural stress monitoring due to safety and operational advantages, despite the lack of any regulations forcing the use of such technology.”

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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