Naval architects have been busy with vessel conversions due to requirement of eco-friendly shipping; designing new means of doing so with special attention to use of electronics or other means of bypassing requirements of traditional fuels with potentially harmful emissions and higher operating costs. Starting from the engine, the part that requires and undergoes the most change; converted to electronically-controlled smart engine.
The main part of the new engine is the centralised connection which is done by the system incorporated into the engine itself; system known as engine control unit/ECU and cylinder control unit/CCU. ECU controls overall protection and efficient performance of the entire engine while CCU controls each of its cylinders for safe operations. Such system protects engines during overloads and side-effects of poor maintenance. The system also contains a catalytic cleaning system to address emissions.This centralised system is made up of a program where it can be overridden in case of emergency.
As mentioned above, this centralised system is designed to save on operational costs for propulsion plants while increasing reliability of the engine and monitoring fluctuations of loads; distributing it across all cylinders. Alerting operators with an alarm system if an overload occurs. However, as with all innovations come flaws that are still relatively hard to fix; particularly tracing the errors themselves.
Electronic equipment, upon breaking down or experiencing technical difficulties are hard to fix in ways that errors are hard to trace; a persistent flaw with each iteration. If an error is to occur, even with warning systems; making the error worse, it is harder to trace and therefore fix. What makes electronic equipment? Circuits/ circuit boards are a primary component which is fairly common in all devices; especially the printed circuit board/PCB. PCBs are made of insulated errors with copper conduct patterns which themselves can introduce an array of errors into the circuit; especially if the circuits are operating at a higher speed or high precision.
Errors also appear due to design flaw as embedded designers don’t consider PCB’s electrical characteristics as additional components of their circuit which leads to overall performance being somewhat worse than predicted. Effects of PCBs are harmful to circuit precision include leakage resistances, voltage drops in trace foils, vias and ground planes, the inﬂuence of stray capacitance, dielectric absorption (DA), and the related “hook.” In addition, the tendency of PCBs to absorb atmospheric moisture, hygroscopicity, means that changes in humidity often cause the contributions of some parasitic effects to vary from day to day. Finally, PCB effects can also be categorised into 2x broad categories; those that affect static or DC/Direct Current operations and those than mostly affect dynamic or AC/Alternating Current operations.
Starting from design choices/stages, most wires and PCBs traces with which the circuits are assembled are also resistors who have degrading effects in long term. Copper, the main material is not a superconductor but regarded as such by most engineers. Voltage drops occur in signal leads which results from resistive voltage drop; important only with high precision and high resolution situations along with a flow of large signal currents. Where load impedance is constant and resistive, adjusting overall system gain can compensate for the error. Can also be removed using Kelvin/voltage-sensing feedback.
Finally, this measure is a direct modification to the circuit board; applying mods that move accuracy to the load point. The use of separate force and sense connections at the load removes any errors resulting from voltage drops in the force lead, but of course may only be used in systems where there is negative feedback. It is also impossible to use such an arrangement to drive two or more loads with equal accuracy, since feedback may only be taken from one point. Also, in this much-simpliﬁed system, errors in the common lead source/load path are ignored, the assumption being that ground path voltages are negligible. In many systems this may not necessarily be the case, and additional steps may be needed, as will be detailed later in this series.