Over the last few years, autonomous shipping has been under extensive investigation by the scientific community where the main focus has been on ship maneuvering control and not on the optimal use of energy sources. In this paper, the purpose is to bridge the gap between maneuvering control, energy management, and the control of the Power and Propulsion System (PPS)to improve fuel efficiency and the performance of the vessel. Maneuvering control, energy management, and the control of the PPS are in the literature typically studied independently from one another, while they are closely connected. A generic control methodology based on receding horizon control techniques is proposed for the ship maneuvering control as well as energy management. In the context of this research, Direct Current (DC)all-electric architectures are considered for the PPS where the relationship between the produced power by energy sources and vessel propellers is established by a DC microgrid. The objective of the proposed approach is to ensure the ship mission objectives by guaranteeing efficient power availability, decreasing the trajectory tracking error, and increasing the fuel efficiency. In this regard, for the ship motion control, a Model Predictive Control (MPC)algorithm is proposed which is based on Input–Output Feedback Linearization (IOFL). Through this algorithm, the required power for the ship mission is predicted and then, transferred to the proposed Predictive Energy Management (PEM)algorithm which decides on the optimal split between different on-board energy sources during the mission. As a result, the fuel efficiency and the power system stability can be increased. Several simulations are carried out for the evaluation of the proposed approach. The results suggest that by adopting the proposed approach, the trajectory tracking error decreases and the Specific Fuel Consumption (SFC)efficiency is significantly improved.
- All-electric DC power and propulsion system
- Autonomous ships
- Energy management
- Model predictive control