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Installation of load monitoring systems on already installed Quick Release Hooks

The project

In 2019 we installed a new project consisting of our award winning Solar power systems combined with Quick Release Hook units at the Port of Hamburg. Recently we equipped each Quick Release Hook with a load cell, to measure the mooring loads on the separate hooks. The alarms set by the client, visualization and history of the mooring loads are integrated in our software platform. Once a vessel is moored to the dolphin, the actual load value of each load cell will be sent by LoRa communication. The online dashboard shows the data of the loadcells combined for each dolphin. This way the Hamburg Port Authority (Hpa)  can keep a continuous close watch on the forces on the mooring lines on each Quick Release Hook.

LoRa technology, a product of Factorylab:

LoRa, short for Long Range, offers a way to communicate wireless between systems without the use of 4G or WiFi. It has a low energy consumption and is low cost because it is easy to set up the clients own network. The system has a reach of up to 15 km and is ideal for simple and small data exchange. It is a safe connection as the technology uses end-to-end encryption. All these characteristics make it the ideal network to use on our load monitoring systems. The stainless steel switchbox of the load monitoring systems is fitted with a LoRa transmitter. It will read out the load cell every 15 seconds and send the values every minute to the online dashboard. Next to this, Factorylab designed the dataloggers to provide the necessary power to the load pins, reducing installation time and dimension of the switchbox.

Installation

On-site installation of a load monitoring system is not easy. Usually a stable crane ship is needed to lift the Quick Release Hook in order to replace the standard horizontal pin for the load measuring load pin. Our engineers invented and developed a  lightweight and mobile system so that this time consuming and weather reliant method is not necessary anymore. By use of a small battery powered compressor and two heavy weight lifting pillows every hook could be lifted effortlessly and in a very safe and stable way. By making a suitcase sized control system the height could be controlled very precisely, easing the process of swapping out the standard pin for the load pin. Mind you; these pins weigh approximately 20kg each! So even though lifting the hook itself was done without effort, our engineers still got a good workout. In total 38 pins were exchanged in a short time span of just five workdays, including the routing of cables and connection testing. After a maximum of one work day later all dataloggers were present in the portal, showing the current measured values of the load pins.

We are excited to see the first ship mooring to the Berth and reading out the live and historic line pull on the hooks together with our client F+Z Baugesellschaft/ Hamburg Port Authority Hpa!

 

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