Time to Choose: ShaPoLi or EPL?
As the countdown to your next Annual Survey draws to a close and the grace period granted by your class authorities dwindles, the importance of complying with the EEXI-EPL regulations becomes more pressing than ever. Failure to meet these requirements could lead to your ship losing its class certificate, with repercussions that cannot be ignored. The time to make a choice is upon us, and it is a decision that must be made promptly.
Navigating Compliance Challenges
While most vessels have already successfully navigated the choppy waters of EEXI-EPL compliance, there will invariably be ships that find themselves lagging. This could be due to recent acquisitions lacking the necessary EEXI technical files, the absence of EPL installations, or ships that have inadvertently slipped through the regulatory cracks. To secure an extension, you must present your class authority with an Approved EEXI technical file and a commitment to install overridable power limitations promptly. And while you assure the class authorities of your intent, they will insist on manual power limitation as well, a task easier said than done.
The Convenient Choice
he convenient and expedient choice in such circumstances would be the Mechanical EPL. Particularly if you opt for our services at Verifavia, where our technical partners are strategically positioned in key maritime trade zones, whether it is the Mediterranean or the Indo-Pacific. We can have your EPL installed within a mere 2-3 weeks. However, it is advisable to take a moment to explore an alternative option for overridable power requirements, one that promises long-term benefits beyond mere compliance.
Mechanical EPL systems have a few limitations, and they cannot be applied to all situations. The most obvious one is that it can only be applied to MC engines and is not applicable to ME engines. For ME engines you will need to install an electronic EPL system or a ShaPoLi system. Both are more expensive options when compared to mechanical EPL.
ShaPoLi: An Alternate Path with Operational Perks
In terms of operational advantages, a ship equipped with ShaPoLi enjoys a seamless response to emergencies and additional power needs. The crew can simply increase power to the unlimited maximum, and the system automatically records the event as per MEPC requirements. This is a swift and efficient process, with the crew's involvement limited to two steps: increasing power as needed and clearing the ShaPoLi system alarm, followed by updating the log with reasons for utilizing the power reserve. In stark contrast, the mechanical EPL entails a cumbersome procss, taking 15-20, or even 30 minutes, demanding the manual release of seals, and resetting the governor locknut, and telegraph unit. This process necessitates the coordinated efforts of 2-3 crew members and carries the potential for error, not to mention the delay resulting from the standard EPL release procedure. Given these operational aspects, it is evident that ShaPoLi is the superior choice.
A minor yet significant benefit of the ShaPoLi system is its adaptability. If your ship needs to adjust its power limitation settings due to propulsion system upgrades or future, stricter regulations, a simple software update or change in settings for the ShaPoLi system is all that is required. This can be seamlessly executed by the crew during the voyage, provided there is a robust internet connection. In contrast, mechanical EPLs necessitate a service engineer's visit at a port or drydock, incurring additional costs and efforts for the ship and operator.
The principal long-term advantage lies in ShaPoLi's ability to not only fulfill compliance requirements but also pave the way for a digital twin system. ShaPoLi continuously monitors the ship's propeller shaft power transmission and can transmit this data to the ship's head office or operators. This regular data stream offers ample opportunities for optimizing the ship's performance, spanning machinery maintenance, and voyage optimization. This means that the ship's operator can not only meet compliance standards but also recoup the system's costs by maximizing operational efficiency.
The ShaPoLi Trade-Off
Naturally, there is a trade-off with the ShaPoLi system. It comes at a higher cost, a longer lead time, and requires more installation time. The lead time for ShaPoLi systems typically falls within the 5–8-week range, with installation taking approximately 2-3 days, contingent on the ship's readiness. The ship's crew will need to lay down cables between the engine room, control room, and wheelhouse before the installation team's arrival. They must also secure the ShaPoLi stator frame near the propeller shaft. These factors need to be considered when opting for ShaPoLi installation.
In conclusion, when deciding between EPL and ShaPoLi, you must weigh the pros and cons carefully.
- EPL offers speed and affordability in the short term, but it is a single-purpose system with a similar time and cost commitment if alterations are needed. EPL release times can be inconvenient during operations and even potentially risky.
- ShaPoLi, while more expensive and demanding a longer lead time and installation process, provides long-term benefits extending beyond regulatory compliance. It also facilitates easy adjustments when needed.
- Shashi Bhushan, Naval Architect, Technical Expert Back to all Verifavia Shipping News