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Advanced risk and maintenance modelling in LNG carrier operations

Nwaoha, T C (2011) Advanced risk and maintenance modelling in LNG carrier operations. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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High demand of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in recent time requires LNG carriers in more frequent operations in order to meet customers' needs. To ensure that the LNG carriers are always reliable in service, it has become necessary to adopt various advanced modelling techniques such as Genetic Algorithm (GA), fuzzy logic and Evidential Reasoning (ER) for risk/safety assessment and maintenance modelling of LNG carrier operations. These advanced computational techniques can help to overcome challenges posed by uncertainties associated with the LNG carrier operations. Their usefulness is demonstrated using case studies in this research. Firstly, two major hazards of LNG carrier operations such as "failure of LNG containment system" and "LNG spill from transfer arm" are identified and estimated as high risk ones using a risk matrix technique and expert judgement. The causes (failure modeslbasic events) of these high risk hazards are analysed using a Fault Tree Analysis (FTA). The failure logics of their failure modes are established and Boolean algebra is applied to facilitate the evaluation of the failure probabilities and frequencies. Secondly, a GA model is developed to improve the safety levels of the LNG containment system and transfer arm, to minimise their maintenance costs and to realise optimal resource management. The GA is used to optimise a risk model that is developed with exponential distribution and parameters such as failure frequencies, unit costs of maintenance and new maintenance costs of the LNG containment system and transfer arm. Thirdly, the uncertainties of some parameters in the GA model such as unit costs of maintenance are subdued using the strength of Fuzzy Rule Base (FRB) in combination with GA. 125 fuzzy rules of LNG carrier system maintenance cost are developed, which makes it possible to facilitate the evaluation of maintenance cost in any specific LNG risk-based operation. The outcomes of unit costs of maintenance are used in the GA based risk model to update the optimal management of maintenance cost. Finally, the uncertainties of failure modes of the LNG containment system and transfer arm are investigated and treated based on the Formal Safety Assessment (FSA) principle using a Fuzzy ER (FER) approach. The fuzzy logic is used to estimate the safety/risk levels of those failure modes while the ER is used to synthesise them to facilitate the estimation of safety/risk levels of the top events. Risk Control Options (RCOs) are developed to manage high level risks. The costs for each of the RCOs are estimated and synthesised using ER, which facilitated the investigation of the best RCOs in risk-based decision making. There is no doubt that the methodologies proposed possess significant potential for use in improving safety and maintenance of LNG carrier operations based on the verifications of their corresponding test cases. Accordingly, the developed models can be integrated to formulate a platform to facilitate risk assessment and maintenance management of LNG carrier systems in situations where traditional techniques cannot be applied with confidence.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD61 Risk Management
T Technology > TP Chemical technology
Divisions: Maritime & Mechanical Engineering (merged with Engineering 10 Aug 20)
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2017 12:15
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2021 23:30
DOI or ID number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00006017
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6017
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