Older Ship Engines Concern MOU Inspectors, But Who’s to Blame?

By George Backwell at February 21, 2014 23:51
Filed Under: General, Marine Diesel Engines

More than half of all ship detentions involved ships of 20 years or more in age according to preliminary results from the recent Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) on Propulsion and Auxiliary Machinery in the Paris MoU region. Problem areas included the propulsion of the main engine, cleanliness of the engine room and emergency source of power/emergency generator.

There is a saying that research confirms what you already knew, and the essential inspection finding that things are more often not as they ought to be in an older engine room than in a more modern one is no exception to that rule. Why that should be so is not pointed up in the CIC preliminary report, so we’ll circle around that question here.

Cleanliness is next to …
There’s no excuse for badly maintained and dirty machinery in dirty engine room compartments –  no matter what the age of the ship – but far more time and effort is needed to keep them up to the mark. Sleeves have to be kept rolled up to avoid compromising the safety of the whole ship: according to classification society DNV GL casualty statistics, more than 60% of all engine room fires have been initiated by oil of one kind or another, fuel, lube or hydraulic fluid, coming into contact with a hot spot. The photo below taken aboard a Port State Control detained ship qualifies as a fair example of a marine accident waiting to happen.

Main engine detail bulk carrrier (keel laid 1980): Photo courtesy office of Paris MOU

Marine diesels are long-lived
There seems little excuse for owners unwilling to spend on maintenance and correct operation of engine plant, as marine engines have no ‘built-in obsolescence’, on the contrary the major manufacturers are fiercely competitive and work constantly to extend the durability of components, the periods between major overhauls, and to simplify operation and maintenance.

Such was evidenced in 2009 when the European Union approved the ‘Hercules-Beta Project’ which was a major international cooperative effort by major engine builders to maximise fuel efficiency, and to develop future generations of optimally efficient and clean marine diesel engines.

Propulsion and Auxiliary Machinery CIC Analysis
Richard Schiferli, Secretary-General Paris MoU on Port State Control informs that the detailed results of the September/November of 2013 campaign will be further analysed and findings will be presented to the 47th meeting of the Port State Control Committee in May 2014, after which the report will be submitted to the International Maritime Organization.

The CIC preliminary report can be accessed via: https://www.parismou.org/preliminary-results-cic-propulsion-and-auxiliary-machinery

New Shipbuiling Contract for Cassens-Shipyard in Emden

German shipping company Norden-Frisia has ordered a new diesel-electric ferry which will be built at Cassens Werft in Emden. The delivery is expected in summer 2015. According to the shipping company the new build with a modified exhaust after treatment system from Kurre Abgastechnik and with a diesel particle filter. Norden-Frisia says that the power plant will reduce emissions by up to 90% and very fine particulates by up to 99%, “…with this we will have almost the same emission values like with a natural gas driven ferry”. Same like the FRISIA VIII, which was the first German island ferry awarded with the German environmentally quality certificate “Blue Angel Ship Design”, also the new build is planned to receive this award.
The vessel will be of identical dimensions to Norden-Frisia’s FRISIA IV, which features 70.7 m. It is planned to have the double ender’s Voith Schneider propellers in combinatory operation, a development which the owners said meant that surplus heat and LED lighting could also be utilized.
The planned rive concept looks like to be four Mitsubishi / AvK diesel generators and one MAN-LS emergency / port generator. The AvK generators will be driven by Mitsubishi Diesel type S6R2-T2-MPTK and the LS generator ny a MAN type D2866 LXE engine.
The new ferry of 325 tonnes and drawing 1.75 m, is designed to carry about 1.340 passengers and 60 cars and be ideal for the shallow waters between port of Norddeich and the offshore island of Norderney.  It will be built in accordance with EU-regulations and  for coasting trade on the sands.  The ship is fully air conditioned and fitted out with lounge,  restauration,  gallery  and  food lift.  The ship is designed for carrying cars and trucks with dangerous goods.  Due to the four Voith-Schneider  propulsion  plants  the  vessel  has best  manoeuvring   quality   at   all   weather conditions.  The hull  is  made  in  light-weight construction to fullfill the speed requirements of the shallow water seaway to the island.


graph source: Norden-Frisia

Reliability ensures order for Alfa Laval’s PureSOX

By Peter Pospiech at February 18, 2014 04:00
Filed Under: Company News, Fuels & Lubes, Scrubbers

Following a similar order from DFDS earlier in 2013, a repeat order for PureSOX was placed by Dutch ship owner Spliethoff near the end of the year. The order confirms not only the commercial viability of the exhaust gas cleaning system, but also customer confidence in the system’s performance within Emission Control Areas (ECAs).

SOx Emission Control Areas (SECAs)

Signed in November, the order from Spliethoff comprises PureSOX systems for five Con-Ro vessels. The vessels will be retrofitted between June and December of 2014 reports the company.
PureSOX is a hybrid scrubber system, able to operate with either seawater or fresh water. And while the technology is relatively new, it has been demonstrated to reduce sulphur content in vessel exhaust by more than 98%. 
An order based on real-world experience
Spliethoff, one of the largest ship owners in the Netherlands, has been operating with PureSOX aboard the M/V Plyca. Alfa Laval delivered the system in 2012, and it has been in continuous use aboard the vessel ever since it was installed. Sailing within the North European ECA, the M/V Plyca has logged more than 6000 hours in full compliance with the new IMO regulations.
Cleaning exhaust from multiple engines
The PureSOX system installed aboard the M/V Plyca is a multiple-inlet system, able to clean the exhaust gas from both the main and auxiliary engines. The same will be true for the deliveries in the new order. Each will serve four Wärtsilä engines with a combined power of 28 MW, handling an exhaust gas mass flow of 132,000 kg/h.
Spliethoff’s experience with the multiple-inlet installation aboard the M/V Plyca is that it is both efficient and reliable. According to Alfa Laval this can be expected no matter how many of the inlets are used at a given time. “With PureSOX, we’ve established very effective means of closing off the pathways from engines that aren’t in use,” the company says.

MV Plyca with Alfa lavals PureSOx Scrubber

Centrifugal separation – a key to success
Another area where PureSOX has proven effective is the cleaning of the scrubber wash water. PureSOX saves on caustic soda and fresh water by operating in an open loop with seawater. But in low-alkalinity waters or in harbours and other areas where discharge is strictly regulated, a closed loop with fresh water is an alternative. The fresh water in a closed loop must be cleaned, which has proven an Achilles heel for many exhaust gas cleaning systems. The roll and pitch of rough seas, for example, can make it difficult for filtering, settling or flocculation processes to manage their job. In PureSOX, however, Alfa Laval’s expertise in high-speed centrifugal separation has provided an answer.

Alfa Lavals PureSOX Scrubber, very effectic and easy to be retroffited


images source: Alfa Laval

Boat Engine Monitoring, Remote Logging & Protection System Upgraded

By George Backwell at February 14, 2014 20:55
Filed Under:

Yacht charterers and workboat operators may be interested to hear that the satellite-based tracking, monitoring and notification system GPlink has just been upgraded so that fleet commercial users can download reports detailing fuel burn and engine hours for any chosen time frame.

The sensing system, GPlink, in conjunction with the Iridium Global Network, protects yachts and workboats by remotely monitoring engines and on-board critical systems and relaying data wirelessly to an internet enabled computer on shore. The manufacturers say that although this new feature has only been available for a few weeks, fleet managers have found it a useful tool for information sharing with vessel owners. Business managers are enthusiastic too, as it helps determine profit and loss on jobs; apparently one charter company even uses these reports to invoice at separate rates for running versus non-running hours.

On-board monitoring units: Photo courtesy of GPlink

Information provided
GPLink monitors marine engines and critical systems in a wide range from bilge and battery levels to power interruption, fire alarms and engine diagnostics, all the while tracking the precise location of the boat.

Additional reports and archiving for commercial vessels include:
    •    Fuel usage by day/week/month/shift
    •    DM2 code history
    •    Alert history
    •    Geofence history
    •    Location/position history and log

Coverage & interface
On board sensors feed information to the communication system which provides reliable worldwide coverage, no matter where the boat goes. . 

The manufacturers claim that the system (developed specifically for Caterpillar powered yachts & commercial vessels, but also available for other makes of engine) can interface with more DM and DM2 codes than any other remote monitoring solution. The on-shore receiving dashboard can be easily configured to track any of the resulting multitude of available diagnostics .

The system has a small, unobtrusive footprint, with no exterior or hard-top mountings required. The transponder unit and small wired antenna is usually mounted under the helm console or engine room.

Data archives
Beyond showing near real-time data, GPlink also archives all data, which can be referenced at any time. On-demand reports can be compiled by date range, shift, alarms, DM codes, geofences, engine logs and position. Users also get monthly updates on any alarms received during the month, a complete engine diagnostic report and any other important updates.

Remote Monitoring

Remote display using 'Follow Vessel': Image courtesy of GPlink

Floating assets can be monitored from any internet enabled computer, smart phone or mobile device. Owners, operators and engineers can track operating parameters and assess system efficiency in near real-time.

Users have only to tap the ‘Follow Vessel’ tab to bring up a view of a chart with the vessels current location plotted on it without the need to use custom search features; and this view will continue to update as long as the vessel is under power: a feature that will simplify things, especially for anyone who charters out a yacht.

More information: gplink.com



No positive shifts on bunker claims

By Peter Pospiech at February 13, 2014 04:00
Filed Under: Fuels & Lubes, General

Damages’ risks due to unsatisfactory fuel quality expanding in leaps and bounds

Jens Maul Jorgensen, Director for fuel and risk management at the Lübeck shipping company Oldendorff Carriers, warned on an event of the insurance company Skuld in Hamburg. Recent statistics of the from Oldendorff engaged test laboratory showed that the amount of negative checked fuel probes, on a worldwide basis, has been drastically increased during the last year from 21 to 23%.
The situation “frightens me” warned Jorgensen, who is also President of the International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA). He expects that the bunker quality of the available bunker in the ports is going to be worse during the next years. Many factors are responsible for this. Of the one part more and more amounts of heavy fuel must be mixed respectively diluted to reduce the sulfur content which will be restricted during the next years, because of the upcoming international standards. Hereby increases the risk of impurities by so called Cat Fines. It refers to aluminum and silicon compounds, which are inserted as a catalyst during the refinery process of the crude oil. They are extremely damaging to engines.

A high amount of inorganic particles, like cat fines, can damage easily the engine

Bunker supplier are under extreme price pressure because of the strained economically situation of the shipping companies. “Supplier taking increased risks and mix the fuel more and more.” The expert invites shipping companies and charterer, to control more exact the documents of the fuel supplier to enforce compensation claims.
Vessel damages have dramatically increased during the recent years because of Cat Fines according to HIS Fairplay. Till November 2013 nine cases have been recorded, in the year 2001 it was only one case.

source: Oldendorff Carries

MAN’s New EcoCam reduces fuel consumption

MAN EcoCam further optimises slow-steaming concept

MAN Diesel & Turbo has introduced the MAN EcoCam as a retrofit solution for the low-load optimisation of its low-speed, mechanical engines with single turbochargers. The EcoCam offers significant fuel savings of 2 - 5 g/kW – with short payback times – and delivers an increased Pmax cylinder pressure through the adjustable exhaust-valve timing.

Christian Ludwig – Head of Retrofit & Upgrade – MAN Diesel & Turbo, said: “Slow-steaming is now an established industry standard across all segments, including the tanker and bulker markets, and MAN continuously seeks to further refine its technology and improve efficiency. The MAN EcoCam adjusts the exhaust-valve timing between 10 and 60% load, giving a 2 - 5 g/kW fuel saving with minimal to no interruption to a vessel's schedule during installation. . For smaller engines, this can result in a payback period of as little as 1½ years as is the case, for example, with a 6S50MC-C engine with 6,000 annual running hours.”

He concluded: “The MAN EcoCam has been thoroughly tested and we are happy that we are now able to provide our customers with a low-load tuning method for mechanically controlled engines with a single turbocharger.”

The EcoCam offers significant fuel savings of 2 – 5 g/kW – with short payback times.

The MAN EcoCam introduces a flexible cam profile, called a virtual cam. The profile is controlled hydraulically by adjusting the amount of actuator oil in the hydraulic pushrod.
Low-load tuning has an impact on torsional vibration and NOx. When a low-load tuning method is installed on an engine, the torsional vibrations’ impact and the NOx level have to be taken into account to ensure that the vibrations’ impact is not harming the engine and that the NOx level is in compliance with IMO regulations.
The earlier closing of the exhaust valve provides a higher compression pressure, thereby delivering a higher combustion pressure and lower fuel-oil consumption. Flexible exhaust-valve timing has traditionally only been available to electronically controlled engines.

source / image: courtesy of MAN Diesel&Turbo

Engine Waste Heat Recovery: Latest MAN PTS-PTG System

By George Backwell at February 07, 2014 21:03
Filed Under: Marine Diesel Engines

Up to 5% of additional power can be extracted from the main engine exhaust gases by the first marine application of a new generation of Waste Heat Recovery (WHR) units from MAN Diesel & Turbo.

The order for the TCS-PTG 20 (Turbo Compound System with Power Turbine and Generator) units is for a pair of  4,700 TEU container ships being built for Germany’s Reederei Horst Zeppenfeld in the Samjin Shipbuilding in Weihai, China.  These WHR units, which have recently passed their factory acceptance tests at MAN Diesel & Turbo’s Augsburg’s facility, will run alongside the MAN B&W 6S80ME-C9.2 low-speed main engines (rated at 27,060 kW) and the engine builders say they will also supply four TCA88 turbochargers, two for each ship.

Through using the TCS-PTG units, Zeppenfeld look not only towards saving fuel but for a reduction in the operating costs of their gensets as these can be run on part-load or switched off when the TCS-PTG units are in operation.

Briefly this is how the WHR system works: the power turbine is inserted into the exhaust gas system parallel to the turbochargers where it drives an electrical generator via a reduction gearbox and receives up to 13% of the exhaust gas flow, diverted from the main engine exhaust gas receiver, as shown in the diagram below.

Marine Diesel Engine Waste Heat Recovery System:Diagram courtesy of MAN

Depending on the size of the MAN Diesel & Turbo engine involved, a maximum of 4,700 kW can be produced. The additional power output from the TCS-PTG system is in the form of 50 or 60 Hz electrical energy for the onboard power grid.

With this TCS-PTG 20 waste heat recovery ‘stand alone’ unit in operation, auxiliary engine fuel, emissions and maintenance costs can be saved and generator set maintenance more flexibly planned, since it can be carried out while while the ship is at sea.

Main components
    •    Exhaust gas driven power turbine and gearbox.
    •    Coupling PTG-generator
    •    Synchronous or asynchronous generator
    •    Control and safety equipment consisting of: control valves, emergency valves
    •    TCS-PTG-control cabinet including unit software
    •    Thermodynamic layout

 Waste Heat Recovery System Components: Image courtesy of MAN

MAN Diesel & Turbo claim that used in combination with high efficiency turbochargers on the main engine, and depending on fuel oil prices, payback periods as short as 2 to 3 years can be expected.

Source: MAN Diesel & Turbo


DNV GL stamps Methanol powered Tanker

The worldwide first with Methanol powered vessels will navigate with DNV GL Class the classification society announced recently.

The four 50.000 tdw tanker have been ordered by the Swedish shipping company Marinvest and the Norwegian company Westfal-Larsen at the Korean shipyard Hyundai Mipo Dockyards. The classification follows according the DNV GL regulation for fuels with low flashpoint. The very first tank ship shall be delivered by 2016.
DNV GL says the sulfur free fuel with low flashpoint (Low Flashpoint, LFL) of about twelve degrees Celsius becomes more and more attractive for the maritime industry, because this fuel fulfills the upcoming SOx-limit values in the emission control areas.
The vessels, which will carry the additional DNV GL mark LFL FUELLED, feature a secondary bunker system as well as an automatically leakage warning system with shot-off function and flame protection systems. Further building safety measures include the position of the tanks and fuel pipes.

The vessels will be equipped with MAN 2-stroke dual fuel engines

The power required to drive the vessel will be done by two MAN 2-stroke dual fuel engines of type MAN ME-LGI.
According to the classification society DNV GL, they are the first who have published regulations for LFL and sees with Methanol an alternative towards common fuel which produce some sulfur and nitrogen emissions. Ship engines can be retrofitted for the use of Methanol fuel.The engines will run on a blend of 95% methanol and 5% diesel fuel.

image: courtesy of MAN Diesel&Turbo

Ghost ships on the Oceans – Who says it doesn’t work? Part 2

New functions for the autonomous ship

The KISS principle will also be applied to the ship itself and it is also important to look at how existing vessels can be modified to support unmanned operation. At the hardware level, technical modifications will be necessary, for example to the fuel-processing system, while an electric-powered water-jet for back-up propulsion and steering may have to be retrofitted.
New sensors to replace the look-out are also an important part of the unmanned ship. A combination of high resolution radar, low-Iight and infrared cameras form the 'advanced sensor system'. Most of the technology involved is already available and its adoption would be more a question of cost than of general availability. The sensor-system will be integrated with more conventional equipment such as the AIS system and ARPA radar. Computer-based data fusion, using Information from the various sensors, will further increase the capability of the sensor system. All these systems are already in use on board the merchant ships. The MUNUN project develops this daily practices only further- it combines the existing with new sensors, systems and programs. New ship developments are not required - only another technic will be used to steer to vessel.
Shore supervision and control
But it will not be a pure robot vessel. A consequence of the KISS principle is the introduction of the shore control center (SCC), which will cooperate with the ship’s own system to ensure effective and safe operation. The vessel systems will relieve the SCC operators of tedious monitoring and control tasks for most of the voyage. In the event of something unexpected that is beyond the capacities of the onboard systems, the SCC can rapidly provide human guidance. On the other hand, minimizing SCC interaction with the vessel will be important as a means of reducing communication costs.

Automating the look-out also raises the issue of how to handle direct interactions with other vessels, VTS and other shore facilities. Such facilities must be in place that will enable AIS, VHF and other communication to be routed through to the SCC operator. Sensors detect when engine components are required to be exchanged because of upcoming wear – this has long been practice in the aircraft industry.
Project manager Christoph Burmeister at the Fraunhofer CML in Hamburg: “The primary function of the land based control is the continuously monitoring of the autonomous system. Of course, they can in case of doubts per remote control intervene, but our target is to minimize this as much as possible. Our target is an unmanned vessel hence it will be monitored continuously on a high level”.
Also at docking and undocking human beings shall overtake the control of the ship. When the ship leaves a port a minimal crew navigates the ship to the open sea and will be picked up by pilot boats or helicopter. From there on the vessel runs without “human crew” until it comes close to its destination where an additional crew takes over and brings the ship safe into port.
Bulk carrier will be the first ships which are in focus of the MUNIN-partners. But already today consider the scientists how they can implement other ship types into this program.
But much work still needs to be done before this objective can be achieved. In autumn 2015 the MUNIN project shall be finished. Not only technical aspects of the project still must be clarified. Beside engineers and computer scientists also lawyers are involved. For example there exist the UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea), which describes a statutory duty to feature a look-out. Can this be assumed by sensors, cameras and land based control stations? These are the issues that occupy the project partner as well, says Burmeister: “Some of the existing international regulations probably must be adapted”.
At the end a real autonomous vessel will be send off for the first time.

MUNIN project coordinator Chrsitoph Burmeister, Fraunhofer CML Hamburg, in front of the simulation equipment

Image / graph: PPM News Service, Fraunhoher CML

What’s Special About Third Generation Dynamic Positioning DP3?

By George Backwell at February 01, 2014 04:07
Filed Under: New Technology, Offshore

DP3 is a new offshore vessel positioning technology standard set by IMO that will enable a couple of new Farstad offshore vessels on the stocks in Norway to work safely in the most demanding and potentially dangerous situations using systems equipment provided by Rolls Royce.

Basically, to maintain an accurate position determined mainly by satellite navigation system (anchoring is not in itself precise enough) an offshore vessel needs to be equipped with propulsors and thrusters controlled automatically by a dynamic positioning (DP) system in such a way as to oppose the resultant force of wind, waves, tides and currents.

Dynamic positioning, propulsion & thruster schematic:
Courtesy of Rolls-Royce

Deep-water drilling for oil or gas (common now as shallower resources deplete) is an operation that often carries with it the need for jack-ups, construction and support vessels to operate in extremely demanding situations where any loss of position might result in fatal accidents, severe pollution or damage with major economic consequences. In such an environment Rolls-Royce’s most advanced DP3 system has been developed in order to help operators circumvent such catastrophes.

System redundancy is key
Icon DP3 is fully integrated with the Rolls-Royce propulsion and thruster (P&T) control system. System architecture features distinctive fault tolerance and positioning performance by combining two diverse and complimentary redundancy schemes. Maximum effect of a single failure in the control system is loss of one thrust device or one sensor group.

Icon DP 3 consists of two separate and diverse DP control systems, a triple redundant DP Main system and a single DP Alternate system, set up in an online / hot standby redundancy scheme.

The combined redundancy schemes of Icon DP 3 enhance system dependability as DP Alternate has no dependencies with DP Main, is ready to accept command and maintain position at any time and increases tolerance to systematic faults as shown below.

DP 3 redundancy: Schematic courtesy of Rolls-Royce

DP Main is the primary system for DP operation and features:

• Dual redundant network

• Triple redundant controllers working in parallel in triple work-by scheme

• Distributed 2-out-of-3 voting

• Graceful degradation and online repair

• Fire tolerance ensuring continuous DP operation in case of fire in one zone

Arnt-Ove Austnes, Rolls-Royce, Sales Manager – Automation and Control, said: "An increasing number of offshore operations are performed with rigs and vessels having to be kept in precise position without using anchoring systems. With an increased focus on risk limitation in the oil and gas sector, we expect a growing demand for DP3 classed vessels."

Source: Rolls Royce



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