Navy Establishes New Surface Ship Maintenance Activity

By Edward Lundquist at November 17, 2010 15:01
Filed Under: Navy News

Navy Establishes New Surface Ship Maintenance Activity

From Naval Sea Systems Command Office of Corporate Communication Public Affairs

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- Navy leadership officially established the Surface Maintenance Engineering Planning Program (SURFMEPP) during a ceremony Nov. 8 at Norfolk Naval Shipyard.

SURFMEPP is a Naval Sea Systems Command activity responsible for managing the long-term maintenance requirements for ships in the surface fleet.

Initiated in May 2009 as a NAVSEA field activity called the Surface Ship Lifecycle Management (SSLCM) Activity, the ceremony officially established SURFMEPP as a shore command, responsible for providing a comprehensive assessment and sustainment infrastructure for surface ships.

Capt. Timothy Corrigan, who previously served as director of SSLCM, will now serve as the SURFMEPP commanding officer.

"We, as the surface maintenance community, face the challenge of changing the culture and means of identifying, managing, resourcing and planning the execution of the necessary technical requirements that will enable each ship to reach its expected service life" said Corrigan. "We, as a nation, have an expectation that the ships and weapons' systems we purchase with hard-earned tax dollars will provide the greatest value and service for the entire time for which that system was intended."

The establishment of this command is part of a renewed focus on surface ship readiness. NAVSEA, in partnership with the U.S. Fleet Forces Command, has begun a series of initiatives to increase fleet support and improve maintenance practices across ship classes, while also modernizing them to keep pace with mission requirements. These initiatives are designed to ensure all surface ships are fully mission-ready and able to achieve their expected service life.

"I am counting on you to lead the way for the Navy to transform how we as a Navy address surface ship maintenance requirements," said Vice Adm. Kevin McCoy, commander, Naval Sea Systems Command. "This is not about a name change, but rather a change that recognizes the vital and significant revolution that has happened in how the Navy views the importance of surface ship maintenance. We are improving the communication between NAVSEA and fleet operators regarding ship maintenance and modernization."

Aligned under NAVSEA's Surface Warfare Directorate (SEA 21), SURFMEPP is headquartered aboard Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Va., with detachments in Norfolk, Va.; Mayport, Fla.; Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Yokosuka, Japan; and San Diego.
The activity is designed similarly to and will have the same functionality as the Submarine Maintenance Engineering Planning and Procurement (SUBMEPP) Activity and the Carrier Planning Activity (CPA).

Diesel engine safety for Germany, Austria and Switzerland

By Jocelyn Redfern at November 16, 2010 14:38
Filed Under: Company News

AMOT GmbH of Hamburg is now appointed official distributor for Chalwyn diesel engine safety products for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. 

Renowned for use where combustible gas, vapour or dust may exist and where sites demand special safety precautions, the range includes overspeed air and fuel shut-off valves, flameproof alternators, exhaust spark arrestors and complete engine monitoring and automatic shutdown systems.

Marine Diesel Engines – Exhaust Gas Emissions – Paying a Price

By George Backwell at November 16, 2010 12:50
Filed Under: General

Marine Diesel engines have a remarkable ability to work with a variety of fuels, ranging from Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) to Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) as well as a range of distillates of refined crude oil in between. Not surprisingly the ship-owner's fuel of choice for large two-stroke Diesel engines over the years has been HFO, the low-price by-product of oil refinery output. Onboard fuel oil treatment being taken care of by purifiers/calorifiers prior to fuel injection, and more recently by advanced computer driven fuel cleaning systems.

Unfortunately HFO is high in nitrogen, sulfur and ash, greatly increasing the NOx and SOx content in marine Diesel engine exhaust gas emissions, a fact which has led pollution control agencies worldwide – IMO, EU and other, localised, Emission Control Areas (ECA) –  to set progressively exacting limits in revised MARPOL VI.

A bleak future for ship-owners who were not already planning for year 2015 (when sulfur limits in the ECA's will be restricted to 0.1% m/m) was forecast by Per Brinchmann at the annual Bunker Oil and Energy seminar hosted by Wilhelmsen Ship Services in late October 2010,  explaining that it is technically almost impossible to supply HFO within that limit. He went on to suggest Diesel engines be powered by alternative fuels, including perhaps LNG and Gas Oil, and by fitting exhaust gas scrubbers.

Brinchmann was echoing a view expressed by Paulo Tremuli, Wartsila's Director of R & D Ship Power, Italy, in January, 2008 in a paper on the company's future intentions for exhaust gas emissions abatement: "Not much can be done at engine level to reduce sulfur emissions: what's in the fuel will be found in the exhaust." Tremuli forecasted at the same time a focus on the development of cleaning exhaust gas by means of sea-water scrubbers, or by fresh-water scrubbers with an added alkaline solution – systems that are indeed now on the market.

In the meantime, ship-owners find themselves caught between 'a rock and a hard place' since whatever their choice, capital and running costs will be increased in their highly competitive market.  Ironically, environmentalists themselves will be among those to pick up the tab when the extra costs of meeting Tier lll emission targets inevitably begin to trickle down to customers.

Intelligent Combustion Monitoring

By Keith Henderson at November 15, 2010 15:34
Filed Under:

Wärtsilä has announced the introduction of an Intelligent Combustion Monitoring system (ICM) for its two stroke engines. Aiming to optimize both reliability and maintenance intervals of these engines, it follows the company's target to provide practical solutions that lower the through life cost of operating its products. It extends the present Wärtsilä family of condition monitoring devices to provide a performance and condition monitoring solution.

The system will be introduced in three stages: initially as a reporting service, then in 2011 it will be linked to the electronic RT-flex engines to allow automatic compensation and adjustments according to the ICM system and lastly it will be linked to the non-electronic RTA engines.

ICM's strength as a monitoring system is that it measures combustion pressure against crank angle / piston position for each stroke of each cylinder to give a very accurate report of the combustion process. This provides an absolute as well as a comparative indication of the thermal and mechanical loading of the individual cylinders, power produced and fuel efficiency. Comparing the data with the other cylinders and optimum values, it will indicate mechnical problems such as worn cylinders, broken or damaged piston rings, exhaust valve condition and fuel injection errors.

Earlier this year ABB and Wärtsilä signed a co-operation and distribution agreement for the ABB Cylmate monitoring system which integrates with the ICM. Under the agreement, Wärtsilä takes responsibility for global sales, installation, and lifetime service of the system for all two-stroke engines, both for upgrades to engines in operation and as an option for new-buildings.

World's First Hybrid Tug to Get a Sister

By Keith Henderson at November 15, 2010 11:16
Filed Under:

Foss Maritime Company, who delivered the world's first hybrid tugboat Carolyn Dorothy in 2009, is to refit a conventional tug of the same class to hybrid operation.

A $1 million grant obtained by the Port of Long Beach from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to the Port of Los Angeles will make possible the conversion to provide a second hybrid tug for the Southern California fleet. The aim is to reduce harmful exhaust emissions and improve fuel efficiency.

Foss will retrofit the 24m Dolphin Class tug Campbell Foss, The present twin Caterpillar 3512B HD main engines developing up to a total power of 3,800 kW and the mechanical drive will be replaced by electric motors driving the twin azimuthing pods. New diesel generators, batteries, and control systems will complete the hybrid changeover. Batteries may be charged using the onboard gensets or from a shore supply when alongside providing a cold ironing capability.
Projections anticipate a fuel saving of 100,000 galls of diesel fuel annually, and a substantial decrease of exhaust emissions with reduction estimates of at least 1.7 tons of particulate matter, 53 tons of nitrogen oxides, 1.2 tons of reactive organic gases and 1,340 tons of CO2. A significant reduction in noise and vibration levels is a further benefit.

A Dolphin Class tug. (photo credit: Foss Maritime Company)

Mass Flow Meter Adoption Could Be Industry Standard for Fuel Suppliers, Says OW Bunker

By Jocelyn Redfern at November 10, 2010 19:46
Filed Under: Company News, General

Despite requirement for further R&D and MID approval, ‘next generation’ technology is central to optimising control procedures, increasing supply efficiencies, further professionalising the industry, as well as building customer trust

Mass flow meters represent an essential element of further professionalising the fuel supply industry and continuing to build trust with ship owners and operators, says OW Bunker, one of the world’s leading suppliers and traders of marine fuel oil. 

OW Bunker pioneered the initial adoption of mass flow meters, when it installed the technology on vessels within its global fleet five years ago in order to ensure and further enhance its quality control processes.  Based on the positive results, the company believes that over time, the technology could become an ‘industry standard’ for fuel suppliers as a means of helping customers to drive further efficiencies within their operations, and continuing to increase professionalism in bunkering.   To achieve industry standard status, mass flow meters would have to be formally approved under the European Union’s Measuring Instruments Directive (MID).

Mass flow meters provide the most sophisticated, quick and accurate method of measuring the amount of fuel oil that is transferred during the bunkering process.  Despite this, many suppliers within the industry continue to use manual tank gauging and sounding on a widespread basis.  Mass flow meters also supersede - particularly in relation to the ease of installation and price - positive displacement flow meters.

“Clearly the process of widespread adoption and installation across the industry will take time, but it must be recognised as the right progressive move that customers want to see,” says Søren Christian Meyer, Global Sales Director, OW Bunker.

“It makes good sense on every level.  Mass flow meters make life easier for the crews of both the bunker barge and the receiving vessel, and the customer receives a full service solution that ensures the quantity of fuel oil delivered, creating a smoother and faster bunkering service.  Ultimately this increases efficiencies within our customers’ operations, which is an absolute priority for us in adding as much value as we possibly can.”

Mass flow meters are also particularly beneficial when conducting high seas and offshore bunkering, a service that OW Bunker has specific expertise in, where swells or rough waves make sounding difficult.

While mass flow meters represent the future in fuel quantity measurement, OW Bunker also believes that further modifications need to be made to the technology by the manufacturers that are pioneering it.

“In our experience, mass flow meters are very accurate, however, there are still certain developments that need to be made as part of the continual R&D and evolutionary process,” says Steffen Kortegaard, Technical Director, OW Bunker.

“The meters are very sensitive towards external stress, vacuum and pressure pulsations, as well as pulsations in the fuel oil that come from gear pumps or engines that are nearby.  Despite this, these issues are not insurmountable, as mass flow meters clearly represent the most accurate method of calculation in what is a highly complex process.”

Dual Fuel Marine Diesel Engines – LNG & MDO – the Way Ahead?

By George Backwell at November 09, 2010 08:05
Filed Under: General

Marine Diesel engines, thanks to enormous technological strides in the past few decades, have proven themselves powerful, reliable and efficient, to the extent that by year 2000 motor ships composed no less than 98% of the merchant fleet. Despite these plaudits, regulatory bodies continue to penalise the Diesel engine for exhaust gas emissions inherent in a combustion process using Marine Diesel Oil (MDO) fuel that almost always leaves by-products of oxides of nitrogen, unburned hydrocarbons, and carbon monoxide in the exhaust smoke.

Environmentalists have the expectation that technology will solve all political and economic problems, and will not be disappointed to hear that developers have succeeded in harnessing low emission Liquid Natural Gas (LNG), a  clean fuel with lean burn combustion characteristics, to power the engine invented by Rudolf Diesel in 1897. Many analysts confirm the recent prediction of Klaus Deleroi, Senior V-P, MAN Diesel & Turbo SE, that: "When it comes to ship-propulsion technology, the future is gas. Not only for LNG carriers, but also for cargo vessels, ferries and even cruise liners."  In the light of such a bold prophesy, a brief look back may be helpful.

Boil-off cargo LNG was originally used in LNG carriers themselves to power steam turbine plant, but it was not until 2002 that the world's first LNG powered cargo vessel, Viking Energy came into service powered by a Dual Fuel system that enabled the main propulsion plant to run on either LNG or liquid fuel (in July 2010 a fourth similar Dual Fuel vessel was on order). It is this system that is becoming favored in some LNG carriers today. How is fuel-injection managed in the latest Dual Fuel technology?

The new MAN Diesel & Turbo SE Duel Fuel engines installed in the recently launched LNG carrier, Castillo de Santisteban, employ a common rail, spark inducing, 'micro-pilot' fuel-injection system for the engine when in LNG mode, and when running on liquid fuel a separate conventional camshaft operated fuel injection system takes over. MAN announced on 27, October 2010 that their 51/60DF engines installed in Castillo de Santisteban (when operated in LNG mode) already comply by a considerable margin with IMO Tier-lll limits for NOx without need for exhaust gas treatment. It appears the Diesel engine may soon enter a new LNG/MDO-fuelled era.


ZF Marine introduces Single POD Propulsion System with Joystick control at the 2010 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

By Jocelyn Redfern at November 08, 2010 14:29
Filed Under: Company News

ZF Marine LLC the North American division of the global ZF Marine Group introduced a revolutionary new approach to POD drive and joystick control technology in small pleasure craft applications.  Now joystick control is available to an even larger segment of the pleasure boat market.

In conjunction with SeaVee boats, ZF Marine has developed a complete propulsion system solution around a center console sport fishing application that will offer joystick control and maneuverability while employing the pleasure craft industry’s first single POD driveline.

The heart of the propulsion package from ZF Marine incorporates 3 main components: 
1. The ZF 2800 Series POD drive rated at 480bhp.  This POD has been redesigned to offer 180 degrees of total movement, (90 degrees of rotation to both port and starboard from the centreline).
2. The ZF 185 AC Thruster that introduced to the market at last year’s Fort Lauderdale show.  The ZF 185 Thruster is designed to offer proportional thrust, 30 minute continuous duty cycle, and smooth, quiet operation thanks to a patented thruster tube design.
3. ZF Marine’s proven SmartCommand™ controls with Joystick Maneuvering System (JMS)

Vessel control...simplifed

The JMS system is engaged when the Easidock™ feature is activated via a button touch on the SmartCommand™ control head.   During normal “at sea” operation the 2800 POD drive is restricted to 30 degrees of movement in either direction from center.  This restriction of movement is released in Easidock™ mode and the POD now has full 180 degree movement. The ZF 185 AC Thruster is also brought online at this time. 
As the vessel operator directs the joystick in any direction or combination of directions the JMS system incorporates POD thrust and varying amounts of thrust from the bow thruster.  Proportional control of the thruster means smooth engagement, and only as much thrust as needed to move the vessel in the desired direction. Proportional thrust, combined with an electronic compass tied to the main JMS control unit means there is no vessel yaw during sideways movement.
ZF Marine’s patented iAnchor™ station keeping functionality is also included in the Single Pod System. With the press of a button, iAnchor™ will compensate for wind and current holding the vessel’s position to as little as a 3 foot radius.



Using LPG to replace gasoline in boats

By Keith Henderson at November 07, 2010 18:26
Filed Under:

The city of Venice, Italy has been struggling with pollution from boats for a number or years. Not only is the wash damaging the fabric of the buildings, the problem of exhaust pollution from boats needs to be resolved. While changes have been introduced affecting the many commercial vessels that service the city’s everyday needs and wash reducing hull designs adopted, most of which are diesel powered, there are some 20,000 vessels using the city’s canals and lagoon that are privately owned recreation boats. Most of them are gasoline powered by outboard, sterndrive or inboard and something needed to be done about the level of emissions they produce.

Under a European Commission project, administered by the Venice Energy Agency, 20 per cent of the gasoline fleet, some 4,000 vessels, will be targeted for conversion to LPG as a fuel instead of gasoline.

The purpose of the conversion is to reduce CO2 emissions and make a significant reduction of harmful emissions, in particular hydrocarbons (HC), volatile organic compounds (VOC) and the carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH.) In an extremely sensitive environment like the Venice lagoon, an additional benefit of getting away from gasoline is the reduction of water pollution caused by spillage of gasoline into the water through careless refueling.

A major stumbling block to the introduction of LPG as a marine fuel was the simple fact that there were no marine LPG stations in Venice! This has however now been addressed with the opening of the first LPG facility earlier this year. It is hoped that a further three LPG refueling stations will follow to ensure adequate coverage for LPG powered boats.

Although some form of subsidy was considered for the costs of conversion from gasoline to LPG,
under the marvellous expression of “the self-incentivating cost/benefit ratio of LPG use” it is hoped that a subsidy will not be required and that the conversions will gain popularity due to the simple fact that in Italy, LPG is half the price of gasoline!

Refueling the onboard LPG tank is straightforward and uses a standard automotive connector.
The filler is located in the boat well so that any escaping gas goes overboard.

Caterpillar Powers Indian Coast Guard Patrol Boats

By Jocelyn Redfern at November 07, 2010 08:27
Filed Under: Company News

Caterpillar Marine Power Systems was selected to supply the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) with 72x Cat 3516C marine propulsion engines (2525 bkW @ 1800 RPM, ‘D’ Rating) and 72x C4.4 auxiliary generator sets (86 eKW @ 1500 RPM) to power 36 Interceptor Boats, which will be built by Larsen & Toubro Limited (L&T), Mumbai. The patrol boats will be constructed with an aluminum alloy hull and feature water jet propulsion.

“Globally the demand for power systems applications in patrol boats is on the rise. The 3516C marine engine and C4.4 generator set have demonstrated superior capabilities in patrol boats around the globe, delivering exceptional results when it matters the most,” said Kody Chan, Sales Manager – Asia Pacific. 
The engines and generator sets will be delivered over the course of three years, with the project scheduled to conclude in late 2013. The L & T Ship Design Center in Mumbai utilized the 3516C engine for much of the design work and finalized the decision to use Cat engines once tank test (scale model testing) was completed.

(Photo courtesy Caterpillar)

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