What fuel will ocean-going ships be burning 16 years down the road?

By George Backwell at March 14, 2014 22:23
Filed Under: Fuels & Lubes
Heavy fuel oil will remain the main fuel for deep sea shipping in year 2030 indicates new research from Lloyd’s Register and University College London’s Energy Institute. In a complex study involving many inter-related factors,  ‘Global Marine Fuel Trends 2030’ (GMFT 2030) limits itself to the container ship, bulk carrier/general cargo and tanker (crude & chemical/products) sectors which represent about 70% of the shipping industry’s fuel demand. VLCC: File photo Marine fuels considered: Ranged from liquid fuels used today (HFO, MDO/MGO) to their bio-alternatives (bio-diesel, straight vegetable oil) and from LNG and biogas to methanol and hydrogen (derived both from methane or wood biomass) were included in the study.Engine technologiesIncluded were 2 or 4-stroke diesels, diesel-electric, gas engines and fuel cell technology. Since the uptake of certain fuels is influenced by them, a wide range of energy efficiency technologies and abatement solu... [More]

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... [More]

Marine Diesel Engine ‘Mighty Midget’ Exhaust Gas Scrubber

By George Backwell at January 19, 2013 05:00
Filed Under: Company News, Scrubbers
Small-size, big performance, exhaust gas emission scrubbers by Green Tech Marine were recently installed by Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) in their Pride of America, following on the heels of an earlier pilot installation aboard Royal Caribbeans’ Liberty of the Seas. The scrubbers will be installed in March during the ship’s dry- docking in Pearl Harbor Naval shipyard to replace the ships silencers and clean the exhaust of four 8 MW engines,  in what the manufacturers claim to be the biggest marine scrubber installation in the world at this time.

 'Pride of America': Photo credit Wikimedia CCL 2 Paraphrasing Shakespeare’s Hamlet: ‘To scrub, or not to scrub, that is the question’ … For to be legal and comply with reduced SOX emission limits, in Emission Control Areas (ECA’s) ships can either operate on low-sulphur residual and distillate fuels or fit exhaust gas treatment systems (EGTS) otherwise known as SOX scrubbers. These systems clean ... [More]

New Marine Diesel Engines From John Deere EPA lll Compliant

By George Backwell at December 08, 2012 05:05
Filed Under:
Workboat, yacht, commercial fishing boat and other small utility boat operators will be interested to know that John Deere unveiled new EPA Tier 3 compliant marine diesel engines at the International WorkBoat Show 2012 just a few days ago.It’s been quite a week for the Moline, Illinois-based American company, established way back in 1837 and best known for its roots in agricultural equipment manufacture. Within days of launching its new range of marine engines, John Deere measured up to Thomson Reuters’s patent-related standards for recognition as one of the world’s top 100 innovators.Cutting to the chase, the company unveiled new 4.5L and 6.8L  propulsion and generator-drive engines to comply with imminent EPA Marine Tier 3 regulations that will impact on engines of that capacity from January 1, 2013: IMO Tier 2 and EU 97/68/EC emission exhaust gas emission compliance is also certified.The New 4.5L Engines Marine Diesel Engine 4.5L EPA Tier 3 Compliant: Image co... [More]

Turbocharger Fuel Saving VTA Technology by MAN Takes Off

By George Backwell at July 21, 2012 09:10
Filed Under:
Variable Turbine Area (VTA) geometry for the largest exhaust-gas turbochargers, introduced by MAN Diesel & Turbo about four years ago, recently topped the hundred sales mark according to the manufacturers, as the technology gradually proved itself effective in reducing fuel-oil consumption in medium and low-speed marine diesel engines.The VTA is designed for fitting on supercharged large-bore diesel engines with varying load profiles. Due to its adjustability, the VTA efficiently adapts to a wide range of engine operations, making it particularly useful for the present-day trend to slow-steam bulkers, tankers and container ships.MAN say that the first VTA unit delivered has so far accumulated over 20,000 operating hours running on engines using heavy fuel oil (HFO) to give fuel consumption savings of up to 5 g/kWh.VTA Turbocharging VTA technology enables the quantity of charge air to be more precisely matched to the quantity of fuel injected, encouraging reduced specific fuel co... [More]

Ships Slow Down – Piston Rings, Liners, Corrode Faster

By George Backwell at May 12, 2012 09:27
Filed Under: Company News, General
Ocean-going ships, presently in an excess for the amount of cargo to be lifted, increasingly steam at slower speeds in order to save expensive fuel oil bunker costs; better that than to be laid up reckon shipowners. Photo courtesy of Maersk Line The problem is that large marine diesel  engines are not designed to operate below 85% power for long periods without harmful effects; effects best ameliorated by getting lubricating oil of the right specs. After a quick look at lubricating oil solutions, a handy little device to check cylinder performance is spotlighted.Marine Diesel Engines & Slow SteamingExperts at Castrol Marine drew on OEM reports and their own engine performance tests to analyse the effects of slow steaming on engine performance, finding that the oil-feed rate as well as a lower engine operating temperature had a bearing on the amount of corrosion caused on piston rings and cylinder liners.At lower loads, the cylinder oil’s feed rate is reduced, making ... [More]

Marine Diesel Engines – Oil Fuel Tax Alarm May Hasten LNG Progress

By George Backwell at December 18, 2011 02:17
Filed Under: General
The international maritime sector is prime candidate to take the hit of a tax on shipping bunkers, analysts are convinced, after recent U.N. Climate Change talks in Durban agreed the design of a 'Global Climate Fund' to channel up to $100 billion a year to compensate poorer nations whilst leaving open the question of where the money would be coming from. Oxfam and green group WWF tabled a Durban motion calling for a carbon levy of  a massive $25 per tonne oil bunker tax but failed to obtain a consensus, nevertheless firing a warning shot across the industry’s bows. Latest news of advancements in the LNG fuel project for diesel engines, and a bullish forecast for future growth in LNG take-up follows below. LNG Supply Side DevelopmentsWorld-wide expansion plans for new LNG bunker station are reported by Zeus Intelligence listing in the past week supply proposals in such varied locations as on the Yangtze River; Port Fourcheon, Louisiana; Trinidad in the West Indies, and a... [More]

California Air Cleaner but Fuel Change Related Incidents on the Increase

By George Backwell at July 24, 2011 04:35
Filed Under: General
Results of an extensive atmospheric research project carried out in 2010 have now proved California’s clean-fuel regulations (applied within 24 miles of the coast since July 2009) have been effective in reducing Sulphur Dioxide air pollution from ships. In a recent press release,  Chairman of California Air Resources Board, Mary D. Nichols declared this as good news for California, and for the nation.  But there is a downside to that good news; the procedure of fuel-switching from heavy fuel (HFO) to low-sulfur distillate fuel oil (LSDFO) carries a risk of engine shutdown or malfunction, and the frequency of these incidents is on the increase.Spearheaded by scientists aboard NOAA research ship Atlantis the composition of emissions from more than 70 ships over 24 days was analysed during the ARB federal-state research project, and within that timeframe researchers also found that all ships were burning low-sulfur fuel. Assuredly, for economy, the majority had switched fu... [More]

Turbochargers – Lasers Used in Latest Repair Innovation

By George Backwell at December 06, 2010 03:06
Filed Under: Company News
Turbocharger parts destined for scrap can now be repaired using a new laser cladding technology, called ‘Laser Aided Additive Manufacturing’ (LAAM) introduced recently by Singapore-based turbocharger specialists TruMarine. In essence this works by focusing a laser beam on a metallurgical additive composition, bonding it to the component needing repair. Classification society Det Norske Veritas has already recognised that LAAM technology is more than a temporary repair of damaged or worn turbocharger parts by giving the process their approval. The cladding of turbochargers with particularly thin shafts, easily deformed by high temperature thermal repair, has been impossible up to now, but by means of LAAM technology they need not necessarily be replaced and discarded, but can be restored to the original quality of manufacture.The essential turbocharger has down to it the delivery of higher engine output, lower specific fuel consumption and cleaner exhaust gases, boosting th... [More]

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 rest... [More]

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