First dual fuel barge to sail in Europe

By Keith Henderson at November 08, 2011 02:58
Filed Under: Research & Development

In a project sponsored by the European Regional Development Fund, Europe’s first dual fuel inland waterways barge, the MTS Argonon, recently completed acceptance trials for ship owner Deen Shipping, Netherlands. The hull was built in China and delivered to Trico, Netherlands earlier this year for fitting out as an inland waterways tanker. The double hulled vessel has a LOA of 360 ft (110 m), beam 53 ft (16.20 m) and draft of 16.2 ft (4.95 m)  and 6,100 dwt.

Caption: MTS Argonon laden at speed on a Dutch river, showing LNG cryogenic storage tank on deck.
Image credit: Argonon Shipping BV

Propulsion is by twin 52 litre Caterpillar 3512 DF dual fuel engines each with a continuous A rating of 1,500 hp (1,118 kW) at 1,600 rpm and running on 80 per cent LNG and 20 diesel fuel giving a maximum speed of 10.5 kn.  

A 1,400 cu ft (40 m3) cryogenic LNG stores the gas is in a liquid state at -260 degF (-162 deg C)
and has sufficient capacity to fuel the vessel for a return trip from Rotterdam, Netherlands to Basel, Switzerland. The tank is installed on deck and is equipped with a vapourizer to change the gas from liquid to gaseous state. Engine coolant and a Capstone 30 kW microturbine auxiliary generator produce the heat required to operate the vapourizer.

A Dual Fuel Management System monitors demand and controls the gas supply.  The amount of gas required is based on the power output of the engine, rpm, temperature and pressure in the engine manifold. The Management System assures a fast response of the engine under all load conditions and compensates for changes in ambient temperature, barometric pressure and fuel quality.

Natural gas flow to the engine is controlled by a metering valve via a carburator which ensures the gas is thoroughly mixed with the combustion air. The homogenous mixture is fed into the combustion chamber via the turbocharger with the diesel fuel being injected in the usual way to  ignite the gas air mixture. The starting procedure is to run first on diesel fuel and allow the gas to be admitted in a controlled manner automatically by the management system.

Caption:  Caterpillar 3512 DF dual fuel engine with an output
of  1,500 hp (1,118 kW) operates on 80 per cent LNG and 20 diesel fuel.
Image credit: Pon Power bv

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