Fleet in service – exploit its potential, control costs: Lesser Power for Big Engines

By Peter Pospiech at October 17, 2013 10:28
Filed Under: Company News, drive systems, General, Marine Diesel Engines

De-rating of prime mover reduces fuel consumption

In today’s environment of slow steaming, a permanent engine reduction can increase remarkably the economy of existing vessels and reduce the fuel consumption under these new engine load conditions. Main engines are normally designed for a specific high speed. However, for Slow-Steaming another Power-Speed-Course is decisive. A throttling of the engines reduces the engine specific maximal continuous power (MCR) and with this, the designed maximal speed of the vessel permanently. This leads to a higher economy with lower specific fuel consumption (sfoc).

MV Cap San Nicolas (9.600 TEU) in service since May 2013

Measures for throttling include the modification of the injectors, plates between crosshead and piston rod as well as a new set-up of the turbo charger. This means, that always the engines technical data have to be changed. In addition also cylinders can be cut-off - this has to be done in connection with a new torsional vibration analysis.  

The most important step with a throttling project is a comprehensive analysis of the expected operational profile as well as the conceived vessels speed after the modification. Very often is the limitation of the engine power combined with an exchange of the propeller. The propeller diameter optimization for higher performance at lower engine speed can reduce the payback period of the throttling project. Certain throttling measures, particularly at mechanically controlled engines, can require additional NOx-measures, which may have negative results on the specific fuel consumption (sfoc). At the end of the day everyone knows that de-rating is worth doing so.

Vessels main propulsion engines must last a lifetime

Throttling is suitable for all vessels, particularly for container vessels.


Images / source: Hamburg Süd, MAN, GL

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