MV Selandia Centenary

By Keith Henderson at June 05, 2012 07:52
Filed Under: General, Industry Events

One hundred years ago, the Danish engineering company Burmeister & Wain (now MAN Diesel & Turbo) was one of the few companies that foresaw the possibilities of Dr Rudolph Diesel’s invention. Not only were they able to see the commercial opportunities but had the engineering experience from steam engines and the talent how to construct a reliable diesel engine.

Caption: The M/V Selandia under way off the Danish coast during sea trials in 1912.
Image credit: MAN Diesel & Turbo

Just how much a market leader Burmeister & Wain had become can be seen from Lloyd’s Register dated 1929. The records show that the number of motor ships over 2,000 GT with diesel engines amounted to 381 four stroke engines built by Burmeister & Wain with two stroke engines being built by Sulzer numbering 102 and Doxford (Junkers License) 53 ships: the rest made up from MAN, Werkspoor and Krupp.

MV Selandia displacing 7,000 t, entered service in 1912 and was the lead class of five ships with the other four sister ships built at various shipyards in Europe. They all had twin Burmeister & Wain four stroke crosshead engines type DM 8150-X giving a service speed of 11 kn. On the Selandia’s acceptance trials she reached a speed of 12.2 kn. The engine was an in-line eight cylinder with bore of 530 mm and stroke of 730 mm and the bmep of 6.4 bar produced 920 kW at 140 rpm. It was a direct reversing engine whereby the engine was stopped, the camshaft slid on its bearings to the reverse position and another set of cams actuated to provide the correct valve timing to operated the engine in reverse rotation. From full ahead to full revers took only 20 seconds.

There were two 186 kW auxiliary diesel engines each with four cylinders. Each was driving a 220 V DC generator providing on board electrical power. At the free end of the generators there was a clutch to engage a compressor, used to produce the compressed air to operate the fuel injection system. Electric motors were used to start the main engines by turning the 6.5 ft (2 m) diameter flywheels.

On her eight week maiden voyage from Copenhagen to Bangkok, Selandia’s average fuel consumption for main and auxiliary engines was equivalent to 0.224 kg fuel per indicated kW.

It is interesting to note that in comparison to a coal fired steam ship of similar size there would usually have been a crew of around 36 of which 25 would have been engine room personnel: Selandia’s diesel engine room required only eight!


Caption: The towering eight cylinder Burmeister & Wain four stroke DM 8150-X engine
had an output of 920 kW at 140 rpm.
Image credit: MAN Diesel & Turbo

Comments (1) -

Can you proceed this article with details of later engines up to the present day as I have sailed in B&W Double acting to MC series. Thank you-RG

Ranjith Gurugamage |     6/6/2012 9:27:38 PM #

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