Two-stroke engine designer WinGD is introducing a new system that brings the function of the gas valve unit (GVU) within its X-DF dual-fuel engines, easing installation and improving integration.
The role of the GVU is to regulate the pressure of gas from the fuel gas supply system to the engine and to shut down supply quickly and safely. GVUs usually sit in the engine room, although they can also be housed in a dedicated room. The new integrated gas pressure regulator (iGPR) incorporates that functionality within the X-DF engine.
The new concept results in a space saving in the engine room as well as a weight saving (of around 1,100kg compared to the GVU-equipped alternative design in the debut case), easing installation. But according to WinGD manager, marketing and application, Daniel Strödecke, the impact on control and communication is more significant than the weight and space savings.
“Rather than communicating between the GVU and engine via an external system, now there is just internal communication within the engine,” he said.
Integration is improved in other areas too. Interfaces with other equipment are simplified and more of the engine set-up can be completed by the engine builder rather than the shipyards. Mr Strödecke noted that the iGPR design enables installation of significantly smaller ventilation air fans, for example, and gives WinGD more control over the design and construction in general.
“If we want to optimise the pressure control valve it can be done without liaising with a third party,” he explained.
The system has been introduced on the first X52DF engines, destined for two 125,000 dwt shuttle tankers being built for AET by Samsung Heavy Industries. The engines are also notable for their ability to burn volatile organic compounds – the gasses emitted by crude oil under transfer – without the need for a reformer.
The iGPR will also be introduced on the X92DF engines that are set to power CMA CGM’s nine, gas-fuelled ultra-large container ships. It will eventually be rolled out across WinGD’s X-DF portfolio.