A new upgrade kit from GEA will help automate the functionality of its separators for marine applications
The new hardware and software are available as a retrofit service for OSC, OSD and OSE separators. GEA said a large liner shipping company (as yet unnamed) is already using the upgrade kit to help retrofit its container ships. The company said its customers will now benefit from cost savings, safe operation and an improved CO2 balance for their plants.
The marine upgrade kit digitally controls several separation processes in parallel using five ’guards’ monitoring and controlling important functions.
The FuelGuard reduces fuel loss during separator bowl emptying by precise, volume-based and fully automatic dosing of displacement water. According to GEA, the amount of fuel saved (calculated on a fleet of 50 container ships) is a cumulative 686 tonnes.
To reduce disposal costs, the BowlGuard optimises separator bowl ejection by actively controlling the ejection interval depending on the bowl volume and helps reduce sludge volume by up to 50%. The technical prerequisite for this solution is an activated FuelGuard package.
Many separators run at full capacity, even though the actual consumption of the running ship engine varies depending on the operation mode. GEA’s FlowGuard software adjusts the flow rate of the separator to the needs of the ship’s engines to ensure only as much fuel is processed as is actually required by the engines thus saving CO2 emissions.
GEA’s CatfineGuard helps to reduce cat fines. Tiny particles of aluminium and silicon oxide are filtered out by hot separation at temperatures of up to 110°C or by reducing the flow rate of ultra-low sulphur fuel oil. This requires a frequency-controlled feed pump and, if necessary, heat-resistant seals for hot separation.
Finally, the EffiClean cleaning unit provides a swift service to clean the disc packs of mineral oil separators. In contrast to laborious and time-consuming manual cleaning, GEA said separator discs using EffiClean can be cleaned in “20 minutes instead of the usual eight hours depending on the degree of contamination."
The cleaning process can be performed directly at the machine. It is no longer necessary to disassemble the bowl and the mobile cleaning unit fits into small spaces and is designed to withstand the demanding conditions on board.
GEA said it will continue to work on the development of digital functionalities for its separators.
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