Auramarine has developed a partially automated system to simplify the change from heavy fuel oils to lower-sulphur marine gas oil distillate fuels onboard vessels entering and leaving emissions control areas (ECAs).
The new FuelSafe system utilises sensors to automatically 'steer' the fuel changeover process using real-time data to ensure the fuel temperature and viscosity of the different fuels remain stable throughout.
To successfully navigate the changeover process, FuelSafe compensates for temperature differences of up to 100°C and keeps fuel viscosity above 2.0 cSt while also protecting the fuel system from thermal shock by limiting temperature change at the engine inlet to 2°C/minute or less.
Auramarine’s product manager said the group developed the system to combat the host of problems that crop up during changeovers.
Ville Kaataja said “The need for this solution emerged from the demand for urgent troubleshooting and repair due to loss of performance, fuel injection failures, the sticking of fuel pumps, malfunctions caused by thermal stress or even machinery seizure during changeover. A controlled changeover process will assist in preventing such malfunctions, machinery wear and downtime. Our goal was to convert this complex process into a simple and safe task for the operator.”
The specifications for fuel changeover procedures vary from vessel to vessel, and Auramarine say their FuelSafe system accounts for these differences and can be retrofitted as well as installed during vessel construction or upgrades.
Aurmarine chief executive Ole Skatka Jensen said “We find it essential that the fuel changeover system is deigned accordingly with the necessary range of features to ensure a safe and reliable changeover process.”