ABB: Optimizing Engine Performance on Land and Sea

Creative solutions provided by ABB provide safety to the environment and promotes reliability. ABB specializes in Measurement and Analytics services that take great pride in the development of analyzers and instrumentation systems that make it easy for clients to handle daunting measurement applications. This article describes the process in which the shipping and power company enjoys improved fuel-saving and reliability of large diesel engines.

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Today, the two major issues facing ship operators and owners are fuel reliability and costs. Considering the recent environmental policies, the importance of these elements will continue to become more critical as there is a projected increase in the demand for sea trades.

Real time information is required to properly manage the effectiveness of the ship engine. An optimum ship engine is one that saves a lot of fuel and reduces the wear of parts as its cylinder is properly balanced in operation. Any engine that is not properly balanced can quickly generate mechanical and thermal stress values that can increase the cost of maintenance and consumption of fuel.

The Cylmate system from ABB has been developed specifically to consistently monitor the effectiveness of the two stroke engine suitable for stationary and marine applications. Real time measurement of the rate of compression from every cylinder is provided by pressure transducers. Combining this with the accurate measurement of the crank shaft’s position delivers a comprehensive overview of the engine’s performance in real-time to provide proper adjustments of the combustion pressure by every stroke.

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Introducing Cylmate can help to limit fuel consumption rate between 1 or 2%. This can seem quite small but considering the rate of consumption of large fuels in tons every hour, as little as a small percentage gain can be quite a lot in savings. As a matter of fact, the profit generated from a normal monitoring system based on an optimized fuel economy will begin before the end of one year.

Similar to other transportation methods, ships are also increasing in sophistication with different electronic components being installed to control engines. Since this is becoming a norm in the industry, it is required to take continuous measurement of the combustion pressure.

The enormous Maersk “Triple E”, which is the biggest and most advanced container vessels available today also depend on the Cylmate for engine performance optimization to reduce costs.

However, the advancement of engine technology goes beyond marine vessels as it can also be used in a stationary engine for generating electricity to also improve fuel efficiency and overall performance.

Measurement and Analytics solutions provided by ABB have also been beneficial to Barbados Light & the Company (BL&C) to provide electricity to over 280,000 people from diesel-powered generators. Two different Cylmate systems have been installed by BL&P at their power station in Spring Garden to track the performance of engines and guarantee a maximum level of reliability. The system has provided fresh insights into the performance of engines by recognizing engine conditions that can facilitate worn out cylinder liner which could result in an expensive engine failure.

Diesel engines will continue to be a reliable power source many years from now whether at sea or on the land. However, they will continue to encounter serious regulatory and economic performance challenges. Innovations such as combustion pressure control and monitoring will be a very crucial tool to ensure that these standards are met.

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