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Based in Augsburg, MAN Diesel & Turbo is the world's leading supplier of large diesel engines and turbomachinery. MAN Diesel & Turbo employs around 14,900 staff at more than 100 international sites, primarily in Germany, Denmark, France, Switzerland, the Czech... more.
Head of Marine and Off Shore Sales, 2 and 4 Stroke Engines
CIMAC Heavy Fuel Working Group
ISO 8217 Heavy Fuel Oil
sales and marketing
Speaking at the event last year, Kjeld Aabo, director customer support, MAN Diesel & Turbo, emphasised the importance of keeping up to date with lubrication requirements as knowledge of low-sulphur fuels increases.
"While operating on low-sulphur fuel is not new, this remains an area in which the industry still has relatively little experience," he explained.
Roman (left), event moderator Bill Lines, Aabo and Räss formed an expert panel to discuss the rapidly evolving challenges to cylinder lubrication
Kjeld Aabo, director customer support, MAN Diesel & Turbo and Konrad Räss, senior manager, materials & tribology R&D at Winterthur Gas & Diesel (WinGD), addressed an audience of ship operators, media and other industry stakeholders at the event, organised jointly with Riviera Maritime Media. "We have never seen as much development in our engines as we have in the past three years, or as we will see in the next three," said MAN's Aabo. In response to the Energy Efficient Design Index, for example, MAN has developed a host of measures to enable reduced carbon emissions: the super-long stroke G-type engines, Kappel propeller blades optimised for slow steaming, electronically controlled gas injection and waste heat recovery and management systems. The link between engine efficiency and cold corrosion lies in the tuning of more modern engines. This enables higher pressure at part loads, which gives better fuel efficiency and lower NOx emissions, but also contributes to cold corrosion, where sulphuric acid caused by low temperatures and high pressure create excessive wear on cylinder liner. Aabo examined methods of reducing the amount of cooling water that flows around the cylinders. These included insulated piping to reduce flow in cooling pipes, a basic jacket water bypass system that reroutes 80% of the cooling water away from the cylinder, and a cylinder liner cooing system which directs water separately to the liner and cover, enabling water to the liner to be heated when the engine is at part load. A more advanced option is rating dependent liner cooling, which uses different numbers of bores in liners and different liner angles depending on the pressure in the cylinder. But Aabo noted that this system cannot be combined with jacket water bypass. Load-dependent cooling systems are now standard on newer, large bore Mk9-10 engines, Aabo said, while the jacket water bypass is available for some engines either as standard or as a retrofit. Temperature-optimised, rating dependent liner designs have also already been introduced for some new engines. Aabo recollected that yards in Japan and South Korea used to have cooling systems at a temperature of 35 degrees. But a cooler intake is more fuel efficient, and also contributes to avoiding cold corrosion, as the air does not reach such high temperatures - and therefore risk condensation - while passing through the cylinders. Aabo briefly discussed gas-fuelled vessels. MAN has just installed its first ME-GI engine on a newbuild for Tote, the containership Isla Bella, and has sold 160 gas-fuelled two-stroke engines in three years. Aabo reported that oil analysts are anticipating that 10% of the global fleet will be running on LNG by 2030. "We had hoped for more, but let's see what happens," he said. Turning to ECA compliant fuels, Aabo summed up the lubrication challenge.
Kjeld Aabo, director customer support, MAN Diesel & Turbo, highlighted the unknown factor with an early example of low BN oil use.
In the mid-1990s the company made a modification with a lubricant supplier, switching from 70BN to 40BN for use with 0.6% sulphur fuel. "We saw more than 120 scuffing incidents," Aabo reported. A closed graphite structure due to deposit abrasion on the inside of the liners meant that although the cylinders looked smooth, they were very close to major wear damage. While operating on low-sulphur fuel is not new, relatively few operators use such fuels and this remain an area in which the industry still has little experience, Aabo said - explaining why engine designers have yet to recommend an optimum oil specification to lubricant suppliers. Another reason for the lack of experience has been the unavailability of long-term testing. MAN has tried to find test vessels since the early 1990s but stakeholders were unwilling to take on the high fuel costs that would have been incurred. "Low-sulphur oil is a challenge, and in the next couple of years we will learn a lot. And oils out there will have to be modified accordingly," said Aabo. ExxonMobil and other fuel suppliers have moved quickly to introduce new types of fuel that comply with ECA limits while easing the issues associated with switching fuels. These oils combine low sulphur with a viscosity closer to that of heavy fuel oil (HFO), and include ExxonMobil's Premium Heavy Distillate Marine ECA (HDME) 50 - a high viscosity distillate that can be fed through the HFO tank, purification system and boiler - and Advanced Fuel Marine ECA (AFME) 200, a clean, low-sulphur residual fuel. Kjeld Aabo, director customer support, MAN Diesel & Turbo: Kjeld Aabo, director customer support, MAN Diesel & Turbo: "Low-sulphur oil is a challenge, and in the next couple of years we will learn a lot. And oils out there will have to be modified accordingly." For ships operating continuously in ECAs, MAN recommends low BN oil. An extra coating on the engine's piston rings will also help to prevent the possibility of seizures, said Aabo. Aabo noted that the system is under trial for diesel engines, but is already being fitted as standard to MAN's dual-fuel engines. As MAN's Kjeld noted: "We're not producing small engines, we can't just run fifty on a test bed.
Panellists to the event in Copenhagen on 5 October included: Jan Jensen, Engine Specialist, Torm; Stefan Lindberg, Technical Director - Fleet Management, Brise Bereederungs; Kjeld Aabo, Director Customer Support, MAN Diesel & Turbo; Andrew Teasdale, Marine and Hull Surveyor, RSA Insurance; Konrad Rass, Senior Manager, Materials & Tribology R&D, Winterthur Gas & Diesel; Iain White, Global Marketing Manager, ExxonMobil Marine Fuels and Lubricants; and Steve Walker, Global Marine Equipment Builder Manager, ExxonMobil Marine Fuels and Lubricants.
Kjeld Aabo, Head of Marine and Offshore Sales, MAN Diesel & Turbo
Senior Representative, Mitsubishi Kjeld Aabo, Head of Marine and Offshore Sales, MAN Diesel & Turbo