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Wärtsilä 2-stroke RT-165

Technical Services Issue 1, 06 August 2014

Turning gear – maintenance of

For immediate attention
electrical parts
Information to all Owners and Operators of Concerned products/components
Wärtsilä 2-stroke diesel engines Turning gear of Wärtsilä 2-stroke diesel

Current situation
Some installations were not maintained for
several years.

In certain circumstances the turning gear
motor does not stop even though the stop
command is active. This potential failure
poses a risk of serious injuries.

Preventive action
The turning gear electrical cabinet must be
maintained as described in this Technical

Recommendation for more safety

Improve safety by modifying the electrical
layout according to the information
provided in this Technical Bulletin. If
necessary introduce additional
components and rewire the cabinet

Wärtsilä Switzerland Ltd. Tel (24h): +41 52 262 80 10

PO Box 414
CH-8401 Winterthur

RT-165, Issue 1, Page 2 / 10

1 Introduction 2
2 Checks before operating the turning gear 2
3 Preventive maintenance on the electrical system 3
4 Mechanical components 6
5 Recommended improvements to enhance operational safety 6
6 Contacts 10

1 Introduction
Experience has shown that there is a potential risk of malfunction of the turning gear
control if correct maintenance is not done. It revealed that in certain circumstances the
turning gear motor does not stop even though the stop command was activated. The
probability that the failure will happen is low but the potential failure gives a risk of
serious injury.
The maintenance intervals are dependent on the mode of operation, environment or
operational nature of the equipment. Every electrical component has a limited service
life, therefore the maintenance must be carried out regularly to minimize the risk of a
malfunction. It is statistically proven that the failure rate of electrical components is
three times lower for systems where preventive maintenance is done.

2 Checks before operating the turning gear

The location of the installed safety equipment such as emergency stop buttons and the
main switch must be known. Before operating the turning gear, all these safety related
components must be tested.

Before the turning gear is operated, make sure that no person, loose parts, tools or
equipment are in the danger areas. The person operating the turning gear must be
aware about the activities of the involved persons in the maintenance.

If the turning gear is equipped with a motor brake, the brake must be checked for
correct operation. An inadequately maintained or a mechanically disconnected brake
can cause an uncontrolled rotation of the crankshaft. This can happen when an engine
is unbalanced during overhaul.

The main switch, usually located at the local control cabinet, can always be used to
stop the turning gear motor.

When the turning gear is used, the indicator valves in the cylinder covers or the
exhaust valves must be fully open to prevent overloading the turning gear motor. If
possible, the main lubricating oil pump must operate.

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1: Electrical cabinet
2: Turning gear motor
3: Remote control panel
4: Main switch
Figure 1: Turning gear components

3 Preventive maintenance on the electrical system

3.1 Maintenance intervals
The indicated maintenance intervals must be taken as guidance and may vary
depending on the installation. Experience will show whether these intervals can be
extended or shortened. In general, Wärtsilä recommends a frequency of once per year
for conducting regular preventive maintenance on electrical equipment. It is possible
that different locations may require more frequent maintenance due to the physical
environment or operational nature of the equipment. In environments where there is an
extreme exposure to adverse conditions, the frequency of maintenance for cabinets
must be increased as necessary.

Only qualified personnel that have thorough knowledge of electrical safety practices
and procedures are permitted to do maintenance and tests on the equipment. Special
training is necessary for high-voltage equipment and protective relay devices.

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3.2 Electrical cabinet

The electrical cabinet is normally installed near the turning gear. The cabinet must be
kept clean and free of any liquids. This will extend the service life of the components.

For maintenance of the electrical parts, it is always necessary to follow the five safety
• Set the main switch off.
• Attach tags and locks to prevent operation.
• Make sure that lines and equipment are voltage free.
• Earth and short circuit the phases.
• Cover, partition or screen the adjacent line selections.

Each manufacturer uses a different wiring concept of the turning gear control. Thus, the
following chapters with the given maintenance guidelines are general and need to be
adapted for each installation.

3.2.1 Thermographic inspection

A thermographic inspection of the electrical equipment can be done with an infrared
thermometer. This survey is a non-invasive method to identify high temperature
variations. This method can show potential problem areas caused by loose or dirty
connections, load imbalances or incorrect installation of equipment. If any component
indicates during operation of the turning gear abnormal temperature, the failure source
must be found and if necessary the affected components must be replaced.

3.2.2 General maintenance

General maintenance is valid for all installed components in the electrical cabinet.

• Make sure that all cabinets, doors and structures are serviceable.
• During de-energized maintenance, use a vacuum cleaner to remove loose dirt and
debris from cabinets.
• Examine all bolts and connecting devices for signs of deterioration, corrosion or
• Make sure that bolts and connecting devices are tight according to the
manufacturer’s specifications. Do not over torque bolts and connecting devices
because insulators are easily damaged.
• Where copper and aluminium conductors and / or connectors are used together,
examine connections for signs of galvanic action. Apply an antioxidant compound to
all aluminium to copper connections.
• Make sure that the connectors are correctly used and installed in accordance with
the manufacturer’s specifications.

Do not use compressed air because this can cause particles to become embedded in
the insulation or damage the insulators.

• Dirt or other contaminant that will not come off with vacuuming must be cleaned with
a lint free cloth using cleaning solvents recommended by the manufacturer.

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• Examine surrounding areas for signs of moisture, tracking, arcing or overheating.

• The insulation of the wires inside the cabinet and the connection cables must be
checked for damage such as drag marks, cuts or other damage. Repair or replace
damaged insulators, cables, wires and supports as necessary.

Because electrical loads cycle between high and low demand, thermal expansion and
contraction cause connections to loosen. Electrical panels that are never cleaned can
collect dust and dirt on these connections. The loose and dirty connections provide a
high resistance path that is directly responsible for many electrical failures. Live
electrical connections which are exposed to moisture can cause electrical failures.

3.2.3 Grounding
All metal components must be grounded. Do a safety inspection of the electrical
installations to make sure that the integrity of their bonding and grounding systems is
as follows:
• Incorrect grounding or earth connections
• Absence of ground connections
• Loose grounding cable connections
• Defective grounding cables.

3.2.4 Main switch

The main switch must be correctly maintained. An inspection of the switch must be
done to check if each of the three phases are open when the main switch is set to off.
On important controls, use a low-resistance ohmmeter to do regular contact resistance
tests. Correct contact resistance must be approximately 0 ohms. Record the data for
future comparison. This will indicate trends in the condition of the contacts.

3.2.5 Moulded case circuit breaker

Operate the moulded case circuit breakers several times to make sure that the
mechanism moves freely. Some of the circuit breakers have an external shunt trip,
where the emergency stop device is connected. The function of the shunt trip must be
checked. Do the maintenance in accordance with the manufacturer’s specification. The
trigger current of the breaker must be equal to the nominal current of the electric motor
shown on the type plate.

3.2.6 Contactors and relays

Moving parts must operate easily without excessive friction. Check the operation of
contactors and relays with your hand, feeling for any binding or sticking. Look for loose
pins or bolts. Check contacts for pitting and signs of overheating e.g. discoloration of
metal or charred insulation. Make sure that the contact pressure is sufficient and the
same on all phases. Make sure that all contacts are open. If a contact is closed, the
contactor or relay must be replaced. Look for frayed flexible leads. A contact resistance
test as mentioned in Chapter 3.2.4 is recommended.

3.2.7 Circuit breaker

Special maintenance of internal parts of the circuit breaker is not necessary. Move the
circuit breaker and make sure the circuit opens correctly.

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3.2.8 Transformer
The transformers must be checked for the correct output voltage.

3.2.9 Overload relay

Overload relays must have a full inspection. The correct setting must be checked. The
setting must be equal to the nominal current of the electric motor shown on the type
plate. Make sure that the contacts are clean and free from oxidation and that the relay
will operate correctly. Normally, the overload relay has a test button. Operate the test
button to do a function test. If the overload relay has an automatic reset function, this
must be set to manual to prevent an automatic restart of the electric motor after a

Some of the overload relay does not open the main circuit. The overload relay only
opens an ancillary contact which opens the control circuit of the main contactor.

3.2.10 Residual current detector

The residual current detector is an electrical device that disconnects a circuit if the
electrical current is not balanced between the energized conductor and the return
neutral conductor. At some installations, this device is installed in the control circuit.
Use the built-in test button to make sure that the detector operates correctly.

3.2.11 Thermal motor protection relay

Operate the test button to do a check of the thermal motor protection relay.

3.2.12 Electric motor

Listen to the electric motor for unusual noise. The installed ammeter can be used to
identify excessive load.

3.2.13 Push buttons and indicator lights

All push buttons must be checked for correct functioning. Push buttons must not stay in
the activated position. The emergency stop button must have a mechanical latch,
which holds the button at the activate position until a manual release is done. As given
in Chapter 2, the emergency stop button must be tested before the turning gear is
used. Make sure that all indicator lights come on. Replace unserviceable items.

4 Mechanical components
To select the turning gear oil and keep this oil in a satisfactory condition and for the
maintenance of the turning gear, refer to the recommendations given in the instruction
manual of the turning gear manufacturer.

5 Recommended improvements to enhance operational safety

To achieve a safe and reliable installation, some modifications are necessary to get the
latest safety and control standards. The wiring diagrams in the next paragraphs
propose some new features, which can be implemented in existing installations.

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5.1 Emergency stop devices

The emergency stop buttons must have direct opening action with mechanical latches.
For better visibility, the emergency stop button must be red and as far it is practicable,
the background plate shall be yellow. The actuator must be a palm or mushroom head

An emergency stop device must be installed at each operator control panel. The
turning gear can be operated from the main control cabinet, from the remote control
panel and if applicable from other control panels. An emergency stop device must be
available and accessible at all locations.




S1: Emergency stop at local control panel 1. Emergency stop button

S2: Emergency stop at remote control panel
Sx: Emergency stop at other locations
Figure 2: Emergency stop control circuit and emergency stop button

Another possibility instead of an emergency stop button at the local control cabinet is a
main switch, which is identified as an emergency stop device, see Figure 3. The main
switch must be located at the same electrical cabinet where the turning gear motor is
operated. This alternative switch must be accessible and visible as an emergency stop
device (coloured red and yellow).

Figure 3: Emergency stop main switch


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5.2 Inactive emergency stop

The emergency stop devices must always be operational. There are installations in
service which have an inactive emergency stop button on the remote control panel if
the selector switch is set to LOCAL at the control box. It is recommended that the
wiring is replaced to get a safer installation, see Figure 4.

Local control

Remote control


Remote control

S20 S10

S21 S11

K3 K2

K2 A1 K3 A1

A2 A2

S15: Selector switch between remote S10: Push button at local control panel
control and local control for ahead
S2: Emergency stop at remote S11: Push button at local control panel for
control panel astern
S20: Push button at remote control K2: Main contactor for ahead
panel for ahead K3: Main contactor for astern
S21: Push button at remote control
panel for astern
Figure 4: Remote control panel wiring

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5.3 Redundant stop relay in the main circuit

To improve safety, an additional contactor K1 is installed in the main circuit. This
additional contactor opens the main circuit with the emergency stop command. If one of
the main contactors K2 or K3 fails, the emergency stop contactor can still open the
main circuit.

K1 Local control

Remote control

S2 control S20 S10
K2 K3

S1 S21 S11

K3 K2

K1 A1 K2 A1 K3 A1

A2 A2 A2


K1: Emergency stop contactor S20: Push button at remote control panel
K2: Main contactor for ahead for ahead
K3: Main contactor for astern S21: Push button at remote control panel
S1: Emergency stop at local for astern
control panel S10: Push button at local control panel
S2: Emergency stop at remote for ahead
control panel S11: Push button at local control panel
S15: Selector switch between for astern
remote control and local
Figure 5: Main circuit and control circuit

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6 Contacts
6.1 How to contact Wärtsilä
For questions about the content of this Technical Bulletin, or if you need Wärtsilä
ssistance, services, spare parts and/or tools, please contact your nearest Wärtsilä
If you do not have the contact details at hand, please follow the link “Contact us” – “24h
Services” on the Wärtsilä webpage:

6.2 Contact details for emergency issues

6.2.1 Operational support
For questions concerning operational issues, please send your enquiry to:
or phone 24hrs support: +41 52 262 80 10.

6.2.2 Field service

If you need Wärtsilä Field Service, please send your enquiry to:
or phone 24hrs support: +41 79 255 68 80.

6.2.3 Spare parts

If you need Wärtsilä spare parts and/or tools, please contact your nearest Wärtsilä
representative or your key account manager.

© 2014 Wärtsilä Switzerland Ltd. – All rights reserved

No part of this publication may be reproduced or copied in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, graphic, photocopying,
recording, taping or other information retrieval systems) without the prior written permission of the copyright holder. Wärtsilä Switzerland Ltd.
makes no representation, warranty (express or implied) in this publication and assumes no responsibility for the correctness, errors or
omissions for information contained herein. Information in this publication is subject to change without notice.

Unless otherwise expressly set forth, no recommendation contained in this document or any of its appendices is to be construed as
provided due to a defect of the product, but merely as an improvement of the product and/or the maintenance procedures relating thereto.
Any actions by the owner/operator as a result of the recommendations are not covered under any warranty provided by Wärtsilä and such
actions will thus be at the owners/operators own cost and expense.