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Introduction To Diesel Engine Analysis

ED KELLEHER , DYNALCO CONTROLS This paper provides a brief introduction and explanation of diesel engine analysis. Engine analysis consists of data collection, analysis and trending of engine cylinder peak firing pressures and cylinder vibration and ultrasonic signatures. Engine analysis can be achieved by anyone with a basic understanding of the operation of an engine and proper analysis training. BACKGROUND For many years, combustion analysis has been performed on diesel engines using a mechanical indicator device such as a Bacarach indicator or by monitoring exhaust temperatures to spot potential problems. Engine analysis is much more extensive than combustion analysis. In addition to combustion monitoring, engine analysis also involves monitoring or measuring the actual mechanical condition of engine components, much like a doctor does during a routine physical. A typical owner/operator of a slow or medium speed diesel engine will perform periodic maintenance based on the engine manufacturers recommended time-based intervals. Although time-based maintenance schedules may be easy to follow, they are not the most cost effective or reliable methods. Most mechanics report seeing parts replaced that looked like new. Owners/operators have also seen premature component failures due to the maintenance activity itself or have engines that just dont seem to run right. Computer-based, easy-to-use, portable engine analyzers are available today in many forms. The engine analyzer discussed here is a multichannel, simultaneous, real-time, portable system that collects cylinder pressures and cylinder vibration and ultrasonic signatures. The DIESEL-TRAP 9240 system is the newest analyzer introduced by a company that has been performing engine analysis for over 30 years. ENGINE CYLINDER PRESSURE BALANCE Diesel engine performance is affected by many parameters: air inlet temperatures and pressures, fuel pressure and temperature, and the condition and characteristics of a cylinder. The stack-up of tolerances alone within a cylinder can account for an imbalance of engine pressures. Measuring dynamic power cylinder pressures enables us to evaluate compression, peak and scavenging pressure. With knowledge of engine geometry, indicated horsepower and indicated mean effective pressure is easily calculated, stored and trended. Cylinder peak firing pressure is a key indicator of engine performance and mechanical condition. Historically, cylinder balance was measured or evaluated through cylinder exhaust

The DIESEL-TRAP 9240 is the only 4-channel instrument that collects data simultaneously and in real-time.

temperatures. Although this method is very easy, it is not an accurate method of determining pressure balance. Peak pressure is affected by the quality of combustion and the angle at which the peak pressure occurs. Exhaust temperature measurements cannot accurately reflect these combustion characteristics. By measuring the peak pressure, the angle at which it occurs and the pressure through out the entire cycle, a more accurate assessment of balance is achieved. Adjustments or repairs, such as valve timing or injection duration, are then based on the actual performance of that cylinder. ENGINE MECHANICAL CONDITION Monitoring the mechanical condition of cylinder power pack components is similar to the use of a screwdriver or rubber hose to determine the location of an abnormal noise on machinery. The vibration and ultrasonic energy of engine components are captured with an accelerometer referenced to the crankshaft. The resultant waveform discloses information about abnormal events and their severity and can be stored and trended for future reference. This ultimately means that you can assess the mechanical condition of individual cylinder components, and predict and prevent failures before they occur. Additionally, routine maintenance is performed only on the components that require it. Component condition and degradation can be identified for items such as: Pistons Rings Injectors Ports Bearings Valves Camshafts Liners Crankshafts Connecting Rods Rocker Arms Lifters

EXAMPLES OF ENGINE ANALYSIS DATA This is the signature pattern of a two-stroke engine just prior to an engine overhaul. The signature is normal with no unexpected mechanical noise.
Pressure (psig)

EMD-20 - E

Cylinder P4L
-8.0

1/26/96 6:47:18 AM Period 1


103.0 8.0 Fuel 135.0

-119.0 Exhaust -135.0 Intake Ports 1500

1000 P4L VT4 Scale 4.0

500

0 -180 -135 -90 -45 0 Angle (deg) 45 90 135 180

EMD-20 - E

Cylinder P4L
-8.0

3/20/97 12:10:55 PM Period 2


103.0 135.0 8.0 Fuel

This is the signature pattern of the same engine just after the overhaul. On the power stroke there is a clear, unexpected mechanical pattern. Upon inspection it was discovered that the top compression ring was broken. Thanks to quick identification, no liner or other engine damage occurred.

-119.0 Exhaust -135.0 Intake Ports

--------------

1500

- P4L VT4 -

Pressure (psig)

1000

- Scale 4.0

500 -

0 --------------180 -135 -90 -45 0 Angle (deg) 45 90 135 180

These two signatures are before and after a repair to a two-stroke engine. The signature on the left clearly indicates blow by on both the power and compression strokes (circled). The liner for this cylinder was washed out in the areas of the blow by. Scheduled maintenance activities had been redirected to this engine from an engine that was operating normally.

These vibration signatures are from eight cylinders on one engine. Cylinder #3 shows an abnormal event around bottom dead center (circled). Since this pattern occurred at bottom dead center, a bearing problem was suspected. Upon inspection, this bearing was found to be out of tolerance. Early detection of this problem may have prevented a catastrophic failure of the engine.

PME-F Cylinder 4 3/28/99 9:12:47 PM Period 3


-160.0 Intake 320.0 130.0 -10.0 5.0 Fuel

This cylinder signature shows the pressure, vibration and ultrasonic patterns for a normal four-stroke engine pattern. Compare the vibration on this cylinder with the one in the figure below.
Pressure (barg)

200

-320.0 Exhaust

150

100

50

0 -360 -315 -270 -225 -180 -135 -90 -45 0 45 Angle (deg) 90 135 180 225 270 315 360

-------------- 4 VT4 - Scale 8.0 -------------- 4F VT4 - Scale 8.0 -------------- 4 ULT - Scale 2.0 -------------- 4F ULT - Scale 2.0 --------------

PME-F Cylinder 9 3/28/99 9:12:47 PM Period 3

This cylinder signature is from the same engine as above and clearly shows unexpected and abnormal mechanical spikes during the compression stroke and also at top dead center. In this instance the engine performance has not yet been affected. However, the magnitude and location of these events require further investigation.

-160.0 Intake 200 -320.0 Exhaust -10.0 5.0 Fuel 130.0

320.0

150

100

50

0 -360 -315 -270 -225 -180 -135 -90 -45 0 45 Angle (deg) 90 135 180 225 270 315 360

-------------- 9 VT4 - Scale 8.0 -------------- 9F VT4 - Scale 8.0 -------------- 9 ULT - Scale 2.0 -------------- 9F ULT - Scale 2.0 --------------

Pressure (barg)

SUMMARY AND COST BENEFITS A properly implemented predictive maintenance program will result in both immediate and long-term cost savings. Peak firing pressure balance alone will result in 25% fuel savings by simply optimizing engine performance. Additionally, 60 70% of mechanical degradation can be attributed to cylinder pressure imbalance. Avoiding one major valve failure, which can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars, can pay for many years of a condition-based maintenance program. Engine analysis will limit maintenance to only the components that require it and avoid unnecessary part replacements while maintaining and improving engine reliability and performance. Engine analysis has been successfully implemented in many areas to the extent that no periodic or time-based maintenance is performed. All maintenance and overhauls are based solely on engine performance and condition. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS How easy is the system to use? Our system is used by mechanics with a high school diploma and by engineers with advanced degrees. With the proper training, anyone with basic knowledge of a computer and an engine can operate this equipment . I have been told that vibration data cannot be collected on a reciprocating engine. Absolutely not true! In fact, over half the benefits of engine signature analysis are lost if vibration analysis isnt used. The people who promulgate this misconception are talking about spectral analysis. As applied to the engine, spectral analysis is only appropriate for analyzing the turbochargers, pumps and main bearings. Phased marked vibration signature analysiswhich is the cornerstone of our signature analysis programfocuses on timing events within the engine. These methods have been developed and proved over a period of twenty years. What is the cost of an engine analyzer? A comprehensive engine analyzer will cost about $50,000. Basic hardware and software training would be included. However for an engine analysis program to be successful immediately, some level of analysis training is required. Customized integrated maintenance programs and engineering support can range from $10,000 to $50,000. The DIESEL-TRAP is cost effective. Almost all users report a payback period of less than a year. Many report a payback period of a few months. The price reflects the fact that the engine analyzer is a durable and precise instrument, which can survive years of daily use in an industrial environment. The first time the system identifies a major fault before actual failureor eliminates a major overhaul, it has paid for itself.

When this cost is compared to the cost of a failed engine/ major engine component or the cost of a typical engine overhaul or even the loss of a vessels ability to produce revenue, the cost of the analyzer is insignificant. What is the value of analysis to an engineer aboard a vessel or in a power plant? Engine analysis provides engine fundamental information that leads to reduced operating costs and improved engine reliability and availability.

The DIESEL-TRAP 9240, 9220 and 9220/P portable diesel engine performance and vibration analyzers (in conjunction with Dynalcos RTwin analysis software) have received Type Approval from the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS).

Dynalco Controls also manufactures ABS typeapproved instruments and meters that are appropriate for marine applications. To obtain more information on diesel engine analysis and engine diagnostic, control and monitoring products, please contact: Dynalco Controls Sales Department 3690 N.W. 53rd Street Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 U.S.A. Tel (954) 739-4300 Ext 550 Toll Free (800) 368-6666 (U.S.A. only) Fax (954) 486-4968 E-mail: mailbox@dynalco.com www.dynalco.com