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A National Maritime Academy Productio n
The reduction from a feed rate of 1.1 g/kWh (0.8 g/bhph) with the existing accumulator system to a feed rate with PLS of 0.7 g/kWh (0.5 g/bhph) can generate cost savings of more than US$ 270,000 a year. This corresponds to a cost saving of about 36 per cent for cylinder lubricating oil.
The benefits of the Pulse Lubricating System
Reduced cylinder oil feed rates and thus reduced engine operating costs. • Precisely timed delivery of lubricating oil to the cylinder liner surface. • Accurately metered quantities of lubricating oil delivered to the liner surface. • Improved distribution of cylinder oil on the liner.
Working principle of PLS
The key feature of the Pulse Lubricating System is that it delivers accurately metered, loaddependent quantities of lubricating oil to the cylinder liner running surface at the precise timing required. Electronic control ensures the accurate dosage and timing, with full flexibility in settings. The cylinder lubricating oil is sprayed as a pulse of multiple jets on to the liner surface from a single row of lubricators arranged around the liner, each lubricator having a number of nozzle holes.
The redesigned lubricator delivers the pressurised cylinder oil in a compact pulse as a series of jet sprays directly on to the cylinder liner surface. The lubricator sare arranged around the liner in one row to ensure an excellent distribution of the cylinder oil on the cylinder liner. The oil is equally distributed around the circumference of the cylinder liner. The vertical distribution is governed by the lubricating oil injection timing as a function of the crank angle. The numbers of lubricators and their jet sprays are adapted to the cylinder size. For the largest engines, the RTA96C and RT-fl ex96C engine types, there are eight lubricators with each lubricator having five oil jets giving a total of 40 lubricating points on the liner surface.
The oil jet sprays are directed to separate, evenly distributed points on the liner surface. The lubricating oil is thereby better distributed over the liner running surface than with the existing accumulator system so that less oil can be used. With the jet sprays, there is no atomisation and no loss of lubricating oil to the scavenge air. Cylinder lubricating oil is delivered under pressure to the lubricators by a newlydeveloped dosage pump which is powered by pressurised servo oil drawn from the engine’s system oil. The feed rate and timing are electronically controlled through a solenoid valve at the lubricator pump. There is full flexibility in the setting of the lubricator timing
It proved unnecessary to include provision in the Pulse Lubricating System for variation of feed rate with respect to Sulphur content of the fuel as this has proved superfluous in Wärtsilä RTA and RT-flex low-speed engines. These engines are designed so that the liner surface temperatures are generally above the dew point over their full running surface. Thus for bunker fuels with some 1.5 to 4.5 per cent Sulphur no adjustment of the PLS is required. However, bunker fuels with less than 1.5 per cent Sulphur require special provisions in terms of the
Schematic of the Pulse Lubricating System
Th e main components of the Pulse Lubricating System are thus: • Pulse lubricating module, consisting of a dosage pump with electronically-controlled timing Lubricators, up to eight in a single row around the cylinder liner. • Filter and measuring system • Servo oil supply unit (on RTA engines) or pressure reducing unit (on RT-fl ex engines) • Control system • Crank angle sensors, two of which one is redundant.
Each module consists of a dosage pump, a 4/2-way solenoid valve, monitoring electronics, pressure sensor and diaphragm accumulator on a base plate. The same lubricating modules are used for both new building and retrofit versions. Th e timed lubricating module feeds a predefined metered quantity of cylinder oil at high speed to the lubricators at the precise timing ascertained by the engine control system. Each lubricating module is equipped with two separate supply lines: one for cylinder lubricating oil and the Other for servo oil. A separate servo oil supply unit is needed todrive the lubricating module for RTA engines, whereas on RT-fl ex common-rail engines the servo oil is taken from the servo oil
The ALM-20 (Advanced Lubricating Module) checks that the dosage pump is working correctly. The ALM-20 communicates with the master control unit through a redundant bus system, sends the signal to the 4/2way solenoid valve and processes the data from the pressure transmitter. Once the Wärtsilä Engine Control System (WECS) switches the 4/2-way solenoid valve in the lubricating module to the open position, servo oil flows to the drive side of the lubricating module’s central piston. As the central piston is actuated, it feeds cylinder lubricating oil from the cylinder oil supply to the metering ducts and then discharges it from the lubricators at high pressure. The cylinder oil is accurately supplied at defined positions of the working piston whose position is constantly detected by the control system from
At the end of the lubrication work cycle, the directional valve in the lubricating module directs the servo oil to the return-flow side of the central piston which then returns to its initial position. The metering chamber is filled again with cylinder lubricating oil to be ready for the next lubricating cycle.
The provision of servo oil to drive the dosage pump is adapted to the engine type. With RT-fl ex engines, servo oil is drawn from the engine servo oil system through a pressure reducing valve by which the oil pressure is reduced from 200 bar to 50 bar. The reduced pressure is monitored by pressure transmitters which are directly connected to the alarm system, the pipes are SOLAS compliant. The reduced pressure can be adjusted and the level is shown on an analogue pressure gauge. However, a separate servo oil supply unit is provided for RTA engines. It includes two gear pumps, one supplying the lubricating module with servo oil taken from the main engine oil system, with the second pump as a stand-by. The oil supply unit also includes a pressure limiting and safety valve, pressure gauge, pressure sensor
Servo oil supply
PLS lubricatin g module fitted to an engine cylinder.
A generously dimensioned 40-micron cylinder oil filter is arranged before the lubricating modules. It effectively removes any particles of dirt thereby ensuring reliable operation of the lubricating modules. A 12-litre buffer tank is provided and its scaled sight glass enables cylinder oil consumption measurements of up to five litres. The buffer tank also allows the filter to be changed while the engine is running. When the filter is dirty, the integrated
Control and monitoring system
Control and monitoring of the Pulse Lubricating System is provided either by signals from the WECS engine control system in RT-fl ex common-rail engines, or by a separate control unit for RTAseries engines based on the same system. The PLS control and monitoring system has Advanced Lubricating Module (ALM-20) units which communicate with the master control unit (FCM-20) by
When a lubricating pulse is initiated by the engine control system, the monitoring electronics associated with the respective lubricator activate the 4/2-way solenoid valve. The lubricating pulse is triggered electrohydraulically as the pressure sensor sends a check signal to the ALM20. When the pressure is within the programmed range, the local signal confirms that the lubricating cycle was executed as specified. If, for instance, no correct lubricating cycle is ascertained owing to a fault such as a lubricator blockage, a shortage of lubricant, a lack of hydraulic drive power or a faulty shut
The engine had run for 6503 hours since the PLS had been installed, together with new cylinder liner and piston rings. The last 3500 running hours had been with a cylinder oil feed rate of around 0.7 g/kWh.
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