Monday, November 19, 2018

New Advance Alarm System Developed to Protect Ships Engines from Water Damage

Warning of the Presence of Excess Moisture in Lubricating Oil
Shipping News Feature
JAPAN – As a part of a variety of initiatives utilising big data, Japanese shipping group Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) and its technological research and development subsidiary, Monohakobi Technology Institute (MTI) have developed an advance alarm system (with patent pending) which claims to detect anomalies on a real-time basis caused by water getting in lubricating oil.

Controlling the quality and property of lubricating oil is very important for vessel engines to operate in a stable manner. In particular, water can contaminate lubricating oil when cooling water for the engine leaks into the engines or the oil purifier fails, during which time the bearings and other components can be seriously damaged. NYK used to periodically send extracted lubricating oil to an onshore lab for moisture content analysis because determining the moisture content in real time was not possible.

To address this issue, NYK conducted an on board trial for more than a year, during which time data was gathered from a sensor that was equipped to measure the moisture content of the lubricating oil for the main engine. The results then showed a strong correlation between the relative moisture content and engine-room humidity/temperature.

The advance alarm provides early warning signals when the permissible range between the actual relative moisture content of lubrication oil exceeds the proper moisture content for the surrounding environment based on the temperature and humidity in the engine room. After detection, immediate action can be taken at an early stage.

The alarm has now been installed on Haramachi Maru, an NYK-operated 90,839 DWT bulk carrier, to prevent such troubles and to aid in high-level preventive maintenance for the engine and the NYK Group says that it will continue to install this advanced alarm on vessels to allow for safer operations through the early detection of water in lubricating oil, and further will develop a new alarm suitable for use in a generator.