Lube Oils on Test

Monday, May 05, 2003

Modern tools of research take many, increasingly high-technology forms, but large test machinery is especially apposite to the marine field, with its blend of applied science and solid, practical disciplines. Giving tangible form to a commitment to developing lube oils suited to evolving technical and operational needs, TotalFinaElf's maritime lubricants specialist

Lubmarine has ploughed $2-million into a new, purpose-built test engine in France.

Derived from a five-cylinder medium-speed diesel of the MAN B&W 16/24 type, the Innovator-4C evaluation and research engine is due to be brought into service this month (May) at the TotalFinaElf Research Center (CRES) at Solaize, near Lyons. It will replace the single-cylinder, Elf-Optimizer test bench, based on a Pielstick PC2.6 engine, first installed at Solaize 20 years ago and extensively modified in 1994 in response to changing development requirements.

The Innovator-4C will be used for validating both two-stroke and four-stroke engine formulations prior to in-service trials, and for fundamental research, including experiments with new additives, synthetic and biodegradable base stocks. Lubmarine plans to run the engine for between 3,000 and 4,000 hours/yr., depending on test needs and schedules. The ultimate goal, of course, is the provision of lubricants engendering greater fuel economy, lower maintenance costs and longer engine life.

The five cylinders of the 16/24 base engine have been reconfigured into three separate lubrication circuits, two for testing and one for operational requirements. This will allow two formulations to be compared simultaneously under common conditions of temperature and pressure. The capability to undertake two tests in tandem, in combination with the engine's very high safety margins, means that meaningful results will be obtainable faster, bearing favorably on project timeframes and on testing system productivity at Solaize.

Mini Spout Provides Control

The new Oil Safe Mini Spout Lid from Oil Safe Systems Pty Ltd. allows for controlled pouring of lubricants into small filler holes. Like all Oil Safe lids, the Mini Spout Lid seals are interchangeable with all Oil Safe drum sizes, and are available in 10 bold colors. The Oil Safe Professional Lubrication System prevents lubricant contamination, minimizes the risk of oil spills and gets lube tasks done easier, safer and faster.

Onboard-Napa Power Yields Fuel Savings

Onboard-NAPA Power is a state-of-the-art optimization tool for ship operation, developed by Onboard-Napa Ltd. The latest version of Onboard-NAPA Power features automatic ship-to-shore reporting of fuel consumption and fuel inventory with Web-browser-based viewing.

The complete 3-D hydrodynamic model of the ship is used together with the latest weather and sea-state forecasts and current data in defining the optimum operation profile. The ship's current trim and draft are also taken into account.

All main and auxiliary engine configurations can be handled, including the latest gas turbine installations and electric podded propulsion systems. Interfaces to navigation, weather and machinery automation systems are included, thereby minimizing officer input. All data related to planning and actual performance during the voyage or cruise can be saved and reported.

The fuel consumption and inventory data reported ship-to-shore can be stored on a company intranet server for easy distribution.

For example, the financial and technical departments can utilize this data by means of a simple Web-browser-based interface. Office personnel on shore and crew members are able to follow the fuel consumption of each fleet vessel during different voyages.

Onboard operational optimization and accurate ship-to-shore reporting are effective incentives for economical vessel operations. The existing installations have on average resulted in fuel savings of at least three percent.

MES Develops Alpha Lubricating System

Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co. (MES) has developed a new electronically-controlled lubricating system, which will reduce the consumption of diesel engine cylinder lubricating oil. Known as the Alpha Lubricating System, the device recently achieved a high level of savings in cylinder oil on a large containership of 4,900 TEUs, which is equipped with a Mitsui MAN B&W 10K9OMC engine of 59,00 bhp. At last count, the saving rate of the ship as of today is 20 percent plus, and it is expected to reach more than 50 percent in the near future.

The Alpha Lubricating System, by application of the electronic control device, can quickly inject the oil at optimum timing, and can easily be installed on existing engines.

Vickers' Hydrox Bio 68 Garners Recognition

Sterntube oil manufacturer Benjn. R. Vickers & Sons was honored for its unique, new lubricant — Hydrox Bio 68 — at this year's Sea Trade Awards. The award, which was presented in the Protection of the Marine and Atmospheric Environment category, was presented to Peter Vickers, the company' chairman and managing director. In 2002, after more than five years of research and development trials, the U.K-based company introduced Hydrox Bio 68 — a readily biodegradable sterntube lubricant. The product, which embodies all the essential features of the Hydrox range, is also designed to have minimal impact on the marine environment. In fact, external tests on the product have demonstrated its low toxicity and its non-toxic effects on fish, daphnia and shrimp.

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