Fuel changeover procedure from HFO to DO has been discussed in this article in detail. With Strict Regulations for emission control coming in control, fuel changeover to cleaner fuel is mandatory. Here in this article we discuss about the fuel changeover on commercial ships.
Why Fuel Changeover is Needed
As per the direction by the International Maritime Organization, Emission control areas will be having sulphur content in the fuel used for running the engines on ship, should not be more 0.1 %. Following are the emission control areas:
1) Baltic Sea
2) North Sea
3) United States and Canada
4) Caribbean Islands
So, in order to bring down the Sulphur content, we have to use the less Sulphur content fuel oil in order to comply with the standards set by the international body.
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Note: After 1 January 20200.50% m/m cap on Sulphur all over the world except ECA where 0.1 % limit will always exist and
1) Major Work on Main Engine
2) Before Coming to Dry Dock
3) Survey of boiler and no heating available for fuel
Before Fuel Changeover
Considering that the engine and other machinery are running on heavy fuel oil. Calculate the rough time needed for the system to have DO inside and HFO completely out of the system. It can be easily calculated by the program provided by the ship owner or charterer.
1) Top up the Low Sulphur Fuel Oil Tank Service Tank
2) Discuss with the engine crew about changeover procedure.
3) Changeover at least 1 generator on DO before the commencement of fuel changeover.
4) Keep the clean filters in spare.
5) Stop the purifier and changeover them to purify DO is required.
6) Keep the drawing for the fuel oil lines ready and study them.
Procedure given below is general and might differ little bit.
1) Reduce the load on the main engine to somewhere around 30 percent.
2) Close the heating to fuel oil heaters and let the fuel temperature to approximately 100 degree Celsius. Viscosity will also drop.
3) Keep the valve from the DO to the main fuel oil line open. Still crossover valve is closed which will feed DO to main system.
4) Open the DO valve and Close the HFO. This should be done gradually and slowly. Keep an eye on the fuel oil pressure.
5) Note the time and location of the vessel. And same needs to be entered in the logbook.
6) Now monitor the temperatures and viscosity of the fuel.
7) Open the cooler for MGO or DO. This is needed to maintain the viscosity and not to let it go below 2-3 CST. Low viscosity means serious issue with fuel pump barrel and plunger lubrication.
8) Lubrication of the main engine to be set as per the instructions given by the maker.
9) Shut off all the trace heating for fuel line heating.
10)Keep an eye on all the filters like auto back flush filter, duplex filters, generator filters.
11)Shut of the return valve to the settling tanks. You don’t want diesel oil to go back there. It will be wasted.
12)Check all around the engine room for any kind of leaks and uneven noise coming.
13)Check the temperature of each unit.
After Changeover Is Done
Following things to be checked after fuel changeover is completed:
1) Check the HFO settling tank level should not increase. If it is increasing that mean there entrance HFO in the line.
2) Back flushing filter timing can be changed to 12 hours or even more as now DO or MGO is in use.
3) Noise level from the pumps
4) Drain Tank Level
5) Write the down the time and location of ship and note it down in the official log book.
Note: Changeover to HFO is much easier as compare to DO. Only thing to take care is the heating part.
So this was the whole process to be followed while doing fuel changeover. If you have anything to share, please comment below.