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Diesel Engine Combustion Analysis

Condition Monitoring and Energy Conservation

By Frank Pedersen, Sr. Marine Engineer

Seaworthy Systems, Inc.
Essex, CT 06426


The reason for writing this paper is to give the reader insight into the latest technology for Diesel
Engine Combustion analysis. Most of the content in this paper adheres to both Marine Diesel engine
plants and land-based Diesel engine plants, but since I have spent most of my life working with
Marine Diesel engines, the paper will for most part address the Marine side of Engine Combustion

There is truly only one reason for performing combustion analysis, and that is to make sure the engine
plant operates as close to new engine condition as possible with no downtime for the owner. But there
are many reasons why this does not happen, and the results can be read in various Maritime
newspapers, Class society circular letters, etc.

Engine reliability and availability is maintained through:

Improved performance;
Reduced maintenance cost;
Reduced fuel consumption;
Reduced emissions; and
Minimized downtime (off hire).

Classification societies recognize benefits of a continuous DECA program. Some of the members of
IACS (International Association of Class Societies) have guidelines under the section called Planned
Maintenance System for monthly engine performance, see below.

DNVs Notation for Diesel Engine Combustion Analysis, Classification Notation No. 102,
January 2003, reads as follows:


(So called MIP analysis, using electronic MIP systems)
It is required to perform diesel engine performance analyses on main engines onboard. For
diesel generators, see below. Documentation of such analyses shall be made available to the at-
tending surveyor, covering the period since last survey.

Since there are still fault conditions that are rather difficult to detect, as cracked cylinder liners,
developing ovality, pitted surfaces etc, the only bullet-proof method of discovering faulty

conditions is opening up.

Therefore class will not credit any items based on diesel engine performance analysis.
Crediting of items will be based on the history in the planned maintenance system. The
surveyor will, however, review the documentation and conduct a third party verification of the

Performing diesel engine performance analyses on a regular basis is important to maintain a

close follow-up of the engine condition. These analyses can provide important information
regarding different fault conditions on the engine. Examples are:
delayed or advanced ignition
worn and/or defective piston rings
burnt piston crown
worn liner
leaking fuel injection nozzle
retarded or advanced fuel pump timing
leaking fuel pump suction valve
worn fuel pump
unbalanced engine (can cause uneven main bearing wear).

The most evident advantages will be detection of faults or irregularities early in the developing
stage. This will again contribute to reduction of down time, repair costs and indirect costs, as
loss of contracts etc. Minor efficiency improvements can give substantial fuel savings, and
thereby increased economic profit. A combination of performance analyses and experience can
become a powerful tool in terms of extending or prolonging maintenance intervals for the
different engine components.


It is recommended to follow requirements to steady state conditions when performing diesel
engine performance measurements.

For best results, measurements should be performed at minimum 80 % of maximum

continuous rating.

In addition the following is of great importance:

good air flow, i.e. clean air filters and air coolers
correct fuel viscosity

The cylinder balance for each cylinder, should be checked by measurement and evaluation of
the following recommended criteria:
the maximum combustion pressure should not vary more than 3% of the certified value
from the average at any cylinder
the mean indicated pressure should not vary more than 1 bar from the average at any

It is important to analyze the results from the measurements in form of a systematic
examination of the pressure diagrams. Focus should be on the following parameters:
compression pressure
time of ignition
time of max pressure
max pressure
expansion pressure
mean indicated pressure.

In addition, the following are important parameters:

fuel pump index
exhaust gas temperature
indicated effect
spread between cylinders.


For diesel generators with indicator cocks, a maximum pressure test should be performed at
least once a month, or every 500 running hours. The test should be performed with the engine
running at minimum 80% of maximum continuous rating. The pressure should be recorded on
each cylinder with the following corresponding parameters:


Instrument used for at least 150 years for the
purpose of calibrating cylinder pressure on
reciprocating steam and diesel engines.

Draw card indicator - This instrument was

developed in mid-1800s for calculating
horsepower, first for reciprocating steam
engines, then for the first combustion engines,
both gasoline and diesel engines.

Modern Diesel Engine Combustion Analyzers

Portable Diesel Engine Performance Analyzer (DEPA)

Typical DECA Installation Arrangements:

Source: ICON Research

Latest Technology: On-Line Diesel Engine Combustion Analyzer

Online Fixed Installation:

The choice between online or portable systems is often a matter of company policy, and several factors
are normally taken into account. The pros and cons of on-line and portable systems on the market
today are as follows:

On-line Installed Systems:

Normally monitor only one engine;
High initial cost, can run into $100,000 and more depending how many engines will be
High maintenance cost if pressure sensor need replacement;
May be difficult and definitely more expensive to install as a retrofit compared to a new-
building installation;
If vessel is sold, unit will normally stay onboard;
Simple use, no operator required to collect data;
24/7 Real time monitoring with constant and direct availability of readings;
Possibility of alarm and alert integration into existing alarm/monitoring systems.

Portable Systems:
Lowest initial cost;
Low maintenance cost;
Results available on the spot;

Very simple and low cost installation;
Can be used on main and auxiliary engines;
If vessel sold, it can be sent to another ship;
Unit is very rugged;
Monitoring is intermittent.

The main attributes required of any MIP systems, regardless of type or technology should be:

Accuracy: Accuracy is of course paramount and with the DOCTOR system this is derived
from two main inputs. One input is instantaneous angle of the engine, and this be accurately
derived by using pickups on the flywheel on the engine. The other area of great accuracy is of
course the pressure readings, both from the cylinder pressure transducer and the fuel injection
transducer. Pressure sensors should be stable enough not to be affected by temperature
variations and should be able to operate at elevated temperatures for extended periods of time.
Piezo electric technology has provided such a solution and although not the lowest cost on the
market, it undoubtedly performs the best.

Reliability and Durability: The instrument chosen has to be very reliable and durable,
especially due to the very tough environmental conditions often seen onboard a vessel.

Ease of Use and Capabilities of the Software (being a user-friendly tool): Capability of the
software and ease of use of software and instrument are also very important for the correct
choice of a DEPA. With any software, no matter how simple it is, the end user needs some
training. This will vary with the users computer skill level.

The key factor to any type of a of combustion analysis method, regardless of how the data is
collected, either by using Pv draw card or electronic instruments, is of course the users
knowledge in the combustion process as a whole. I have seen that this varies greatly from
engineer to engineer. (We at Seaworthy teach Combustion Analysis for US Navy and MSC.)

Taking readings should be quick. Readings should be nicely displayed with the graphs on the
instrument itself. When troubleshooting a combustion problem on a specific cylinder, or
complete balancing of the engine, this is a necessity. With this DOCTOR instrument, when
fixed deflective pickups are installed, if only collecting Peak pressure data from any in-line
engine (that is an 8-cylinder medium-speed 4-stroke or 8-cylinder slow-speed 2-stroke), it will
only take 15 minutes, and only one person needed.

If fuel isolation valves are installed on the fuel HP pumps, (only on slow-speed 2-stroke
crosshead engine), then for an 8-cylinder engine, it will take around 20 minutes with two
persons together. (Note: One person is sufficient; it is just easier and safer with two when
handling both cylinder Combustion pressure and HP fuel pressure.)

For diagnosing the condition of an engine, the software needs to have good quality graphics,
simple zoom features with in-depth details, the possibility to overlay results, for trending
purposes and direct engine to engine comparison. To view the graphs and the numerical values
at various angles is important. Then a good summary sheet with a notebook. It should also

have ease of use email capabilities. Last but not least, it is important that software have
network capabilities, using a Windows program. Ease of emailing data from vessel to the
Superintendent is also an important factor according to our customers.

Trending over time: One true benefit of using such type instruments, as the DOCTOR DK-2,
is that one can trend engine performance over time. We then very quickly can see any changes
in the overall engine total performance over a given time, or just trending cylinder by cylinder.
When data is taken at the same RPM, draught, loaded conditions, weather and sea conditions,
it is quite easily to depict what have caused any changes in, for example, higher thermal load,
higher fuel consumption etc. Increasing hull growth is a good example of external influences.

This is irrespective of implementation of the system, i.e. whether it employs a portable, fixed or
permanent installed on-line system technology.

Fuel analysis capabilities using fuel isolation valve and transducer, 2-stroke slow speed engines

DOCTOR Software Capabilities

32-bit Software released May 2005;

Compare engines from ship to ship, or engine to engine same vessel;
Multi-engine trending capability with built-in reference tool;
Drag and drop capability;
Built-in easy-to-use e-mail tool for transferring data from ship to office;
Full network capability;
Large database capability;
Notebook for each level in database;
Immediate access to archives with a double click;
Raw data export capability (csv. format);
Easy conversion of earlier Doctor databases (idk to idb).

Multiple Engine Overlay

Fleet Engines Overlay, (Combustion), 2-Stroke

Fleet Engines Overlay, (Fuel Graphs), 2-Stroke


2-stroke slow speed, power output range from 2,180 IHP to 132,300 IHP

4-stroke medium speed, power output range from 700 IHP to 30,000 IHP


I have chosen a Car carrier, M/V Trinidad, as an example.

The vessel has a MANBW 6S60 MC engine, direct shaft/fixed propeller outline.
Output 12.080Kw.

2006 Annual Operational Cost for a NIS Operated Modem Car Carrier

Miscellaneous, 1%
Lubricating Oil, 1.20%
Stores, Consumables,
Provisions, 2%
Insurance, 2.30%
Repair and Maintenance,

Crew, 18.30%

Bunker, 66%

Annual Operating Cost for a NIS Operated Modem Car Carrier









$150,000 $130,000 $80,000 $65,000
Bunker Crew Repair and Insurance Stores, Lubricating Oil Miscellaneous
Maintenance Consumables,

Annual Bunker cost:

All examples here are based on HFO 380cSt, and the price for MDO is also included.
Average worldwide Bunker prices as of 4/4/2006:
IFO 380 cSt: 325$/M/T
MDO: 535$/M/T

Vessel Power Plant:

On an average annual basis, utilizing the power plant will average 27 total running hours per day at
85% load, where SFOC will be around 180g/kwh. This will give a daily fuel consumption of
0.162M/T pr hour x 27h = 4.4 M/T.
Annual HFO consumption: 365 x 4.4 = 1606M/T
Annual HFO cost: 1606 x 325 = $521,950 USD
Annual MDO consumption: 250M/T x 535 = $133,750 USD
Annual Bunker cost: $521,950 + $133,750 = $635,700 USD

Vessel Main Propulsion:

At 85% load, engine consumes some 38 Metric ton/24hour.
The vessel in this example has 280 full steaming days/year; then I add some 20 days for total
piloting in and out of port, so annual bunker cost for main engine will be:
Annual HFO consumption: 300 x 38 = 11400M/T
Annual HFO cost: 11400 x 325 = $3,705,000 USD

Vessels Total Annual Bunker Cost--Propulsion and Power Plants:
Annual bunker cost: $635,700 + $3,705,000 = $4,340,700 USD


1. Critical system failures (e.g., alarm systems);

2. Poor quality fuel;
3. Lack of planned and preventive maintenance, including engine performance evaluation and
combustion analysis;
4. Human error, lack of skilled and trained personnel;
5. Lack of understanding the importance of engine load monitoring due to vessels load
condition, hull growth weather conditions;
6. Use of non-OEM parts;
7. Inadequate engine design/manufacturing.

Most of these types of engine failures can be prevented if the above-mentioned causes are addressed
properly; one of them being Condition and Combustion monitoring with correct analysis methods.

If diesel combustion analysis and condition monitoring are implemented, then it is not too difficult to
understand that such measures can help prevent engine failures, maintain and improve engine
performance, which in return will reduce fuel costs and maintenance cost, and unscheduled downtime.

Included in the next section are recent engine failure statistics from a major marine insurance writer.
The study goes back to 1988, and covers 700+ vessels. It is not surprising that there are twice the
failures on medium-speed 4-stroke engines compared to slow-speed 2-stroke engines.


Main Engine Damage

During mid-1998, The Swedish Club presented the findings of a 10-year study of main engine damage
claims (1988-97). This report sets out the results of a follow-up study, spanning the six-year period,
1998 to 2004. The primary finding is that medium-speed engines still account for a disproportionate
number of major machinery damage claims. Furthermore, the average cost of main engine claims (on
a per year/vessel basis) is four times higher for medium-speed engines, compared to low-speed

As of September 1, 2005, the Club had 1,459 vessels entered for H&M, 741 for P&I, and 347 for

Insurance is a significant cost element for vessel owners and operators. In most cases, insurance costs
are second only to crew costs. Main engine claims represent an expensive cost component. For this
reason, The Swedish Club has a proactive policy, directed at raising awareness of engine damage
problems and encouraging manufacturers to respond with new and more effective measures to reduce
the incidence of damage.

Fire/Explosion Fire/Explosion
2% 8%
Heavy Weather Heavy Weather
7% 5% Machinery
Grounding 32%
11% Grounding

Collision 8%
Contact 27%
14% Contact

Figure 2a. H&M Claims by Number, 1998-2004 Figure 2b. H&M Claims by Cost, 1998-2004

Machinery Claims
The average cost per machinery claim has fallen from $294,000 USD to $271,000 USD over the past six
years. As mentioned above, this trend is reflected in the main engine damage statistics, with average
cost falling by around 10 percent, to $301,000 USD.

As in the previous survey, machinery claims were grouped into six categories (Table 2). There were
558 machinery claims in the 1998-04 period, costing $151.1 million USD. Main engine damage
remains by far the largest category, contributing 46 percent of total machinery claims cost (51 percent
in the earlier study) and 14.4 percent (11.5 percent) of total H&M claims cost.

Table 2. Machinery claims, 1998-2004

Claims Type Number Total Cost Average Cost
Main engine 232 69,744,597 300,623
Steering gear 66 15,636,563 236,918
Aux. engine 120 27,257,436 227,145
Boilers 65 18,138,065 279,047
Propulsion 63 17,798,483 282,516
Other 122 2,559,295 213,275
Total 558 151,134,439 270,850

Main Engine Claims

Figure 4 is an overview of the main engine claims trend over the 16-year period embracing both
studies. The trend line has broad similarities to that shown in Figure 3 (for all H&M claims). Main
engine damage claims involved, on average, 4.8 percent of vessels entered with The Swedish Club.
The total cost of main engine damage over 1988-2004 approached $165 million USD. The latest
survey records 232 main engine claims costing $69.8 million USD.


Club entry (No.)

ME Claims (No.)






















'88 '89 '90 '91 '92 '93 '94 '95 '96 '97 '98 '99 '00 '01 '02 '03 '04

Figure 4. Main engine claims and trends 1988-2004

It is disappointing to find that medium-speed engines continue to be over-represented in the claims

statistics. Figure 5 shows that while 18.7 percent of entered vessels had medium-speed engines, these
ships accounted for 46.9 percent of engine damage costs. The corresponding statistics for the earlier
study (Figure 6) are 24.2 percent and 58.2 percent, respectively. It is apparent that the Club still faces
a significant loss prevention challenge in this area.

Figure 6 shows that the proportion of entered vessels with low speed engines has increased
significantly, while the number with medium speed engines has decreased. In addition, there has been
a substantial decrease in the number of vessels with steam turbines. No major claims involved these
engines in the 1998-2004 period. Furthermore, Figure 6 underlines the very expensive character of
gas turbine breakdowns (although this statement must be qualified, due to the relatively small
population of entered vessels equipped with gas turbines).

Club entry (%)

80% 77.4% Claims cost (%)

Figure 5. Percentage of
Club entry and damage cost
by engine type, 1998-2004


50% 46.9%




0.0% 0.4%
Low speed Medium speed Steam turbine Gas turbine

Club entry (%)

70.0% Claims cost (%)






10.0% 6.1%

0.0% 0.0%
Low speed Medium speed Steam turbine Gas turbine

Figure 6. Percentage of Club entry and damage cost by engine type, 1988-1997

Types of Main Engine Claims

Table 3 focuses on the eight most common main engine claims types. In terms of numbers and total
cost, turbocharger damage remained the most common and costly claims category, accounting for 84
of the 232 claims and $17 million USD of the $69.8 million USD total cost. Sixty-three of the 84
turbocharger claims involved low-speed engines.

Crankshaft and connecting rod failures represented the second most common and expensive damage
category. In fact, in terms of average cost, these failures produced the most expensive claims
($647,000 USD per damage). This is a significant decrease, however, from the $875,000 USD average
cost reported in the earlier survey.

Tables 4 and 5 show the five most common claims for low-speed and medium-speed engines.
Turbocharger damage is the most common and expensive failure event for low-speed engines.
Crankshaft and connecting rod damage is the most expensive medium speed engine failure category.
There were 21 such claims in 1998-2004, costing $13.6 million USD.

Table 4 also shows that, on an average cost basis, damage to the Journal or Bearings is the most
expensive claims type (at $324,000 USD).

Table 3. The eight most common types of claims (all engines).

Claims Type Number Total Cost Average Cost

84 16,983,474
Turbocharger 202,184
(36.2%) (24.4%)
Crankshaft, Connecting 23 13,949,870
rod (9.9%) (20.0%)
17 4,267,795
Cylinderliner 251,047
(7.3%) (6.1%)
17 3,505,803
Entablature, Staybolts 206,224
(7.3%) (5.0%)
15 6,653,302
Journal, Bearing 443,553
(6.5%) (9.5%)
12 3,161,929
Fuelpump, Gears 263,494
(5.2%) (4.5%)
10 3,804,377
Camshaft, Coupling 380,438
(4.3%) (5.5%)
9 2,702,420
Piston, Pistonrod 300,269
(3.9%) (3.9%)

Table 4. The five most common types of claims (low speed engines).

Claims Type Number Total Cost Average Cost

63 14,057,056
Turbocharger 223,128
(42.6%) (40.7%)
17 3,505,803
Entablature, Staybolts 206,224
(11.5%) (10.2%)
15 3,810,363
Cylinderliner 254,024
(10.1%) (11.0%)
9 2,916,201
Journal, Bearing 324,022
(6.1%) (8.4%)
7 1,609,588
Piston, Pistonrod 229,941
(4.7%) (4.7%)

Table 5. The five most common types of claims (medium speed engines).

Claims Type Number Total Cost Average Cost

21 2,926,417
Turbocharger 139,353
(25.6%) (8.9%)
21 13,593,961
Entablature, Staybolts 647,331
(25.6%) (41.5%)
8 3,451,850
Cylinderliner 431,481
(9.8%) (10.5%)
6 3,737,102
Journal, Bearing 622,850
(7.3%) (11.4%)
5 765,436
Piston, Pistonrod 153,087
(6.1%) (2.3%)

Summary: Main Conclusions

1. The average cost of main engine damage claims has fallen by about 10 percent since 1998, but
these claims remain very costly.

2. Medium-speed engines still present a disproportionately large risk of damage and claims. Vessels
with medium-speed engines accounted for 18.7 percent of Club entry, yet generated 46.9 percent
of total main engine damage cost.

3. Turbocharger damage remains the most common and expensive damage category across all engine
makes, accounting for 84 of the 232 major main engine claims, at a cost of $17 million USD.
Turbocharger damage involving low-speed engines resulted in 63 major claims, totaling $14.1
million USD.

4. Crankshaft and connecting rod failures produced the most expensive damage to medium-speed
engines. The 21 failures cost $13.6 million USD.


If we look at todays Time Charter rates, this type of vessel would bring in about $45,000 for its
owner, excluding bunker and lubricating oil cost. That is $1,875 per hour. This is what the Off-Hire
will cost the owner.

If this vessel must stop at sea for an engine failure, such as a cracked cylinder liner (due to poor
maintenance of the injection equipment), given everything else goes smoothly (nice weather, etc.), 12
hours will be an average downtime for repair.

After engine is started, there will be running in time of the liner for 24 hours. This is done by reducing
the load and increasing the cylinder oil lubrication feed rate to that particular cylinder. The vessel
speed will most likely be reduced as a result.

Therefore, the loss is:

Downtime: $22,500
Consumed spares, including a new liner, piston rings etc: $40,000
Crew expenses, overtime etc: $5,000
Estimated Total = $67,500

The question is: Could this have been prevented by using a draw card or a Keene gauge?
Answer: Most likely not.


The following case studies are combustion problems that I have analyzed and corrected for customers:

Case Study No. 1: Reduced Maintenance Cost: Compression loss, 4-stroke medium speed.

Case Study No. 2: Improved Performance: High peak pressure due to advanced timing, 4-
stroke medium speed.

Case Study No. 3: Reduced Fuel Consumption: Optimizing timing, 2-stroke slow speed.

Case Study No. 4: Reduced Emissions and Trending over time. (IMO-NOx-Timing Record),
2-stroke slow speed.

Case Study No. 5: Reducing Maintenance cost, Zero Downtime, Extending overhaul intervals
by implying Condition based combustion monitoring using a DEPA, 2-stroke slow speed

CASE STUDY No. 1: Reduced Maintenance Cost; Compression Loss, 4-stroke medium speed

1) Here is an engine with serious problems. Data collected at 75% load, engine on MDO and later
on HFO. Cylinder #5 had serious compression loss, and also the HP fuel injection pump, same
cylinder, in poor condition.
The late ignition and unburned fuel seen on this cylinder came from not enough compression
heat to ignite all fuel, and also the late injection contributed by the fuel pump.
The engine sump was filled with unburned HFO, washed down by the oil scraper piston ring.
This running condition continued for10 days, and it destroyed all Main bearings, connecting
rod bearings and the trust bearing.
By the time the data was collected, February 16th, the condition of this engine was rapidly
deteriorating, and it would only have been a matter of hours before a crankcase explosion
would have occurred. Such an explosion inside an engine can cause severe damage to human
with the risk of loss of life, possible engine room fire, and the engine itself could have such
extensive damages that it would have been scrapped. Also, there have been such casualties
where the engine room has had a serous fire afterwards.

The bottom line is that the engine was saved. The engine staff did not have expertise enough to
assess the seriousness of HFO in the sump tank

2) Here is what we would call Disaster waiting to happen. 86.2% deviation in MIP/Power
and 41.9% deviation in Peak pressure from mean.

3) Cylinder 5 was opened up. Found large piece of the exhaust valve seat broke away. Fuel pump
and injector, Cylinder 5 replaced. Also, the piston rings were replaced at the same time. Engine
As seen on the two next snapshots, major improvement. Engine at 91% electrical load,
burning HFO.

4) Major improvements. At this time, also seen some variation in timing/ignition. Will follow up
on this shortly with a new balancing of the engine. The MIP/Power and Peak pressure balance
well within manufacturers recommendations.

Case Study No. 2: Improved Performance: Very high peak pressure due to advanced timing, 4-
stroke medium speed

1) This engine also had some serious issues. At 75% load, the Peak Firing pressure already exceeded
the Peak Firing pressures at 110% load test when new, 144 bar. Peak firing pressure at 75% load
from load test when new was 119 bars. The timing on this engine was for unknown reasons
advanced some 4-5. When we physically checked the timing, average point of injection was 14.0
BTDC. Test bed result was between 9 and 10 BTDC. Cylinder 4 shows later injection. This
engine was working very hard, and when the engine was running at 90-95% operational load, the
bearing load caused by the acting inertia forces would exceed the permissible bearing load. This
again would inevitable cause breakdown of bearings with possible damage to crankshaft and
connecting rods. (All connecting rod bearings were replaced due to damage from this incident.)

2) Same data. Here we can see a very unbalanced engine, Cylinder #4 get less fuel injected and
has latest injection, and this accounts for lowest Peak Firing Pressure

3) Engine timing now retarded some 4.0. Load 91%, on MDO. Then we balanced engine mostly
by adjusting fuel pump racks. Drastically improved performance.

4) Same data at 91% load. Peak firing pressure is now reduced to normal. From new load test at
90%, Peak firing pressure average was 134 bars on MDO. Engine now well balanced, both the
Peak Firing pressure and the Power are within engine makers limits and also within Class
recommendations for a medium 4 stroke engine.

5) Data at same load, before and after timing adjustment.

Case Study No. 3: Reduced Fuel Consumption: Optimizing timing, 2-stroke slow speed

1) From monthly performance, nothing special noted.

2) Table layout data, engine performs very well, but timing is late, around 5 degrees. A fuel penalty
between 3.5-4.0% is the result. (Engine not needed to be in Compliance with new NOx
regulations.) Engine well balanced.

3) The next month, fuel pump Cylinders 3 and 4 failed. Both pumps replaced. We can now see
the deviation in mean in Power have increased above allowable limit of 7%. Cylinders 3 and 4
now produce more power. This can easily be adjusted on the fuel pump index. However, the
higher Peak firing pressure seen on these two cylinders must be adjusted by retard injection
timing around 1.5 degree.

4) When we look at the fuel and combustion diagrams, we will see something very interesting.
Max delivery pressure in fuel pumps 3 and 4 is much higher than the other pumps.
We do not have any baseline data for these engines from fuel traces, so therefore it is just an
experienced guess that the four other pumps are due for overhaul, worn out. They have total
running hours of 67,000+ since engine was new, and some 24,000+ hours since last pump

5) Here we see the fuel graphs alone and cylinders 3 and 4 really stand out, max differential
pressure of 125 bar (1800psi), This is to high, max allowed is generally only 50 bar (700psi).
This will influence the combustion process in ways of better atomizing,(cylinders 3 and 4) but
it takes more mechanical power to produce the higher pressure, therefore reducing engines
overall mechanical efficiency. At this time, when I reviewed these graphs, I pointed out the
late injection on this engine and suggested advancing the timing between 3-4 degrees to the
Technical Manager.

6) During the vessels dry-dock late 2005, all fuel pumps, including 3 and 4 and fully overhauled. It
was then discovered fuel pumps 3 and 4 had incorrect plunger and barrel diameter. Instead of
48mm, 52 mm had been installed. Re-assembled with correct plunger and barrels. Timing
advanced in average 3.5 degrees.

7) The next three snapshots show the real improvements; Before and after the dry-docking, 2 sets of
data put together.

8) Before and after timing adjustment and fuel pumps overhaul, combustion graphs.

9) Before and after timing adjustment and fuel pumps overhaul, Fuel injection graphs.

10) SFOC penalty table, from MANBW

Used with MANBW

(USA) permission.

Case Study No. 4: Reduced Emissions and Trending over time.
(IMO-NOx-Timing Record), 2-stroke slow speed

1) Trending over a time frame of 13 months. Combustion and diagrams seen here, some variation in

2) Fuel traces from same time line. We can see that timing is very even and consistent over this time.
This engine has VIT system and therefore small variation in timing when variance in load occurs.

3) This is a different 2-stroke engine that has been trended over 14 months. We can clearly see
large variation in timing over this period. This would have caused serious questions/remarks
from the auditor that was to verify if the engine were in compliance with latest Nox regulations
and requirements, to satisfy the so-called Technical Certificate of the engine. Over time, there
were numerous problems with the engine VIT system.



Case Study No. 5: Reducing Maintenance cost, Zero Downtime, Extending overhaul intervals
by implying Condition based combustion monitoring using a DEPA, 2-stroke slow speed

1) Trending over a period of 13 months. This is same data used in Case Study 4. Class Societies will
in general accept any change in periodic overhaul intervals if the increased intervals are within
makers overhaul window. One criterion that needs to be implemented is that the Operator/Owner
has a Condition based monitoring program, like Electronic Diesel Engine Analyzer in place in
conjunction with a Planned Maintenance system. Important is the fact that only Technical
Manager/Owner will give their final approval for increased intervals, this is based on Chief
Engineers suggestion. The Engineering staff (Chief Engineer) must then increase their visual
inspection of engine parts when feasible. (Like inspection of piston rings through scavenging ports
on 2 stroke engines, monitor the engines monthly lubrication consumption etc.) In some instances,
it might be the opposite case, where the intervals are reduced based on such Condition Monitoring
program. Such cases will also save the Owner/Manger money, because the risk of failure/
breakdown is likely to be reduced.

2) Fuel traces from same time line. Fuel systems perform very well. Increasing the overhaul
intervals for fuel injectors, fuel pump plungers can certainly be applied in this case. Engine has
a VIT system that is functioning very well.


There are quite a few benefits that can be achieved if a good Diesel Condition Monitoring program is
in place. Here are a few:

Improved performance;
Reduced maintenance cost;
Reduced fuel consumption;
Reduced emissions, keep within MARPOL Annex 6. Important: For slow speed engines, were
fuel transducer capabilities are used, the fuel graphs can be used to show Class society and Port
State control, that their engine is within correct timing as pr. engine certificate for NOx ( to be
verified with Class)
As close to zero downtime as possible, (so called Off-Hire)

Every professional in this industry will recognize that there are major benefits from any type of
maintenance program that includes Engine performance and Condition monitoring using modern

A well-balanced engine will operate more smoothly and require less maintenance. The fuel
consumption is also likely to be reduced. These savings are significant but smooth running and
reduced maintenance are often difficult to quantify. Reduced fuel consumption, with a 1.5-2.0%
bunker fuel savings would quickly pay back the cost of any Diesel Engine analysis system for most
operators in less than one year. Even in the case of Operators where the fuel cost is paid for by the
Charterers, increased fuel efficiency makes charters more attractive since this will reduce their fuel

Improved Performance:
Accurate pressure readings and cylinder power calculations allow for optimum balancing and
tuning of the engine. The performance of injectors and combustion can clearly be seen on the high
resolution graphs and also by using the balancing screen, comparison cylinder by cylinder.

Reduced Maintenance Costs:

The Doctor can pinpoint problems that are starting to develop, and therefore engine room
personnel can take preventive action to avoid engine breakdowns/catastrophic failures.
Maintenance can be targeted at the areas requiring attention and therefore, unnecessary opening of
engine components that are performing well between scheduled intervals, can be minimized.
Extended overhaul intervals, such as piston jobs, exhaust valves, fuel injectors, are often the result
applied by the Chief Engineer and Fleet Manager based on regular Condition Monitoring.

A cracked cylinder liner due to a malfunctioning injector on a large bore engine is a very costly
ordeal. A 10-12 hour stop at sea on this Car Carries vessel is costly. Parts and labor from (using
vessels own crew) can easily reach $50-75,000 in this case. See below.

Reduced Emissions:
IMO and other Legislations are increasing demands on Operators to reduce engine emissions. A
well-tuned engine, combustion optimization enables these emissions to be kept at a minimum.
This type of instrument is also used by engine manufacturer/builders and Vessel Managers to
reduce the NOx, by tuning and adjusting timing on engines.

Reduced Fuel Consumption:
Engine balancing and tuning can be achieved and, through regular monitoring, a smooth and well-
tuned engine condition maintained. The benefit of this is more efficient running of the engine and
consequent, fuel savings. To put a definite percentage number in savings is not that easy, but a
general rule of thumb is that if the engine Power balance deviates more than 10% from mean,
accepted numbers are 1-2% fuel penalty.

In this example, I will use Case Study 3 as an example. (Engine does not have VIT system.)

When using the DOCTOR, we find the timing retarded around 3.5 from original base-line timing
which were around 5 BTDC. At this condition, 24-hour fuel consumption was about 38 m/t at 85%
engine load, which was the charter requirement for vessels speed. (But due to the problems with this
engine, MCR only around 70%.)

Manager/Owner decides to advance the timing back to original settings.

(In this case NOx and emission is not an issue with MARPOL Annex 6.)
Bunker cost 4/4/2006: 325$/MT

Using the numbers from page Chapter 3, page 16-17, total annual main engine fuel cost arrives at
$3,705,000 USD.

If we use the MANBW table for NOx reduction, we can clearly see how much 3.5 retarded timing
will increase the SFOC on this engine.

Used with MANBW

(USA) permission.

At 75% load;
1 degree: .75% 2 degree: 2.0% 3 degree: 2.5% 4 degree: 3.0% 5 degree: 4.0%

At 100 % load:
1 degree: 1.0% 2 degree: 2.5% 3 degree: 3.5% 4 degree: 4.0% 5 degree: 4.75%

With 3.5 retardation at 85% load, around 3% SFOC penalty would be a close penalty percentage.

3% of $3,705,000 = $111,150 in added fuel cost penalty.