Against the backdrop of the CIMAC Congress 2016, ABB Turbocharging unveiled its first dedicated turbocharger for marine auxiliary engine applications, the fruit of a joint effort with Japan’s IHI Corporation, through the two companies’ joint venture, Turbo Systems United.
The Marine Auxiliary Power (MXP) turbocharger was designed for auxiliary engines with power output up to 2MW, operating on HFO. By focusing on a specific application, ABB says it was able to simplify the design, reducing the number of components by some 40 per cent compared to turbochargers intended for broader usage.
Significantly, developing a dedicated product avoided many of the performance compromises and trade-offs that occur with turbochargers intended for general use. The MXP is optimised for part load (50-75 per cent) operation, which translates to considerable fuel savings since gensets rarely run at full load, Roland Schwarz, head of marine auxiliaries and ABB Turbocharging Japan told The Marine Professional. The fact the MXP was born in Japan is not coincidental, as many auxiliary engines used on ships are supplied by local OEMs like Daihatsu and Yanmar.
End-user friendly serviceability was also a key design requirement from the outset. With a fixed screw size and tightening torque throughout, parts are easier for crew to access and can be dismantled and reassembled using standard tools (rather than vendor-specific, proprietary ones). Such small refinements, said Schwarz, reduce the risk of poorly performed maintenance causing more problems than it fixes.
“With three or four auxiliaries on board to supply the grid of a typical vessel, there is enough redundancy for crew to service equipment while underway,” explained Schwarz. Moreover, maintenance is condition-based rather than operating hour or calendar-based. This means crew decide when to replace parts by taking empirical measurements rather than waiting for a certain number of hours to pass. This self-service approach is supported by an app-based interactive user-guide.
Overall, the MXP should deliver a 25 per cent reduction in the total cost of ownership, Schwarz concludes. It will be produced in at least three frame sizes, and commercially available in early 2017.
Oliver Riemenschneider, Head of ABB Turbocharging said: “MXP maintains the reliable, robust quality of ABB turbochargers, whilst delivering the required auxiliary engine operation performance for vessels such as bulkers, tankers and mid-sized container ships. It enables IMO II compliance of the engine without the need for any additional measures.”