Marine fuel qualities as they are and will be
My experiences as a field service engineer of large and slow speed diesel engines for ocean going ship propulsion
25 years have passed since my designer and field service engineer life started. And I have experienced many difficulties, frankly speaking, some of them were solved at once and some of them could not be solved in a short time and/or successfully. Lately, even if the difficulty was solved at once, it used to cause a great loss not only our clients but also other business partners linked by maritime transportation. Because, it became more and more important demand to keep time-schedule strictly in the business.
When I look back past two to three decades from engine builder's point of view, the difficulties were closely related to the design and/or operation, as well as the change of surrounding condition. Fuel quality is one of them and it is difficult to control by engine builder side.
I have experienced an energy crisis and I always keep in mind the importance of energy (fuel) saving, as well as environment protection from pollution. And, thanks to big efforts of the past, peoples have been enjoying the benefit of petroleum energy as a natural resource and oil wells have not dried-out yet.
Main engine, however, has to overcome the risk of spoiling its reliability against increasing fuel oils in the market whose combustion characteristic are unknown. And as one of the risk management, we would like to ask for establishing new evaluation method of combustibility of residual fuel oils for marine engine use.
1. Reliability of slow speed diesel engines and fuel oil
As mentioned above, ship propulsion engines have been playing an important role in the business to link natural resources, factories, retailers and consumers, economically and with high reliability. And, large diesel engines have been used as the most sophisticated and popular energy converter for ocean going ship propulsion, like gasoline engine for surface transportation by automobiles and jet engine for airplanes. Also, diesel engines have made a great progress in its technology and have been keeping the highest thermal efficiency, among them.
In this panel discussion, I should like to draw your attention that reliability is another most important point. Of course, in order to assure this high reliability, various kinds of hard effort have been made in such a field as engine design, manufacturing, operation and maintenance, application of auxiliary machinery, fuel/lubricant and etc.