Posted by: Craig | April 28, 2008

The engine room

Well, after a day and a half on board,  I venture down into the engine room. That’s over ten floors down from the accommodation level. The lift buttons are labelled U, 10, 5, ER. Floor five is the freeboard deck where the loading ramp is.

The engine control room is pretty big. The engine room is pretty small. And what surprised me about the main engine is its size. It’s quite small given the speed and size of the vessel. Most of the space seems to be taken up with the waste heat turbochargers, and even they are compact.

The first engineer showed me round, the chief engineer carried on doing his paperwork, screaming through my ear defenders as he told me what each piece of machinery did, offering witticisms as one would expect from engineer such as on the quality of the Korean workmanship as he pointed out vibration problems and the slightly tilted manufacturers plate on a boiler.

The engine room has three main levels surrounding the main engine sections. Beside the engine is one of the pistons, removed at a previous port and ready for testing. I was told how it takes seven hours of work if one piston ring goes, as the whole piston section has to be removed. When WWL initially switched to low sulphur fuel, the engineers on one ship found they had to change 5 piston rings in one round trip. The problem was due to the lube oil, I am told, but he also said that it is much better now, but there are still some problems.

In the only open space of the engine room sits two pipes, blanked off, obviously waiting. They are for the new ballast water system. The engineers would have liked to have had it fitted when the vessel was built last year, but now are unsure how it will fit in. On one deck level a filter system will be fitted, while on the other the ionization unit for the Alfa Laval system that Wallenius Line has a part stake in. The engineers do not know when they will get the system, but seem none too eager for the hassle of squeezing it into the space provided.

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