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Intelligent cylinder lubrication

MAN B&W Alpha Lubricator System. Intelligent cylinder lubrication.

On-line cylinder process monitoring – via feedback signals of lubricant usage and fuel sulphur content to MAN B&W’s electronic Alpha Lubricator system – ensures considerable cylinder oil savings along with controllable wear rates, scuffing control and longer intervals between engine overhauls.
Operational conditions beyond the normal are unavoidable, and many shipowners simply over-lubricate their engines under the false assumption that they will thus always be on the safe side. However, over-lubrication is not only expensive – it may even be counterproductive in promoting scuffing excessive carbon deposits and / or ‘bore-polished’ running surfaces. In addition, excessive lube oil adds to the amount of visible smoke.

Checks during start-up and periodic checks

MAN B&W Alpha Lubricator System. Checks during start-up and periodic checks.

Checks during start-up of the engine

  1. Upon start of the engine’s auxiliary blowers, the Alpha Lubricator System is programmed to carry out automatic pre-lubrication. The pump station will automatically stop if the engine is not started shortly after.
  2. Check that a pump on the pump station automatically starts up when the engine is started, and that the cyl. oil pressure builds up to 40-50 bar.
  3. Check that all the green LEDs flash on the intermediate boxes for each lubricator.
  4. Check that no alarm is detected on the control room and on the HMI panel.

Start up of Alpha Lubricator System (engine not running)

MAN B&W Alpha Lubricator System. Start up of Alpha Lubricator System (engine not running)

  1. To fill the pump station with cylinder oil, open the valves for the cylinder oil supply line and the venting cock (if installed). Close the venting cock when cylinder oil flows out into the venting line.
  2. Switch on the main switches on the pump station starter panels.
  3. Switch to “Local” and manually start pump 1 and subsequently pump 2.
    Check that both pumps can run simultaneously.

Working principle

MAN B&W Alpha Lubricator System. Working principle

  • The pump station supplies the Alpha Lubricators with 40-50 bar oil pressure.
  • The MCU controls the oil by activating a solenoid valve situated on the relevant lubricator.
  • A feedback signal from each lubricator indicates that oil injection has taken place. This is shown by Light Emitting  Diodes (LEDs) on intermediate boxes for each cylinder.
  • Timing is based on two signals from the angle encoder, a TDC cyl. 1 marker and a crankshaft position trigger. The Alpha Lubricator system is normally timed to inject cyl. oil into the piston ring pack during the compression stroke.

Main components

MAN B&W Alpha Lubricator System. Main components

1. Pump station and starter panels

The pump station consists of two individually operating pumps, heating coil, filters and a suction tank. The power supply to the pump station starter panels is taken from two separate circuit breakers, one supplying each pump.

Cylinder lubrication

MAN B&W Alpha Lubricator System. Cylinder lubrication

The main purpose of Cylinder lubrication is to keep the liner walls and the piston rings lubricated at all times during engine operation.
Proper lubrication will reduce cylinder wear and ensure proper gas-tight sealing of the clearance between piston rings and cylinder liner wall.

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