5 Checks To Perform For Efficient Marine Turbocharger Operation

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As a marine spare parts supplier over years, we believe efficient turbocharger function depends on the quality and maintenance 
of various parts. Turbochargers are essential for the ship, and thus, routine maintenance is required. They have two main parts; 
turbine sides and blower. For proper function, both these parts must be properly maintained. As any marine engineer will tell you, 
maintenance is as efficient as the frequency of inspection. Scheduling a thorough inspection is necessary to detect and address 
small problems. This helps perform maintenance tasks in time. Here are five important steps for a proper inspection:

1. Keep a watch on all the parameters
While this seems obvious, many watch-keeping officers forget important parameters. 
During rounds and monitoring, following parameters must be checked to evaluate 
performance: 
Speed of the system
Both inlet and outlet temperatures of gas exhaust
Inlet and outlet temperatures of cooling water
Lube oil temperature and pressure
Differential air pressure at the compressor side (check manometer)
2. Keeping track of the sound of the turbocharger
When it comes to a machine, the sound it makes while at work is an important way to determine its performance. 
Any abnormal sound is an indication of a problem. For example, scratching sound means there is a problem with 
the rotating parts of the system. Howling sounds indicate that the air inlet or passage is choked. This can lead to 
surging of the turbocharger.
3. Notice vibration
When machines are rotating at high speeds, there’s a natural vibration frequency which is completely normal. 
The same is true for turbochargers which have one of the highest speeds among all the machinery present 
aboard. Engine bracing helps to transfer these vibrations to the ship’s structure. However, if the vibrations 
increase abnormally, the engine must be stopped. Such vibrations are a result of worn out bearings, with 
loose foundation bolts or abnormal ‘K’ value.
4. Check for exhaust leak
Since the turbocharger deals with extremely high temperature gases, any leakage can result in a smoky 
atmosphere or even fire inside the engine room. The inlet comes from the main engine, while the outlet joins 
the exhaust pipes to a funnel. These two are flange-connected with a particular distance in between. It should 
be ensured that no leakage is present in these joints.
5. Check sump oil leakage
Oil level, as well as the temperature of oil, in the turbocharger must be checked constantly.
Some ships report contact of oil with exhaust gas and hot spots on the engine body due to leakage on the 
turbine casing. These incidents have resulted in fire inside the engine room. We recommend keeping 
turbocharger spare parts so that you can replace a defected part without affecting the whole system. 
Our marine spare parts supplier company offers main engine parts and gaskets too.

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