5 Maintenance Steps For High Performance Marine Turbochargers

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A marine turbocharger is an important part of a ship’s system. It reuses the exhaust gases to increase the efficiency of the engine.

Turbochargers mainly consist of two parts: the blower and turbine sides. Both these parts require equal care and maintenance for its proper function.

Marine engineers usually monitor the performance of all the turbochargers on board. This is done during the inspection and maintenance is carried out, if and when required.

Particular maintenance steps are necessary to keep the system running. Here are 5 steps which should be marked every time maintenance is undertaken.

1. Intake Filters
These turbochargers have mesh filters which help avoid particles, oily air mixtures and other particulate materials from entering. If allowed, they can damage the compressor turbine.
The fitted filters must be chemically cleaned at least twice every month or depending on the running hours.
An extra felt filter is recommended over the compressor which can absorb oily air mixtures. These filters can be changed frequently, thus provide sufficient protection.

2. Soot Blow
A turbocharger’s performance is significantly affected if the exhaust passage following the turbocharger is in poor condition. This leads to surging, and eventually, breakage of turbine blades.
It is therefore recommended to soot blow the boiler tubes of the exhaust, every day. This will help avoid trouble with the exhaust and ensure proper working of the turbocharger.

3. Turbocharger Washing
Both turbine and compressor sides should be cleaned as recommended in the manufacturer’s manual. Regular washing is necessary to maintain the cleanliness and the efficiency of these parts. Cleaning of these parts assists in clearing out carbon, soot and other deposits from the exhaust. Otherwise, these deposits will gather over time and reduce the efficiency of the turbocharger.

4. Power Distribution
As mentioned previously, the turbocharger relies on exhaust gases which are produced in the engine cylinders during the combustion process. Since the engine has multiple cylinders, it is imperative that there remains a power balance among these cylinders. If one cylinder produces more power because of fuel valve malfunction, it can lead to surging of the turbine side. It must be ensured that even power distribution is maintained in the engine.

5. Check Clearance
When the system is opened for overhauling, clearances for blade tip and casing, shaft’s ‘K’ value (determines the correct alignment) and operation of labyrinth seal (fitted between exhaust shield and impeller) must be undertaken.
If any of these parts are malfunctioning, look for an online marine spare parts supplier for quick order. Please don’t hesitate to contact Changrun Trade, a marine spare parts supplier for their high quality turbocharger parts.

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