Refitting ship engines to run on greener fuel types

The term Retrofit describes the refit of engines in existing ships to run on a different and more sustainable fuel types than they currently do, enabling them to become more sustainable by lowering fuel consumption and emissions of pollutants, such as Sulphur oxide. It is becoming more and more interesting for shipowners, because it creates a possibility for competing with newly built more eco-friendly ships.

Retrofitting is in many ways a task that is anything but standard. The refitting depends on many factors such as the size of the ship and the current engine.

How retrofitting can be done

One example of retrofitting is installing a dual-fuel engine that can run on Marine Gas Oil (MGO) or Marine Diesel Oil (MDO) and Liquid Natural Gas (LNG), which have a low Sulphur emission percentage below the regulatory 0.50 % as required by the IMO 2020-regulation.

This option is becoming more and more common and attractive to shipping lines, because of the increased availability of natural gas worldwide. This type of retrofit solution makes it possible to create a dual-fuel engine that has the functionality of both being able to run on gas and on liquid fuels.

In this way, retrofit is an alternative to installing a marine scrubber, where instead of cleaning the exhaust gas from traditional diesel engines, it makes use of natural gas of fuel, which in many ways are more environmentally sustainable than traditional diesel fuel if the exhaust gas is not cleaned.

Read more: How Senmatic's sensors can ensure stable marine scrubber operations

"The clear advantage of choosing a dual engine is to be able to select the most economical fuel type in different conditions and situations"

Keld Reimer Hansen Key Account Manager at Senmatic

Apart from doing a retrofit, there is also the option of installing a brand-new engine. This, however, is often a far more expensive solution, especially when comparing the benefits of the two solutions.

“Converting an existing engine has several advantages over installing a brand-new engine. It is a more cost-effective solution and, especially considering the efficiency level that the converted level will be at when the retrofit is done, which brings most of the functionality of a new engine,” says Keld Reimer Hansen.

The advantages of Senmatic sensors in a marine engine

If overheating occurs in an engine, it can have significant consequences for both equipment and personnel. This is why it is important to discover potential overheating or any similar issues as early as possible. This is especially important, because ships are sailing all over the world and marine operations take place in some of the harshest climates from extreme heat to extreme coldness. Due to this, it is also important to choose a high-quality sensor that can withstand these conditions.

Furthermore, the exhaust gas temperature is used to regulate the engine, which is part of ensuring the efficiency. For this, our Digital Transmitter Display is used, which is a solar powered transmitter with dual sensor input for high reliability.

Senmatic has an extensive range of sensors for any need and is used by industry-leading manufactures highly dependent on reliability.

Regardless of the type of engine you are operating, retrofit or new, Senmatic has the right solution for you. We offer both standard sensors and custom solutions made specifically for your needs.

If you have any questions to the above - or if you are interested in knowing more about our solutions for the marine industry in general, you are welcome to contact us at:

Phone: +45 6389 2211, e-mail:
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