- Easily used by ships maintenance staff right out of the box
- Instant indication of condition for motor bearings, gears, compressors, slewing rings, hoists, winches...
- Plan maintenance and have the spares available on time. Minimise off-hire and demurrage.
Bunker Fuel Testing & Analysis
Testing of bunker fuel can be undertaken on-site or off-site in a dedicated laboratory (Tier 3, 2 and 1 to make an analogy with lube oil testing). The table below indicates the testing possibilities for fuels specified in ISO 8217. Where an off-site test is not specified then the parameter is not covered in ISO 8217 for that grade of fuel. Put simply:
On-site testing allows for an immediate decision to be made in case of an off specification fuel but with a limited number of achievable test parameters.
Parker Kittiwake equipment falls into this category and covers:
- Cat Fines
- Water (inc salt / fresh)
- Pour Point
- Cloud Point (used by military but infrequently by merchant marine)
- Compatibility (c.f. sediment)
Off-site testing in a laboratory allows for a much larger number of test parameters to reflect the complete range within the fuel specification ISO 8217. This testing is also more repeatable and in many cases more accurate than can be achieved within the limitations of on-board fuel testing equipment. These companies often also provide surveying services to assist in larger bunkering operations. Laboratory services falling into this category are:
- FOBAS (Lloyds' Register) www.lr.org/fobas
- Maritec (Independent) www.maritec.com.sg
- Lintec (Independent) www.lintec-group.com
- DNV VPS (Det Norske Veritas) www.dnv.com
- Viswalab (Independent) www.viswalab.com
The situation is further complicated by the varying needs of the ship and bunker barge. Bunker barge operators are often delivering fuel 24/7, blending those fuels to satisfy a wide range of possible specifications including density, viscosity and sulphur limits. It is economically viable for such facilities to invest in sophisticated fuel testing equipment including continuously reading on-line devices where applicable, principally density and viscosity. Some ship owners have experimented with these devices also, typically Correolis type meters for density but the practice is not widespread.
A ship will typically bunker once a month and has less need to invest in high end instrumentation. However, good bunkering practices and fuel husbandry still remain an important part of the ships operation. As a minimum, a ships crew should be able to take and store a representative fuel sample, test for density, water and compatibility. Viscosity is less important and, even if 5-10% above specification, it can often be adjusted using the ships fuel heating system.
For further information contact the individual fuel testing services or the International Bunker Industry Association (www.ibia.net). (Parker Kittiwake staff have held the Chair of IBIA for 2 years and senior positions within the organisation for a further 9 years).