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PREPARATORY COURSE FOR CHIEF ENGINEER OFFICER ON SHIPS OF 3000KW PROPULSION POWER OR MORE

TURBOCHARGERS - CLEANING
COMPRESSOR SIDE

The cleanliness of the compressor depends on how clean the incoming air is. The filters themselves are not capable of
removing fine particles of soot or oil vapour, making it very important to seal leaking exhaust pipes and prevent oil losses.

Cleaning, carried out periodically, will prevent a thick layer of dirt from forming. A thick layer of dirt can cause a drop in
efficiency and increased unbalance on the compressor side of the turbocharger, which could influence the lifetime of the
bearings. Besides affecting the efficiency, the layer of soot on the compressor contains sulphur, which has a corrosive
effect on the aluminium alloy and can lead to a considerable reduction in the fatigue resistance of the inducer and
compressor wheels.

The cleaning interval will depend on environmental conditions, and the air filter, but is generally once a day.

The compressor wheel of the turbocharger is cleaned during operation by


spraying water into the air inlet casing. This is achieved by filling a cleaning pot (
as shown in photo) with fresh water and then using the discharge air pressure
from the turbocharger to blow the water into the compressor inlet. The dirt layer
is removed by the impact of water. Since the liquid does not act as a solvent there
is no need to add chemicals.

The use of saltwater is not allowed, as this would cause corrosion of the
aluminium compressor wheel and the engine.

Compressor Water Washing Pot

Since the dirt layer is removed by the kinetic energy of the water droplets, the best results are obtained by injecting water
during full load operation of the engine, i.e. when the turbocharger is running at full speed.

The complete contents of the water vessel should be injected within 4 to 10 seconds.

Successful cleaning is indicated by a change in the charge air or scavenging pressure, and in most cases by a drop in the
exhaust gas temperature.

If cleaning has not produced the desired results, it can be repeated after 10 minutes.

If a very thick layer has built up and it cannot be removed using the method described, it will be necessary to dismantle the
turbocharger in order to clean the compressor side.

Chemical aids (i.e. solvents) are not necessary for cleaning during operation. The water injection method is based on the

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PREPARATORY COURSE FOR CHIEF ENGINEER OFFICER ON SHIPS OF 3000KW PROPULSION POWER OR MORE

TURBOCHARGERS - CLEANING
mechanical effect of impinging droplets of water. The water has to be injected with the turbocharger running at the highest
possible speed. if solvents were to be used, the speed would have to be lower and the solvent injected for a longer time to
have any effect.

Under no circumstances should the injection tubes be connected to a direct water supply. The supplied dosing vessel,
supplies the exact amount of water and prevents uncontrolled amounts of water entering the turbocharger and engine,
resulting in major damage.

TURBINE SIDE

When heavy fuel is burnt the nozzle rings and turbine blades become dirty due to combustion residue. Some of the
deposits have their origin in soot, molten ash, scale and unburned oil, partially burnt fuel and sodium vanadylvanadat. The
calcium additives in the cylinder oil combine with the sulphur in the fuel to form calcium sulphate which is also a cause of
fouling. The quantity of the deposits depends on the quality of the combustion, the fuel used, and the lube oil
consumption. Turbochargers operating on engines using diesel oil are affected to a far lesser extent and apart from a very
thin coating of additives, show no signs of dirt deposits.

The result of this fouling is reduced turbine efficiency and engine


performance as well as an increase in the exhaust gas temperature.
Experience has shown that the contamination on the turbine side
can be reduced by regular cleaning in operation, and that such
cleaning allows longer intervals between turbocharger overhauls.

The frequency of cleaning will depend on the composition of the


heavy fuel used and the quality of the combustion.
Two cleaning methods exist; Wet cleaning (water injection) and
dry cleaning (solid particle injection). Which method is adopted
depends on the engine load and the temperature before the turbine.

Fouled Nozzle Ring

Water Washing

Normally carried out every 48 - 500 hours of operation or when the gas temperature after the turbine rises by 20C above
the normal average at full load. The exhaust gas temperature before turbine should not exceed 430C This is to prevent
stress in the turbine from thermal shock. During cleaning the turbine inlet temperature may rise to 500C

The boost pressure has to be high enough (0.3 bar) to ensure that the labyrinth seal receives sufficient air and prevents
water entering the turbine end oil chamber. During cleaning a small drop in pressure is permissible.

Open the drain on the gas outlet casing and check that it is clear. (Exhaust gas will flow out). Connect the water supply to
the cleaning connector, ensure the water pressure reducing valve is correctly set to the value recommended by the engine
manufacturer, and open the water valve slowly.

The quantity of injected water will depend on the exhaust gas temperature, water pressure, size of the turbocharger and
number of gas inlets. Details can be found in the engine builder's manual.
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PREPARATORY COURSE FOR CHIEF ENGINEER OFFICER ON SHIPS OF 3000KW PROPULSION POWER OR MORE

TURBOCHARGERS - CLEANING

Water should be injected for 5 to 10 minutes. The dirt layer on the turbine components are removed by thermal shock
rather than by the kinetic energy exerted by the water droplets. Check the drain to ensure that water is flowing out. At first
this water will be very dirty as it carries away the deposits from the nozzle ring and blades. After 10 minutes or so it
should become clear, showing that the cleaning process is complete.

Close the water valve and disconnect the supply. Observe the drain and when no more water flows out close the valve.
Run the engine at moderate load for 15 minutes to dry the turbine out before increasing load on the engine. When
increasing speed, keep a close eye on the chargers for any signs of vibration, due to out of balance forces caused by
incomplete removal of deposits. If vibration occurs, then slow down and repeat the cleaning process.

The interval between water washing the turbine will depend on the combustion, the fuel used and the fuel oil consumption.
It can vary from 1 to 20 days of operation.

NOTE.
The turbine is braked during cleaning and the turbocharger speed fails by approx. 10%. The engine will receive less air
and the exhaust temperatures may rise; however, the maximum permissible exhaust gas temperature specified by the
engine manufacturer must not be exceeded under any circumstances.
If several turbochargers are fitted on one engine supplying the same air receiver, the manufacturers recommend that all
the turbochargers are washed simultaneously..

The most convenient time to water wash the turbine on a charger is on departure, just after Full Away is rung, before
building up to full sea speed

It is not recommended that the operation is carried out when arriving in port, tied up alongside before shutting down. The
turbine isn't given time to dry out, and corrosion will occur.

Dry Cleaning

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PREPARATORY COURSE FOR CHIEF ENGINEER OFFICER ON SHIPS OF 3000KW PROPULSION POWER OR MORE

TURBOCHARGERS - CLEANING

Dry solid particles are blown by


compressed air into the exhaust lines
before the turbocharger. This is carried
out at full speed, the layer of deposits
on the turbine components being
removed by the kinetic energy of the
granules causing them to act as an
abrasive.

On account of their hardness, granulated


materials such as natural kernel
granules, or activated charcoal particles
have been used with success.

The mean particle size of the cleaning


granules must be between 1.2 -2.0 mm
diameter.

The intervals between cleaning is dependent upon the extent of contamination and the increase in exhaust gas temperature
after the turbine. Dry cleaning has to be carried out more often than water washing, as it is only possible to remove thin
layers of deposits. A cleaning interval of 1 to 2 days is recommended, or when the gas temperature after the turbine
increases to 20C above the average temperature at full load.

For a turbo-charger with more than one gas inlet, clean the turbochargers one gas inlet after the other. On engines with
several turbochargers clean one turbocharger after the other.

Procedure for dry cleaning

The exhaust gas temperature before the turbine should not exceed 580C to prevent burning off of the granules before they
reach the turbine.

To ensure effective mechanical cleaning, granulated dry cleaning media are best injected into the turbine at a high
turbocharger speed with a boost pressure of over 0.5 bar.

The quantity needed will vary from 0.2l to 3l, depending on the size of the turbocharger.

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PREPARATORY COURSE FOR CHIEF ENGINEER OFFICER ON SHIPS OF 3000KW PROPULSION POWER OR MORE

TURBOCHARGERS - CLEANING

Experience has shown a combination of the two cleaning methods to be very effective, especially in the case of 2-stroke
engines.
However if neither method has been used for a period of time and it is suspected that the turbine and nozzle ring have a
build up of heavy deposits, then it is unadvisable to try and clean the assembly by either method as it may result in severe
inbalance. The rotor must be withdrawn at the earliest opportunity and cleaned manually.

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