New version of Alfa Laval’s Fuel Conditioning Module

03 Dec 2013
Alfa Laval describes its FCM One as “Part of tomorrow’s fuel line”

Alfa Laval describes its FCM One as “Part of tomorrow’s fuel line”

Alfa Laval has launched an updated version of its Fuel Conditioning Module, to be known as the FCM One, designed to offer a greater range of parameters and increased flexibility.

The FCM One is able to integrate functions including heating and cooling into the same module, driven by the same controller. In its standard version, the FCM One filters the fuel and regulates its viscosity, pressure and flow. For vessels working with multiple fuels, blended fuels or more advanced requirements, a range of additional functions can be integrated.

“Whatever the configuration, the FCM One is a single module with a compact design and a simple touchscreen interface,” said Paolo Golla, product manager fuel conditioning systems. “Though the FCM One meets different needs without under- or over-delivering, it’s very much one system – with one frame, one logic and one-point access to any function.”

The company says thatwith today’s emissions legislation and high fuel prices, most vessels have at least two fuels on board and serious concerns about energy consumption. Though scrubbers allow the continued use of HFO, other fuels may be needed when discharge limits cannot be met and the residuals cannot be stored on board. Moreover, fuel suppliers have suggested that access to certain fuels may be limited in the future. This creates a need for options that was the focus of FCM One development.

The FCM One offers multiple configurations, and is claimed to give ship operators the flexibility to work with any fuel available, with options for improving energy efficiency. Dealing with multiple fuels can be problematic with temperature shocks and low viscosity at the engine inlet causing difficulties for most control systems, while traditional fuel boosters offer no indication of which fuel is in use when entering an ECA.

The new systems is said to offer controlled and continuous fuel changeover, to permit onboard fuel blending, provide reliable proof of compliance, and offer possibilities for improved engine efficiency.

In addition, the FCM One offers VFD-based control of the fuel supply pumps, which enables a direct reduction by minimising their energy use when slow steaming, and engine-specific monitoring of fuel consumption, which takes into account pulsations of the injection system to give an accurate measurement of the flow through the engine. It is thus possible to detect increasing fuel consumption at an early stage.

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