Inert gas production added to Alfa Laval Test & Training Centre
An Alfa Laval Smit Combustion system (FU type) has been installed at the Alfa Laval Test & Training Centre in Aalborg, Denmark. The system extends the centre’s range of full-scale vessel applications to cover inert gas production. The installation ensures that Alfa Laval remains at the forefront of developing and optimizing inert gas systems, permitting research, training and testing of the complex interactions on board a vessel.
Alfa Laval launched a major expansion of the testing space in 2017, which added 1100 m2 and a gas fuel supply. The new Smit Combustion system complements existing equipment, such as the Alfa Laval Gas Combustion Unit (GCU) and multi-fuel Alfa Laval Aalborg burner systems.
Inaugurated in 2014, the Alfa Laval Test & Training Centre is a full-sized machine room on land, with equipment from all of Alfa Laval’s marine product groups installed in process lines as they would be on a commercial vessel.
Inert gas production is needed on ships that carry oil and gas products, where the inert gas replaces oxygen in the cargo space to ensure a non-combustible atmosphere. The gas is pumped into the cargo tanks during offloading, for tank inspections or to maintain tank overpressure. Alfa Laval has produced inert gas generators for marine use since 1967.
Most versatile among Alfa Laval’s different inert gas generators, the Smit Combustion system is a low-pressure inert gas solution based on the unique Smit Ultramizing principle, which produces soot-free inert gas even when operating below stoichiometric conditions. The system installed at the Alfa Laval Test & Training Centre is capable of running at full load, producing up to 2500 m3/h of inert gas with low (5%) oxygen content. It is also fitted with the Automatic Fuel Efficiency Module (AFEM), which provides up to 40% fuel savings by adjusting the amount of fuel oil and combustion air to the current demand.
In preparing the new permanent installation, Alfa Laval has made every effort to recreate onboard conditions and simulate tank pressure. The Smit Combustion system is complete with seawater cooling, delivery valve, purge valve and deck water seal, and it allows stepless adjustment of parameters such as oxygen content, supply pressure and capacity.
“Having a Smit Combustion system at the Alfa Laval Test & Training Centre is an opportunity to test product innovations and improvements in a true-to-life environment, where we can simulate things like high seawater temperatures or variations in tank pressure,” says Marko Van der Smitte, Sales Director Inert Gas Systems at Alfa Laval.
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