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Wärtsilä Pulse Lubricating

System

A
National
Maritime
Academy
Productio
n
The reduction from a feed rate
of
1.1 g/kWh (0.8 g/bhph) with the
existing accumulator system to
a feed rate with PLS of 0.7
g/kWh (0.5 g/bhph) can
generate cost savings of more
than US$ 270,000 a year.
This corresponds to a cost
saving of about 36 per cent for
cylinder lubricating oil.
The benefits of the Pulse
Lubricating System
Reduced cylinder oil feed rates and thus
reduced engine operating costs.

• Precisely timed delivery of lubricating oil to


the cylinder liner surface.

• Accurately metered quantities of lubricating oil


delivered to the liner surface.

• Improved distribution of cylinder oil on the


liner.
Working principle of PLS
 The key feature of the Pulse Lubricating System
is that it delivers accurately metered, load-
dependent quantities of lubricating oil to the
cylinder liner running surface at the precise
timing required.

 Electronic control ensures the accurate dosage


and timing, with full flexibility in settings.

 The cylinder lubricating oil is sprayed as a pulse


of multiple jets on to the liner surface from a
single row of lubricators arranged around the
liner, each lubricator
having a number of nozzle holes.
Lubricator
The redesigned lubricator delivers the pressurised
cylinder oil in a compact pulse as a series of jet
sprays directly on to the cylinder liner surface.
The lubricator sare arranged around the liner in
one row to ensure an excellent distribution of
the cylinder oil on the
cylinder liner. The oil is equally distributed
around the circumference of the cylinder liner.
The vertical distribution is governed by the
lubricating oil injection timing as a function of
the crank angle.
The numbers of lubricators and their jet sprays
are adapted to the cylinder size. For the largest
engines, the RTA96C and RT-fl ex96C engine
types, there are eight lubricators with each
lubricator having five oil jets giving a total of 40
lubricating points on the liner surface.
 The oil jet sprays are directed to separate,
evenly distributed points on the liner surface.
The lubricating oil is thereby better distributed
over the liner running surface than with the
existing accumulator system so that less oil can
be used. With the jet sprays, there is no
atomisation and no loss of lubricating oil to the
scavenge air.

 Cylinder lubricating oil is delivered under


pressure to the lubricators by a newly-
developed dosage pump which is powered by
pressurised servo oil drawn from the engine’s
system oil. The feed rate and timing are
electronically controlled through a solenoid
valve at the lubricator pump. There is full
flexibility in the setting of the lubricator timing
 It proved unnecessary to include provision in
the
 Pulse Lubricating System for variation of
feed rate with respect to Sulphur content of
the fuel as this has proved superfluous in
Wärtsilä RTA and RT-flex low-speed engines.
These engines are designed so that the liner
surface temperatures are generally above
the dew point over their full running surface.
Thus for bunker fuels with some 1.5 to 4.5
per cent Sulphur no adjustment of the PLS is
required.
 However, bunker fuels with less than 1.5 per
cent Sulphur require special provisions in
terms of the
Schematic of the Pulse Lubricating System

 .
Th e main components of the Pulse
Lubricating System are thus:
• Pulse lubricating module, consisting of a
dosage pump with electronically-controlled
timing Lubricators, up to eight in a single row
around the cylinder liner.
• Filter and measuring system
• Servo oil supply unit (on RTA engines) or
pressure reducing unit (on RT-fl ex engines)
• Control system
• Crank angle sensors, two of which one is
redundant.
 Each module consists of a dosage pump, a 4/2-way
solenoid valve, monitoring electronics, pressure sensor
and diaphragm accumulator on a base plate. The same
lubricating modules are used for both new building and
retrofit versions.
Th e timed lubricating module feeds a
predefined metered quantity of cylinder
oil at high speed to the lubricators at the
precise timing ascertained by the engine
control system. Each lubricating module is
equipped with two separate supply lines:
one for cylinder lubricating oil and the
Other for servo oil. A separate servo oil
supply unit is needed todrive the
lubricating module for RTA engines,
whereas on RT-fl ex common-rail engines
the servo oil is taken from the servo oil
The ALM-20 (Advanced Lubricating Module) checks that
the dosage pump is working correctly. The ALM-20
communicates with the master control unit through a
redundant bus system, sends the signal to the 4/2-
way solenoid valve and processes the data from the
pressure transmitter.
Once the Wärtsilä Engine Control System (WECS)
switches the 4/2-way solenoid valve in the lubricating
module to the open position, servo oil flows to the
drive
side of the lubricating module’s
central piston. As the central piston is
actuated, it feeds cylinder lubricating
oil from the cylinder oil supply to the
metering ducts and then discharges it
from the lubricators at high pressure.
The cylinder oil is accurately supplied
at defined positions of the working
piston whose position is constantly
detected by the control system from
 At the end of the lubrication
work cycle, the directional valve
in the lubricating module directs
the servo oil to the return-flow
side of the central piston which
then returns
to its initial position. The
metering chamber is filled again
with cylinder lubricating oil to be
ready for the next
lubricating cycle.
Servo oil supply
 The provision of servo oil to drive the dosage
pump is adapted to the engine type. With RT-fl
ex engines, servo oil is drawn from the engine
servo oil system through a pressure reducing
valve by which the oil pressure is reduced from
200 bar to 50 bar. The reduced pressure is
monitored by pressure transmitters which are
directly connected to the alarm system, the
pipes are SOLAS compliant. The reduced
pressure can be adjusted and the level is shown
on an analogue pressure gauge. However, a
separate servo oil supply unit is provided for
RTA engines. It includes two gear pumps, one
supplying the lubricating module with servo oil
taken from the main engine oil system, with the
second pump as a stand-by. The oil supply unit
also includes a pressure limiting and safety
valve, pressure gauge, pressure sensor
 PLS
lubricatin
g module
fitted to
an
engine
cylinder.
Filter system
A generously dimensioned 40-micron
cylinder oil filter is arranged before the
lubricating modules. It effectively
removes any particles of dirt thereby
ensuring reliable operation of the
lubricating modules. A 12-litre buffer tank
is provided and its scaled sight glass
enables cylinder oil consumption
measurements of up to five litres. The
buffer tank also allows the filter to be
changed while the engine is running.
When the filter is dirty, the integrated
Control and monitoring system

 Control and monitoring of the Pulse


Lubricating System is provided either by
signals from the WECS engine control
system in RT-fl ex common-rail engines,
or by a separate control unit for RTA-
series engines based on the same
system. The PLS control and monitoring
system has Advanced Lubricating Module
(ALM-20) units which communicate with
the master control unit (FCM-20) by
When a lubricating pulse is initiated by the
engine control system, the monitoring
electronics associated with the respective
lubricator activate the 4/2-way solenoid
valve. The lubricating pulse is triggered
electrohydraulically as the pressure
sensor sends a check signal to the ALM-
20. When the pressure is within the
programmed range, the local signal
confirms that the lubricating cycle was
executed as specified. If, for instance, no
correct lubricating cycle is ascertained
owing to a fault such as a lubricator
blockage, a shortage of lubricant, a lack
of hydraulic drive power or a faulty shut
Service experience
The engine had run for 6503 hours
since the PLS had been installed,
together with new cylinder liner
and piston rings. The last 3500
running hours had been with a
cylinder oil feed rate of around 0.7
g/kWh.