Making LPG propulsion possible within the maritime industry

Why use LPG as fuel for propulsion?

Throughout the past decade, the environmental requirements within the maritime industry have increased significantly meaning that the global shipping companies are forced to rethink their business strategy to comply with the stricter SOx, NOx and CO2 emission limits.

Moving towards a greener future, it has been essential to look at the opportunities for using more sustainable marine fuels. LPG used for dual fuel LPG engines secures compliance with the 2020 emission regulations. By switching to LPG, the carriers will additionally achieve full compliance with SOx and ECA areas regulations, as well as gain an environmental advantage of at least 13% less CO2 emissions compared with conventional marine engines, without loss of performance or efficiency. LPG consumption is therefore considered an important first step away from heavier oil-based products – and a necessary and complementary step towards a cleaner future of zero carbon propulsion.

United for the future of maritime

To cover the need for using long-term sustainable marine fuels, MAN Energy Solutions was the first company to introduce a new and innovative dual fuel engine able to run on propane (LPG): : The MAN B&W ME-LGIP. The ME-LGIP engine is the only dual fuel engine with liquid gas injection that allows switching between conventional HFO, MGO, and LPG fuels without any loss of performance or efficiency. However, it is a legal requirement to have a safety unit installed onboard the vessel to stop the gas supply to ensure the safe isolation of the engine and the machinery space.

Therefore, Eltronic FuelTech A/S initiated the development of the world’s first Fuel Valve Train for Liquefied Petroleum Gas (FVT LPG) in cooperation with MAN Energy Solutions – making LPG propulsion possible within the maritime industry.

The Fuel Valve Train

The FVT LPG consists of two subsystems: the Supply Valve Train (SVT) and the Return Valve Train (RVT). The SVT is placed between the Low-Flashpoint Fuel Supply System (LFSS) and the engine and the RVT is placed between the engine and the service tank or the recirculation system. The FVT LPG is a compulsory component in the main fuel line as it secures safe isolation in case of emergency with its double block and bleed functionality.

The main purpose in the development of the FVT LPG has been to secure compliance with IMO and the classification requirements. Moreover, the unit has been designed with focus on reliability, flexibility and costs. With the two flexible subsystems, the units can either be placed apart or together depending on the customers configuration needs. Another design benefit is that the units are intended for easy service and maintenance access.

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About MAN Energy Solutions

MAN Energy Solutions has been leading the way in advanced engineering for more than 250 years. They provide a unique portfolio of technologies converting energy into sustainable progress and prosperity. And together, we have made LPG propulsion possible within the maritime industry.

Case: Safety Valve System for the world’s first LNG powered containership

In April 2015, General Dynamics NASSCO’s shipyard delivered the world’s first LNG powered containership, the Isla Bella, to its customer TOTE Maritime. Eltronic FuelTech was tasked with supplying a double block and bleed safety valve configuration for the Isla Bella’s dual fuel engine.

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