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Question. Got the right people here to get the right answer. Say... 1950s or 1960 designs of marine boilers on large vessels... say BRITANNIA etc. Apart from the obvious heating etc is there any difference, like nozzles onthe burners? Can a vessel easily switch from Bunker C to diesel? I know one of the old cruise ships in Bermuda frequently, the VOLENDAM from HAL built 1958. The vessel was having problems with soot and the residents in St George's and Hamilton were not happy with the smuts sitting on their clean white roof! HAL decided to switch from 'C' to diesel when the ship arrived alongside. End of problem. Could have the change over been done easily?

Thanks. Stephen
 

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Question. Got the right people here to get the right answer. Say... 1950s or 1960 designs of marine boilers on large vessels... say BRITANNIA etc. Apart from the obvious heating etc is there any difference, like nozzles onthe burners? Can a vessel easily switch from Bunker C to diesel? I know one of the old cruise ships in Bermuda frequently, the VOLENDAM from HAL built 1958. The vessel was having problems with soot and the residents in St George's and Hamilton were not happy with the smuts sitting on their clean white roof! HAL decided to switch from 'C' to diesel when the ship arrived alongside. End of problem. Could have the change over been done easily?

Thanks. Stephen
Hi Stephen,

As you know, I visited Bermuda after the hurricane, to survey a damaged yacht which had broken its moorings and ended up on the "original airport" island - I can't remember the name now.

The short answer is yes, it is possible to change over, but you may have to change the burner nozzles and even number of burners in use. Most boilers, like diesel engines, were designed to run on diesel and bunker:diesel for a cold start/shutdown and bunker for the long hall. As heavy fuel oil needs to be heated to around 130/140 Celsius, if the boiler/engine was shut down, the HFO would solidify in the fuel pipes and block burners fuel pumps/injectors. This was solved to use solely HFO by trace steam heating, fuel recirculation and, on start-up, auxillary fans while the turbochargers get up to speed and stabilize.

Now, nozzles and burners atomize the fuel so that it will ignite. The size of the particle is crucial for full combustion and thermodynamic efficiency, that is simply utilizing all the potential energy in the fuel. We are all familiar with petrol "octane" numbers. The octane refers to the potential speed of combustion - higher octanes burn faster and, therein, more power available in a shorter time span. The higher the combustibility, the faster the engine can run (racing motorcyles and F1 may run at 18-24,000 r.p.m.!).

With atomized fuels, the particle size is critical to ensure that, in it's passage through the furnace or injection/power stroke/exhaust cycle in a diesel, the fuel is completely burned. Not enough air, too big a particle or poor inlet/exhaust valve timing all have a role to play in ensuring a complete energy utilization.

Diesel oil burns more easily because it is "lighter" and more readily atomized. It requires less auxilliary systems, and is more forgiving and less demanding than HFO! However, it is more expensive: As a "lighter" fuel, it requires more heating when "cracking" the crude oil in the refinery. HFO is, to all intents, the sludge in the bottom of the cracking tower, but loaded with potential energy (which is why it isn't a "distillate fuel", i.e. evaporates up through the cracking tower).

Sorry, but I could rant on all day about this! So, 'nuff said for now!

Rgds.
Dave
 

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I have a recollection that the Iowa class battleships were converted from Bunker C to some form of lighter/diesel type fuel in their last swansong.

Given that Bunker C is no longer widely available what has now replaced it as the heaviest product left in the cracking process and what is it used for, please?
 

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Dave, Excellent. Many thanks. Rusty's original question, I don;t know what HMY Britannia would need a 'special tank' for HM's 'special oils' at Portsmouth. It would not be cost effective to have a special tank and special oil that would be sitting for months and months doing nothing. Might have to be heated in storage or it might not flow to the ship at the bunker berth (winter months).

The 'local residents', Ah, it was nuisance. First move is to call the sherrif and make a complaint and see the evidence. That would find the Master up before the Magistrate for pollution. Then the ship's agent would come to the house owner and come to arrangement for having the roof cleaned and painted. I was HM in Bda at that time and it was a weekly complain... unless the wind direction was different.

Many years I was cruising in ROTTERDAM, Captain Konrad Menke. Remembered him from the VOLENDAM days. He told me was leaving VOLENDAM to go off on leave. Left the ship in Hamilton and went to the Princess Hotel for one night stay before flying out. He checked in and went to his room. Beautiful view over Salt Kettle. Later he went down to the lobby to make a little complaint to the Manager. "I have been to my balcony and the chairs etc is very dirty." :-( The Manager replied, "Oh Mr Menke, we are so sorry. We will send one up immediately to clean it. Unfortunately we get soot problems whenever that Dutch ship VOLENDAM in in port." Menke smiled and decided to say nothing!

The following year both VOLENDAM and VEENDAM were sold as QUEEN OF BERMUDA and BERMUDA STAR. They NEVER had a single problem with soot. Every arrival... changed to diesel and they kept someone... sailor of some kind, out on the bridge wing every night. Kept a simple log of wind forection of force and if there was any smoke from the funnels.

Stephen
 

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What is the difference between Bunker C and FFO? Seems to be the same.

Bunker fuel or bunker crude is technically any type of fuel oil used aboard vessels. Its name is derived from coal bunkers, where the fuel was originally stored. The Australian Customs and the Australian Tax Office defines a bunker fuel as the fuel that powers the engine of a ship or aircraft. Bunker A is No. 4 fuel oil, bunker B is No. 5, and bunker C is No. 6. Since No. 6 is the most common, "bunker fuel" is often used as a synonym for No. 6. No. 5 fuel oil is also called Navy Special Fuel Oil (NSFO) or just navy special; No. 5 or 6 are also commonly called heavy fuel oil (HFO) or furnace fuel oil (FFO); the high viscosity requires heating, usually by a recirculated low pressure steam system, before the oil can be pumped from a bunker tank. Bunkers are rarely labeled this way in modern maritime practice
This is confusing.
Perhaps My experience is too limited. In the smaller Coastal and Offshore oi vessels I only came across the following.
Bunker C or what we called heavy oil. Our ships never used the gunk but one ancient drillship we serviced did. We converted a pair of cargo tanks to carry it.
Then there was Light Marine Diesel, sort of gunkey but much lighter than "C". Only one ship I sailed in used this. It was not readily available in Australaisa. The ship came from Holland so it may have been more common in Europe.
Lastly and most commonly we used what was called Gas Oil, to all intents and purposes common or garden Diesel.
I do recall loading something called NATO Diesel,but can't remember where or why.
 

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FFO - aka furnace oil and very similar to domestic heating oil.
It is the distilling fraction between diesel and heavy oils considered ideal for use in smaller atomising burners.
Obsolete in ships nowadays but likely that some ships including HMY used it quite late in the day or until the systems were adapted. That's would explain the idea of a 'special fuel tank'
FFO Furnace Fuel Oil
 

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I agree... a bit confusing. In all vessels I have sailed in (motor ships) we had Heavy Oil or Diesel Oil. That or nothing else. Tugs her in Bda... Diesel Oil. Back in the 60s we had old tugs that were steamships and they use Bunker C. On one occassion the old tug topped up with Bunker C and then went to the ORONSAY and topped her tanks... BUNKER C.

The only time I heard the term GAS OIL was in tug MARINIA. The Chief had a bucket of GAS OIL and was being used for cleansing engine parts, injectors etc. The only vessels I knew perfectly used fuel... the buoy tender ROCKBREAKER and the ferry CARONA... buth used some real stuff.. COAL!
 

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Coal. Even worse for those tending the purifiers than BFO I guess. Not to mention 'last chance' filters.
 

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Slightly off track, did SASOl (South Africa)l and another outfit at Point of Ayr (Wales), with British Coal collaboration, not dabble in producing oil from coal.

Anyone know how that progressed or indeed failed.

BW
J:cool::cool:.
 

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Hi Stephen,

As you know, I visited Bermuda after the hurricane, to survey a damaged yacht which had broken its moorings and ended up on the "original airport" island - I can't remember the name now.

The short answer is yes, it is possible to change over, but you may have to change the burner nozzles and even number of burners in use. Most boilers, like diesel engines, were designed to run on diesel and bunker:diesel for a cold start/shutdown and bunker for the long hall. As heavy fuel oil needs to be heated to around 130/140 Celsius, if the boiler/engine was shut down, the HFO would solidify in the fuel pipes and block burners fuel pumps/injectors. This was solved to use solely HFO by trace steam heating, fuel recirculation and, on start-up, auxillary fans while the turbochargers get up to speed and stabilize.

Now, nozzles and burners atomize the fuel so that it will ignite. The size of the particle is crucial for full combustion and thermodynamic efficiency, that is simply utilizing all the potential energy in the fuel. We are all familiar with petrol "octane" numbers. The octane refers to the potential speed of combustion - higher octanes burn faster and, therein, more power available in a shorter time span. The higher the combustibility, the faster the engine can run (racing motorcyles and F1 may run at 18-24,000 r.p.m.!).

With atomized fuels, the particle size is critical to ensure that, in it's passage through the furnace or injection/power stroke/exhaust cycle in a diesel, the fuel is completely burned. Not enough air, too big a particle or poor inlet/exhaust valve timing all have a role to play in ensuring a complete energy utilization.

Diesel oil burns more easily because it is "lighter" and more readily atomized. It requires less auxilliary systems, and is more forgiving and less demanding than HFO! However, it is more expensive: As a "lighter" fuel, it requires more heating when "cracking" the crude oil in the refinery. HFO is, to all intents, the sludge in the bottom of the cracking tower, but loaded with potential energy (which is why it isn't a "distillate fuel", i.e. evaporates up through the cracking tower).

Sorry, but I could rant on all day about this! So, 'nuff said for now!

Rgds.
Dave
Burning F.O is/was a tricky thing, One night I was flashing up a boiler from cold, we had two drums of "Diesel" on the boiler room plates with copper tubing taking the diesel through one of the F.O. pumps then on to the burner selected for flashing up, Diesel tips were just the smallest burner tips we had. Once the boiler was set up and the burner lit I observed the combustion expecting it to be good only to see atomized diesel flowing through the flame and falling to the furnace floor and burning in a pool of diesel. Once some steam was available I put on the F.O. heater and when hot enough put in a normal burner and shut down the diesel burner. Combustion was better on F.O. but on the Oronsay it was never as good as the Arcadia despite the Arcadia's Howden equipment being more primitive than the Oronsay's ABC gear
Jock
 

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Burning F.O is/was a tricky thing,
Jock
Hi Jock,

On one m.v., the auxy boiler was VERY tricky. It ran on HFO, same as the ME. The thing was an absolute bu99er to flash up. If it didn't ignite on the second go, you HAD to open the furnace front, clean the burner and igniter and the clean out the pooled, unburbend fuel off the furnace floor. Box it up and try again! Once it was fired-up, it was very reliable and good.

Evidence of laziness and not sticking to the procedure by the letter was evidenced by a huge backblast which, while not particularly life endangering, would paint the errant operator black, a la Looney Tunes cartoon!! I went past the compartment one day in port, doing some fridge maintenance and the 4/E (who had long hair) came tripping out, huge black stain on his boiler suit, black sooted face and his hair sticking straight out in all directions. The same happened to a greaser when I was on watch in port. I acknowledged a flame out alarm AUX BLR and set off to restart it - When, I got there, I found the greaser with the telltale stain/soot/frazzled hair. When I interrogated him, he said he had seen that the boiler had flamed out and decided to push the start button to restart. "How many times did you push it?", I asked him, "about half a dozen" he answered. After forcing him to clean the furnace, burner and igniter to my entire satisfaction, I hauled him up before the C/E for a well deserved bo11ocking!

Golden rule: Don't push buttons if you don't know what you are doing and never acknowledge an alarm if you don't know how to fix it!

Just as an aside and complete deviation, when burning coal in very large steam generators, the coal is ground to powder and fluidized with steam for injection. The nozzles require constant maintenance due to erosion of the nozzle holes by the coal particles. Long gone are the days of armies of stokers and firemen, shovelling coal and clearing ash and clinker!

Rgds.
Dave
 

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Just as an aside and complete deviation, when burning coal in very large steam generators, the coal is ground to powder and fluidized with steam for injection. The nozzles require constant maintenance due to erosion of the nozzle holes by the coal particles. Long gone are the days of armies of stokers and firemen, shovelling coal and clearing ash and clinker!
Drax B power station, I know used this system. As I believe did the other Drax series Stations?.
The coal was Pulverised with huge Griding Heads. Almost like the Old Fashioned Mill Stones. It came direct from the nearby Selby Coalfield.

Circa, 1981/2, I was involved with the Shutdown Statutary Survey of one of the Boilers.
 

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Drax B power station, I know used this system. As I believe did the other Drax series Stations?.
The coal was Pulverised with huge Griding Heads. Almost like the Old Fashioned Mill Stones. It came direct from the nearby Selby Coalfield.

Circa, 1981/2, I was involved with the Shutdown Statutary Survey of one of the Boilers.
Hi Jock,

On one m.v., the auxy boiler was VERY tricky. It ran on HFO, same as the ME. The thing was an absolute bu99er to flash up. If it didn't ignite on the second go, you HAD to open the furnace front, clean the burner and igniter and the clean out the pooled, unburbend fuel off the furnace floor. Box it up and try again! Once it was fired-up, it was very reliable and good.

Evidence of laziness and not sticking to the procedure by the letter was evidenced by a huge backblast which, while not particularly life endangering, would paint the errant operator black, a la Looney Tunes cartoon!! I went past the compartment one day in port, doing some fridge maintenance and the 4/E (who had long hair) came tripping out, huge black stain on his boiler suit, black sooted face and his hair sticking straight out in all directions. The same happened to a greaser when I was on watch in port. I acknowledged a flame out alarm AUX BLR and set off to restart it - When, I got there, I found the greaser with the telltale stain/soot/frazzled hair. When I interrogated him, he said he had seen that the boiler had flamed out and decided to push the start button to restart. "How many times did you push it?", I asked him, "about half a dozen" he answered. After forcing him to clean the furnace, burner and igniter to my entire satisfaction, I hauled him up before the C/E for a well deserved bo11ocking!

Golden rule: Don't push buttons if you don't know what you are doing and never acknowledge an alarm if you don't know how to fix it!

Just as an aside and complete deviation, when burning coal in very large steam generators, the coal is ground to powder and fluidized with steam for injection. The nozzles require constant maintenance due to erosion of the nozzle holes by the coal particles. Long gone are the days of armies of stokers and firemen, shovelling coal and clearing ash and clinker!

Rgds.
Dave
All good fun until someone loses an eye, I remember my first day on a UMS steam tanker, I had never been on a automated ship before so it was a bit bewildering, just for fun at the end of the day the Chief and Second decided I should be duty engineer for the night, both boilers were in service with two out of three burners in each, the ship was at anchor and the main engine was on "roll over" being regularly being turned over on steam by the automatics. About 9 pm the engine room alarm went off and I went below. one burner had gone out on one boiler so I did what I had seen earlier in the day and pressed the button to restart the burner and the remaining functioning burner went out tripping the boiler!
I agree about getting automated burners to light some boilers took hours to get the first fire in, going through multiple purge cycles, biggest problem is with a steam driven ID fan you probably had about three goes in restarting a tripped boiler before you ran out of steam and yes its your only boiler!
 

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Slightly off track, did SASOl (South Africa)l and another outfit at Point of Ayr (Wales), with British Coal collaboration, not dabble in producing oil from coal.

Anyone know how that progressed or indeed failed.

BW
J:cool::cool:.
Can definitely affirm that SASSOL did produce liquid fuel from coal.
 

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In my experience, oil (RFO) was always a pain to get the firing started, aside from not being easy to clean spillage. I worked on, over the years, 120, 200, 275. 375, 500 and 660MW boilers. Early on they were coal fired; ground PF - (pulverised fuel), as Makka said, but blown into the furnace hot and dry by primary air fans. Each of the coal burners, was lit by a light-up oil burner down the centre. These would invariably be difficult to light on unit start-up, requiring a couple of Instrument Mechs on overtime to help "Frig" them in, local to the plant.
Nothing changed when I later went on to oil fired power stations - still a couple of Mechs on OT to get the boogers firing, even with tip recirc. and steam atomising. Not a pleasant job for them as there was 3 or 4 rows of 8 burners on the boiler front to work through, coordinated by the Unit Operator. Invariably, it was the flame monitoring electricery that was the problem,
The boilers at Drax are Babcock & Wilcox and their PF mills rotated 8 -10 large steel balls, in a roundabout motion to grind the coal. The other type by Foster Wheeler used horizontally rotating cylinders loaded with small 2 inch balls. Either way, grinding the coal to PF was a lot of balls!

JJ.
 

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i am trying to find out what fuel the royal yacht used when refueling in portsmouth ,i have been told it was clag then i was told klag,then f f o ,whatever that is,and finished up with diesel.surley the captain didnt say fill her up with clag.hope you can help
The following is forwarded from the 2nd Engineer Officer who sailed onboard the RY Britannia.

HMY Britannia was commissioned using furnace fuel oil (FFO) which is the equivalent to have bunker fuel which had to be heated before being atomised into the boilers. When the Falklands was broke out the Admiralty considered using the HMY Britannia for its secondary role as a Hospital ship, plans were put in place to convert the state dining room and ante rooms and such like into wards and the private cabins into isolation wards, in the end the decision was made not to send her because they could not afford another tanker just to refuel her with FFO.
The other ship in the task force that burned FFO was HMS Hermes.
After the Falklands conflict HMY Britannia was taken into HM Naval Base Portsmouth and was converted to F76 ( Marine gas oil) for the rest of its life.


Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 · (Edited)
The following is forwarded from the 2nd Engineer Officer who sailed onboard the RY Britannia.

HMY Britannia was commissioned using furnace fuel oil (FFO) which is the equivalent to have bunker fuel which had to be heated before being atomised into the boilers. When the Falklands was broke out the Admiralty considered using the HMY Britannia for its secondary role as a Hospital ship, plans were put in place to convert the state dining room and ante rooms and such like into wards and the private cabins into isolation wards, in the end the decision was made not to send her because they could not afford another tanker just to refuel her with FFO.
The other ship in the task force that burned FFO was HMS Hermes.
After the Falklands conflict HMY Britannia was taken into HM Naval Base Portsmouth and was converted to F76 ( Marine gas oil) for the rest of its life.


Cheers
thank you for that information,regards colin r....it must have been interesting times to work on HMY,a good friend of mine worked on her for alot of years ,he was a steward, called stuart manoure,sadlly not with us anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 · (Edited)
thank you for that information,regards colin r....it must have been interesting times to work on HMY,a good friend of mine worked on her for alot of years ,he was a steward, called stuart manoure,sadlly not with us anymore.
hi NZSCO.can you tell me if a 2nd eng HMY would have been on the same pay grade as a 2nd eng in other RN ships ,was it different pay on different ships ,regards colin r.
 

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RN pay scales will be completely from MN to RN. Might be senior if a Lt Cdr or Lt.... companed to a 2/E. Also, NZSC pay is going to be different company like BP, Shell.

Stephen
 
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