Wärtsilä refines its LNG fuel handling technology

AUGUST 26, 2014 — The latest Wärtsilä developments in fuel gas technology involve an upgraded version of the Wärtsilä LNGPac, a fully integrated fuel gas handling system, and improvements to the Wärtsilä Gas Valve Unit (GVU).

When Wärtsilä introduced the LNGPac in 2010 as a complete system for LNG fuel handling, it included the bunkering station, the LNG tank and Tank Connection Space with the required process equipment, the heating media skid, and the control and monitoring system.

The system has proven to be a valuable enabler of LNG fuel for marine applications with more than 20 in operation or under construction.

Now Wärtsilä is upgrading the system into a more compact and technically advanced version. It says that safety and reliability will be enhanced, while the capital and operating expenditures (CAPEX & OPEX) will be reduced.

As the new system has fewer moving parts, less maintenance is required. And the compact design and advanced integration of components make installation at the shipyard faster and easier.

The heating media skid, used to evaporate LNG for pressurizing the storage tank and to provide the engine with the correct gas temperature, has now been removed as have the pumps. The new LNGPac directly utilizes the engine's cooling water, which results in fewer interfaces and less installation work for the shipyard.

A similar improvement is made to Wärtsilä's Cold Recovery solution, which enables the cold energy of the LNG to be utilized by the ship's HVAC-system. In the new Cold Recovery system Wärtsilä directly connects the ship's HVAC (or other refrigeration systems) to the Tank Connection Space, thus removing a complete circuit consisting of heat exchangers, valves and pumps.

The Wärtsilä GVU module, located between the LNG storage system and the dual-fuel (DF) engine, is used to regulate the gas pressure and ensure a safe disconnect of the gas system should that be necessary. By combining the LNGPac and the GVU into a single, fully integrated system, considerable space can be saved and a simple "plug and play" solution will save installation time and costs for the yard.

Other innovative solutions that have been applied to the new fuel gas system include an integrated airlock and control cabinet, a more compact bunkering station, an enclosed or integrated gas valve unit, and maximized LNG storage volume. Several of the features have been patented by Wärtsilä.