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Fuel Change-Over Calculator from DNV GL

Switching from HFO to MGO poses challenges for a ship's propulsion system Switching from HFO to MGO poses challenges for a ship's propulsion system DNV GL

DNV GL has introduced Fuel Change-Over (FCO) Calculator software ahead of new emissions regulations that will require ships to use fuel with lower sulphur content when operating in Emission Control Areas (ECAs) close to shore.

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From January 1st, ships in ECAs will not be permitted to use Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) in ECAs as it contains more than the 0.1 per cent sulphur allowed under the regulations. According to DNV GL, switching to Marine Gas Oil (MGO) is the most viable alternative, but the process is not straightforward due to the varying properties of the two fuel types.

HFO and MGO have operating temperatures that differ by more than 100 degrees Celsius. Changing from one to another can cause a rapid drop in temperature, potentially causing thermal shock to engine equipment. The difference in viscosity can also be a problem for fuel pumps and filters.

“Taking into account variables such as a vessel’s fuel system layout, any constraints on temperature and the variable sulphur content of fuels, the FCO Calculator can significantly reduce the risk of human error during the preparation of the change-over process,” says Jörg Lampe, senior project engineer risk & safety, systems engineering at DNV GL.

The software uses numerical simulation that DNV GL says is more accurate than previous linear models and indicates optimised lead time for the change-over process, as well as costs and the maximum hourly consumption to meet constraints.

“This kind of data ensures a cost-efficient, reliable fuel change-over and can also help demonstrate compliance for the respective authorities,” says Lampe. 


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