Selective measurement of methane and hydrogen concentrations in the crankcase of large engines
Schaller Automation extends its GasMOS sensor platform to be ready for future fuels, starting with the selective measurement of hydrogen
Schaller Automation, the market-leading supplier of oil mist detection systems on large diesel, gas and dual-fuel engines, has developed a sensor system for the selective measurement of methane concentrations and is expanding this technology to include selective hydrogen measurement in the future.
For 50 years Schaller has been developing and producing oil mist detection systems for large diesel, gas and dual-fuel engines in ships and power plants. At the same time, the company is also developing monitoring systems for early detection of developing damage to prevent oil mist from forming in the first place.
The selective gas measurement in the crankcase expands the product portfolio. The underlying GasMOS (Gas Monitoring System) technology was developed as part of a project funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the State Chancellery of Saarland in close cooperation with the Lab for Measurement Technology at Saarland University to selectively measure the methane concentration in harsh environments such as crankcases. The GasMOS system’s software provides the operator with live methane concentration and information about the humidity within the crankcase. With this information, it is possible to detect the development of the methane blow-by in the crankcase and the wear behavior of the piston rings.
On the path toward large engines with low emissions, the focus will increasingly be on alternative and renewable fuels, such as those derived from power-to-X process chains.
As a bridging technology for marine and power plant applications, dual-fuel engines can run on both Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and oil-based fuels such as heavy fuel oil. Additionally, increased hydrogen contents are blended to the LNG, posing a major challenge for ignition and combustion, but also lead to a changed and potentially explosive atmosphere in the crankcase.
With its GasMOS system, Schaller has succeeded in developing a modular and interference-insensitive solution for selective methane measurement in the crankcase of large engines. In a next step, the technology will be expanded to include selective hydrogen measurement, thus also offering a solution for modern dual-fuel engines that can be operated with an admixture of hydrogen in addition to LNG. Accordingly, this extension is being developed in the research project “Technology Evaluation for Marine Engines to Achieve GHG Targets 2030 and Beyond” (TEME2030+) funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) as part of the “Maritime Research Program”.
Partners for the additional detection of hydrogen are FVTR in Rostock, the Chair of Piston Machines and Internal Combustion Engines (LKV) at the University of Rostock, the companies Umicore, KBB, KS Kolbenschmidt and Sick.
The GasMOS system is ready for retrofitting in existing dual-fuel engines, as a single extraction point is enough to monitor the entire crankcase atmosphere.
By installing GasMOS on board passenger ships, Schaller contributes to the preventative and predictive maintenance services for gas and dual-fuel engines and makes its contribution to proactive environmental protection.