Alfa Laval, the world leader in marine separation, has announced the launch of its new P-separator. Based on the S-separator’s mechanical platform but designed for lubricating and marine diesel oils, the P-separator complements the S-separator to create a dual approach to fuel and lubrication oil treatment.
Since its introduction to the market, Alfa Laval’s best-selling S-separator has led the way in marine separation applications. Developed to meet even the toughest performance demands, it is the first separator to meet the requirements of the Marine Separation Performance Standard (CWA 15 375).
Alfa Laval’s new P-separator, which is built on the S-separator platform, provides a perfect complement to the S-separator’s Alcap technology. Though it shares the S-separator’s economical and low-maintenance features, the P-separator is based on less advanced purifier technology and is intended for well-defined oils with fewer variations.
This dual separator offering creates a fuller range of options for ship owners and shipyards. By enabling purpose-specific separation with the best technology available, it lets customers choose the option that best meets their needs, economy and automation requirements.
Fuel oils and lubricating oils are not simple categories, but rather represent a scale of varying process issues. Though all oils must be treated before use, they differ in characteristics such as density, viscosity and the level of particles and other contaminations.
Residual or heavy fuel oils, shown to the left on the scale (HF = heavy fuel oil, IF = intermediate fuel oil), place the highest demands on separator performance. These oils generally have an uncertain composition, comprising a high but varying density and impurities such as seawater and particles. Catalytic fines, a hazardous by-product of the refining process, are a particular concern in dealing with these oils, as failure to remove them can lead to increased wear and permanent engine damage.
Lubricating and marine diesel oils, shown to the right on the scale (LO/TP = lube oil trunk piston engine, LO/XH = lube oil cross head engine, GO/MDO = gas oil/marine diesel oil), are of lower and more consistent density. While still complex and potentially impure, they have a known composition and can be handled by a less adaptive separator. The impurities involved are usually limited to soot and particles, and if water is present, it is generally only freshwater condensate.
Alfa Laval’s S- and P- separators approach this scale from opposite ends, as can be seen from the illustration above. By addressing oil treatment in this manner, Alfa Laval lets shipyards, engine builders and ship owners choose the level of performance and automation that matches their oil and application needs.
When it comes to residual oils, and heavy fuel oils in particular, no separator provides more confidence than Alfa Laval’s S-separator. Widely recognized as the world’s best separator for marine applications, it is the first to meet the requirements set by the Marine Separation Performance Standard (CWA 15 375), a guideline for ensuring the removal of harmful catalytic fines.
The S-separator’s success in handling unpredictable oils stems from its Alcap function. Using advanced Alcap technology, the S-separator adjusts to the composition of the oils, thus compensating for their varying density. Catalytic fines, seawater and other impurities are effectively removed, which protects the engine from damage and wear.
In addition, the S-separator features a water-in-oil monitor in its clean oil outlet. This is an advantage with both lubricating and residual oils, as it monitors separation performance in full flow. Separators of other brands, in contrast, measure only a bypass flow. The water-in-oil monitor provides added insurance that the oil is being properly cleaned.
Many strengths of the S-separator have been retained in the new P-separator, which builds on the S-separator platform. Yet while the P-separator offers similar high performance, it involves less automation and is geared for use with uniform oils of consistent and lower densities, like lube oil and marine diesel oils.
Most importantly, the P-separator does not make use of sophisticated Alcap technology. Instead, its separation level is set manually with the help of a gravity disc. This is most appropriate for uniform lubricating and marine diesel oils, but if set correctly, the P-separator can even handle “lighter” residual oils with good results.
With the introduction of the P-separator, Alfa Laval customers have broader options for handling fuel and lubrication oil treatment. Depending on the oils they use and their automation priorities, they can choose to equip their vessel with one or both types of separators.
1. Exceptional performance at a reasonable priceIn most cases, Alfa Laval recommends using a mixed ship set, which provides an ideal balance between performance and economy. In this type of solution, automated S-separators are used on fuel oil to protect the engine from particles and catalytic fines, while P-separators controlled with gravity discs allow economical treatment of less troublesome oils.
2. Full automation and unbeatable performanceFor ships that run on the worst heavy fuel oils, such as HF 700 or HF 380, the S-separator is necessary for fuel oil separation. However, the S-separator can also be used on other types of oils, which results in slightly less sludge and allows full-flow monitoring of separation performance. This is a completely automated solution that ensures the best possible separation in all applications.
Alfa Laval does not recommend using the P-separator on residual or heavy fuel oils even if this in some cases is possible.
Regardless which option customers choose, they receive advantages that save them money and time. S- and P-separators share a unique mechanical platform, and both are equipped with features that are unmatched by any other separator on the market.
One such feature is the superior bowl. Though the bowls of S- and P-separators differ slightly, they are both the result of extensive fluid dynamics studies. Each separator has a compact, optimized bowl that creates an effective discharge of sludge. In operation, this means a dryer, more concentrated sludge that wastes less of the oil.
The bowls also have two other remarkable features, CentriShoot and CentriLock. Specially designed by Alfa Laval, these innovations reduce operating cost by minimizing waste and wear.
CentriShoot is Alfa Laval’s patented separator discharge system. It features a discharge slide that is fixed to the bowl body, but which flexes gently at its edge to expose the discharge ports.
Unlike sliding-bowl systems, CentriShoot creates no wear through metal-to-metal contact. It also increases the discharge accuracy, which reduces oil loss, lowers water consumption and creates less total waste.
As a result, the P-separator produces less sludge than any conventional system. Its performance is only matched by that of the S-separator, which thanks to Alcap technology reduces sludge production by another 30%.
CentriLock is Alfa Laval’s alternative to threaded, carbon steel lock rings. Such rings cause wear to the separator bowl during operation and removal, which combined with gradual corrosion can lead to 1-2 bowl replacements during a separator’s lifetime.
CentriLock features a stainless steel snap ring that resists corrosion and can be fitted or removed with ease. The lightweight ring “snaps” gently into place, and can easily be lifted out after screws set into the bowl are loosened with an Allen key.
By reducing metal-to-metal wear during operation and service, CentriShoot and CentriLock create substantial savings over a separator’s lifetime. Together, they ensure that the bowls of S- and P-separators will never be replaced – a potential life cycle savings of 50 000 USD.
This means that the owners of S- and P-separators can put their minds at rest. The separators’ minimized sludge and oil loss protects the environment, while the long product lifetime and reduced need for spare parts create long-term economy.
For further info se the Appendix in the press release pdf at www.alfalaval.com
Alfa Laval is a leading global provider of specialized products and engineering solutions based on its key technologies of heat transfer, separation and fluid handling.
The company’s equipment, systems and services are dedicated to assisting customers in optimizing the performance of their processes. The solutions help them to heat, cool, separate and transport products in industries that produce food and beverages, chemicals and petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, starch, sugar and ethanol.
Alfa Laval’s products are also used in power plants, aboard ships, in the mechanical engineering industry, in the mining industry and for wastewater treatment, as well as for comfort climate and refrigeration applications.
Alfa Laval’s worldwide organization works closely with customers in nearly 100 countries to help them stay ahead in the global arena.
Eva Schiller PR Senior AdvisorAlfa Laval Corporate AB, Lund, SwedenPhone: +46 46 36 71 01E-mail: email@example.com