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Fuel Conditioning Modules (FCM)

The FCM One conditions fuel to exactly match engine specifications. It can be configured to handle multiple fuels, produce fuel blends and manage the automatic changeover between them. Chosen features are integrated into one module with intuitive control.

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Many challenges, One solution 

Fuel conditioning is the treatment of fuel oil by a booster system to meet the cleanliness, pressure, temperature, viscosity and flow rate specified by diesel engine manufacturers. These parameters are vital for the engine’s combustion performance, which makes securing them an important part of both energy efficiency and emissions reduction.

Alfa Laval’s Fuel Conditioning Module (FCM) has led the way in this application, and the FCM One combines its strengths with new flexibility for today’s needs.

The One way to success

The FCM One does more than match fuel cleanliness, pressure, temperature, viscosity and flow rate to engine specifications. It can also be configured to handle multiple fuels, produce fuel blends and manage the automatic changeover between them.

The FCM One can thus meet the full range of fuel conditioning needs, from the basic to the most advanced. The chosen features, including all necessary heating and cooling functions, are integrated into a single booster module with one controller and a unified algorithm.

One reliable solution

The FCM One’s smooth ramping of viscosity and temperature ensures an efficient changeover process. Changeover is unaffected by engine load, and the fuel viscosity is kept in a very tight range, even during changeover to or from distillates. This means there are no interruptions.

One-button access to fuels, changeover functions, process data and more is provided by the FCM One’s intuitive control system. In addition, there are advanced options that enable work with energy efficiency throughout the fuel supply system.

One compact module

The FCM One is built on a compact frame with rear connections, complete with piping, valves, cables and accessories. A centrally placed cabinet contains the starters for all motors, as well as the advanced process controller.

Safe and efficient fuel changeover

With one controller and one unified algorithm, the FCM One provides smooth ramping of fuel temperature and viscosity at any engine load. Viscosity is kept in a very tight range, even when switching between residuals and distillates. So there are no interruptions, which ensures a shorter changeover that consumes less expensive distillate.

Fuel blending on board

For vessels that blend fuels on board, the FCM One offers convenience and safety. Working with the defined fuels and a given sulphur target, the FCM One can calculate the ideal blend, mix the fuels and manage the changeover from the current fuel.

Regulatory compliance

The option of an Electronic Fuel Record Book provides peace of mind with all fuels. When chosen, the FCM One records fuel and changeover parameters with a time stamp and GPS data for easy presentation to authorities.

Energy efficiency functions

The FCM One also has options for working with energy efficiency throughout the fuel supply system. VFD-based control of the fuel supply pumps minimizes their energy use according to engine load. And engine-specific monitoring of fuel consumption – with pulsations taken into account – allows accurate and early detection of engine efficiency losses

Alfa Laval ACS
- Automated Fuel Changeover System

The FCM One can be integrated with the ACS - Automated Fuel Changeover System. It is a reliable, fully automatic fuel changeover system that facilitates fuel oil changeover while maintaining fuel viscosity within the limits set by engine manufacturers.

Alfa Laval ACS
- Automated Fuel Changeover System

How it works

At its simplest, the FCM One is a two-stage pressurized booster system with efficient automation and precise viscosity control. Pressure in the low-pressure stage is maintained at 4 bar, while the pressure in the high-pressure stage ranges from 6 to 16 bar depending on engine specifications. Configuration options and optional features allow the basic system to be adapted for individual needs.

Low-pressure stage

The low-pressure stage includes two supply pumps (one operating, one standby), an automatic filter, a manual bypass filter as backup and a flow transmitter to measure fuel consumption. The last part of the low-pressure stage is a mixing tank where fresh fuel is mixed with hot fuel returning from the engine. Because fuel consumption changes with engine speed, a pressure control valve allows fuel to recirculate in the low-pressure stage. Should the operating supply pump fail, the system will automatically switch to the standby pump.

High-pressure stage

From the mixing tank, the fuel enters the high-pressure stage, which includes the circulation pumps, fuel heaters and a viscosity transducer. To prevent fuel starvation at the injectors, the flow rate in this stage is always set as a multiple of the actual fuel consumption rate. The flow rate multiple and the pressure in the system are determined by the engine manufacturer. The viscosity sensor measures the viscosity of the fuel and sends a signal to the controller, where it is compared with the viscosity value set by the engine manufacturer. Based on the viscosity reading, the controller steers the heaters to match the viscosity set point. Pressure in the system is controlled by a pressure relief valve in the return line where excess fuel returns to the mixing tank.

EPC 60 process controller

The EPC 60 controller monitors and controls the functions of the system and displays process values, alarms, etc. in clear text. The intuitive user interface, which is based on a touch screen, allows the easy handling of functions and system set-up. In addition to the reading of all working parameters, the controller’s self-cure functions include automatic standby pump start-up, automatic changeover to diesel oil in the event of heater failure and the possibility of manually steering the pumps, filter and heaters.

Configuration options

A number of configuration options are available for the FCM One. These include:

  • Filter position (high- or low-pressure stage)
  • Flow meter (volumetric or mass type)
  • Heaters (shell-and-tube steam/thermal oil heaters, electric heaters or a combination of shell-and-tube and electric heaters)
  • Pumps (mechanical or magnetic-drive type)
  • Delivery type (complete module or divided units)

 Optional features

Optional features allow the FCM One to be tailored to individual needs. All chosen options are fully integrated, both into the physical module and into its automation and control.

  • Handling of multiple fuels
    The FCM One can work with multiple fuels, which are selected at the touch of a button.
  • Automatic fuel changeover
    The FCM One can automatically calculate and manage the changeover process between fuels. All necessary heating and cooling functions are built into the module.
  • Onboard fuel blending
    Working with the defined fuels and a given sulphur target, the FCM One can calculate the ideal blend, mix the fuels and manage the changeover from the current fuel.
  • Electronic Fuel Record Book
    The FCM One can record fuel and changeover parameters in an Electronic Fuel Record book, together with a time stamp and GPS data. This can be printed or exported in a secure digital format for presentation to authorities.
  • VFD-based control of fuel supply pumps
    Through VFD steering of the fuel supply pumps, the FCM One can minimize their energy consumption according to engine load.
  • Engine-specific monitoring of fuel consumption
    The FCM One can accurately measure the fuel consumption of individual engines, taking into account the pulsations of the fuel injection system. This enables early detection of losses in engine efficiency.

Capacities

The FCM One range covers a wide range of engine power outputs, up to 60 MW. It is available in four sizes.

 

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