Getting the performance we expect from vessels and achieving what the sales team promised us at purchase enquiry stage will slowly fall-off over time. Undertaking a maintenance regime must commence from the moment of delivery. Sometimes however, planned maintenance work goes beyond that of owner – operators onboard.
Quality return of investment requires us to keep constant tabs on performance and no engine component moreso than the highly engineered turbocharger. Our image shows the exhaust side of a turbocharger cartridge both before reconditioning work and after. Just as the vessels propeller blades require polishing, so must this turbocharger. The reconditioning work in this case was planned and falls under a 16000 hour planned maintenance interval. Note the build up of carbon on the exhaust vanes on the upper images (expected going by the time between overhauls) and the same blades below, following the cleaning. Further work saw renewal of bearings, labyrinth seal and tolerances checked throughout. Finally, balancing was carried out to ensure still fit for purpose. The final finished blade condition is perfect and the item has been returned to the vessel ready for reinstalling.
A turbochargers makeup and theory of operation is studied on AEC 1, the performance of the engine and whether targets are being met is discussed on AEC 2.