Engine designer WinGD (Winterthur Gas & Diesel) has published a cylinder lubrication guide to provide ship operators with consolidated, at-a-glance information highlighting the specific usage conditions for each and every approved cylinder oil.
The guidance is the result of several months’ work with major oil companies to make usage requirements more transparent. Previously, the guidelines for each oil were found only in the industry standard No Objection Letters (NOL) issued by WinGD to oil companies, and available only upon request by a customer to an oil company directly. Now this information has been included in the full list of approved cylinder oils.
To find an appropriate cylinder oil, users first select a suitable Base Number (BN) range based on their fuel sulphur content. Customers then look through the guide to see which oil products fall within a specified BN range. The document then highlights whether each oil is approved for general, long-term use or whether further stipulations – such as a time limit or greater frequency of inspections – are required. An additional category, labelled as ‘DF validated’ shows whether the oil has passed a validation trial while burning gas as the predominant fuel during that trial.
“Cylinder oil is not just another consumable onboard – it’s considered an important engine component that ensures reliable operation,” says Frank Venter, WinGD Project Engineer Tribology Fuels & Lubricants. “Given the already wide variability in existing fuels available, it is important that engine companies and oil suppliers work together to offer clarity for ship operators about which oils can be used and how. This will become increasingly important as we embrace a decarbonized future with potentially multiple varied sources of both liquid and gaseous fuels.”
WinGD said the development follows extensive work with oil majors in the run up to 2020 to ensure that cylinder oils could meet the challenges of new fuel types. The engine designer’s validation procedure has identified many cylinder oils with a broad spectrum of properties (including BN) which are fit for operation with both low and high-sulphur fuels as well as for gas fuel operation.