STORY Power Generation

Ready to go for another 18 years.

Posted on April 15, 2021 by Lucie Maluck

Rolls-Royce service technicians overhaul two emergency generator sets at the Charité University Clinic in Berlin. And get them fit for another 18 years' service.
Berlin, Germany
Out in the field, there are mtu engines that have been in service for almost half a century. With the right kind of care, they can still keep going. That's thanks to the maintenance product especially developed by Rolls-Royce for emergency genset engines – the Life-Time-Based Overhaul, or LTBO for short.   Since these are engines that step into action only rarely, only those components need overhauling which have actually been subject to wear. Hence it's possible to get them fit for another eighteen years' service, up to the next LTBO.

In the engine room in the south of 'Campus Mitte' - the Charité University Clinic campus that lies in the center of Berlin, things are happening: On the floor, in the space where two mtu emergency gensets have stood, ready to go but rarely deployed, for the past 18 years, now lie, in careful arrangement, cylinder heads, pistons, cylinder liners, oil coolers, water pumps and coolant thermostats.  

Engine overhaul makes emergency gensets fit for another 18 years

Four Rolls-Royce service technicians have cleaned all the components of the 12-cylinder 4000G40 units, renewed critical parts such as elastomer seals, filters and thermostats, and filled up the system with fresh oil and coolant. In addition, the cylinder heads, turbochargers, pistons and conrods have been cleaned, tested and where necessary also replaced. The crankpins on the crankshaft and crankcase have also been cleaned and their dimensions checked by the 4-man Rolls-Royce team. “These engines have been given a new lease of life of another eighteen years,” said Rolls-Royce salesman Andreas Fröse, who oversaw the engine overhaul. In terms of technology, the overhauled units now correspond to the state-of-the-art, having been retro-fitted, for example, with fuel filter housings with integrated hand-pumps – not available at the time they were built.

Rental gensets provide emergency power supply during engine overhaul

To secure the Charité clinic's access to emergency power during the four-week overhaul, the service technicians provided a rental unit and integrated it into the clinic's on-site systems. “Our customer still gets the benefits of a full and complete service – in other words, the overhaul on location is just as good as a regular workshop overhaul, but much more favorably priced since only worn components are replaced, and there is no need to disassemble, transport and then re-install the engines. Also included is the provision of a rental unit throughout the overhaul period,” summed up Fröse.  

“We could put our complete trust in the Service division of Rolls-Royce”

For the Rolls-Royce technicians, the most exciting stage of the job was the concluding stage, in which they simulated a power outage in the Charité clinic by shutting off the power supply. That meant that, with the exception of intensive care units, operating theatres and escape routes, which were kept up and running by battery, the southern side of Charité Campus Mitte was plunged into darkness. It only lasted for 15 seconds, however, after which the newly overhauled mtu emergency gensets duly came on stream. “We knew that we could put our complete trust in the Service division of Rolls-Royce in this project. And we're delighted that they were able to add a full eighteen years to the service life of our emergency gensets with such little inconvenience to us,” said Carsten Groll from Charité CFM Facility Management GmbH.  

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