STORY Commercial Marine

SAR Kit allows mtu engine rollover

Posted on June 29, 2021 by Lucie Maluck, Images by Rolls-Royce Power Systems, KNRM

A special SAR Kit (SAR = Search and Rescue) for sea rescue vessels enables mtu engines to keep running at extreme inclinations or even capsizing. A digital inclination sensor and special software now make the system even better.
Nobody likes to be out on the water when it's blowing a gale. Lifeboat crews have no choice however – they have to set out when others head in, or actually can't make it back. mtu engines keep SAR vessels underway under the most extreme conditions – even capsizing with the engines running is no deterrent. The Hong Kong Fire Service Department is set to join sea rescue organizations using this technology in Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Norway and Canada to mention but a few. Rolls-Royce has now enhanced this successful product with a digital inclination sensor to make it even more customer-friendly. 

Not long now until the curtain rises on the mtu SAR system in Asia. The Hong Kong Fire Service Department is upgrading its fleet with a specially equipped vessel.  This is primarily intended to extinguish fires on the high seas. In an emergency, however, it will also be able to act as a rescue ship - and do so particularly safely. Because the new vessel is being equipped with three mtu 16-cylinder Series 2000 engines featuring the mtu SAR system.

Youtube Video

All-purpose SAR Kits

The idea behind these kits? An extra-deep oil pan with special baffles and a modified crankcase breather system allow extreme inclinations in rough seas and even capsizing with the engines running. The crankcase breather and its piping are designed to prevent oil or oil mist ingress in the engine intake tract, and hence uncontrolled combustion, should the vessel turn turtle through a full 360 degrees.

A smart idea embodied in several packages: 

  • SAR Kit 1: Designed for fast, highly-maneuverable vessels that skip the waves in extreme cases, these engines feature extremely robust components to withstand high shock loads. 
  • SAR Kit 2: The best option in rough seas is Kit 2, which alongside the more rugged components also features components allowing more pronounced inclinations, such as a deeper oil pan and multi-stage crankcase ventilation. This allows vessel inclinations of up to 45 degrees without the engine shutting down due to a lack of oil pressure, or suffering any damage. 
  • SAR Kit 3: For extreme conditions, additional components, such as valves in the crankcase breather system, ensure that the engine keeps running even during and after a complete rollover.

New: Digital inclination sensor turns SAR Kits into system solutions

The engines are equipped with a digital inclination sensor which constantly transmits measured values to a dedicated software program, which in turn processes the signals and trips appropriate responses to protect the engines. The software is eminently versatile allowing the SAR system to be tailored to meet customer requirements or different vessel designs. 

Unlike previous versions, the SAR system therefore no longer depends on shipboard measuring equipment – the entire system comes from Rolls-Royce. “With this turnkey solution, our customers can rest assured that the engines receive the right information at all times, and can respond accordingly to environmental conditions,” explained Christoph Kern, who heads up SAR system sales activities at Rolls-Royce. 

And now the Hong Kong Fire Service Department is also banking on this special system. The vessel will be built by the LUNGTEH SHIPBUILDING CO., LTD at Taiwan. The shipyard confirms that it is 38 meters long with three mtu engines powering them up to 27 knots (50 kilometers per hour) with an output of 1,630 kilowatts. The center engine also drives the fire-fighting pump – with plenty of power as well, the pump can deliver a good 12,000 liters of seawater at 10 – 15 bar every minute. The ship will be delivered to the Hong Kong Fire Service Department next year. Then it will break a record: it will be the world's largest ship that can continue to sail even after capsizing.

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