As Alfa Laval Aalborg boiler solutions celebrate 100 years in the marine industry, they are also leading the way in today’s era of change. With the 2020 sulphur cap rapidly approaching, Alfa Laval is delivering multi-fuel Aalborg boiler solutions and helping customers prepare existing boiler systems for tomorrow’s fuel scenarios.
A century ago, when the first marine boiler left the Aalborg Shipyard in Aalborg, Denmark, there were no regulations governing fuel content or vessel emissions. Much has changed in this regard since 1919, and the industry now faces further sharp demands from the 2020 global sulphur cap. However, the expertise gained through 100 years of boiler work is giving Alfa Laval customers the confidence to meet them.
“It’s not tradition that matters, but using that long experience to meet the needs of today’s marine customers,” says Martin Hansen, Business & Market Development Manager. “Alfa Laval Aalborg solutions have pushed boundaries for a century, always bringing customers the new levels of reliability and efficiency they seek. The knowledge, resources and global service network we’ve built up give us a springboard for meeting the needs of 2020 and changing fuel operations.”
Delivering multi-fuel boiler solutions
On most vessels, the arrival of 2020 will mean working with multiple fuels. For a growing number of customers, this includes not only a wider spectrum of oils and oil blends, but also gases. By delivering solutions such as the multi-fuel Alfa Laval Aalborg OL, which can produce steam using both liquid and gas fuel types, Alfa Laval can accommodate the full range of their needs.
“No matter what their fuel strategy, we offer customers a complete boiler solution,” says Markus Tauriainen, Manager Exhaust and Combustion Systems. “The fuel oil supply system, gas valve unit, feed water system and more are all within our scope of delivery for the Alfa Laval Aalborg OL.”
Developing for both liquid and gas fuels
The Aalborg OL and other multi-fuel Aalborg solutions build not only on Alfa Laval’s long experience, but also on close cooperation with customers, research institutions and regulatory bodies. In addition, they build on the far-reaching investments the company has made in innovation – most notably the Alfa Laval Test & Training Centre, located in Aalborg, Denmark. In 2017, the already sizable facility underwent an 1100 m2 expansion, specifically for work with gas and combustion technology.
“We’ve developed gas solutions for all Aalborg boiler types at the Alfa Laval Test & Training Centre, where we also test our boilers with compliant fuels,” says Tauriainen. “Our work there is directly influenced by our customers, with whom we discuss needs, concerns, wishes and experience. Paired with our many decades of real-world experience with boiler systems and the fuels in common use, our research and development in Aalborg gives us a unique platform for securing the solutions customers need in 2020.”
Helping customers adapt existing boiler solutions
Developing new technology, however, is not the only way Alfa Laval is preparing customers for the 2020 sulphur cap. The company is also helping them to modify their existing boiler solutions and to keep them operating effectively. That work extends from retrofitting Alfa Laval Touch Control, a next-generation graphical control system that provides full plant overview and intuitive boiler management, to supplying expert recommendations for adapting the boiler fuel line or mitigating the impact of scrubbers on boiler performance.
“Many customers are unaware that changing fuels will impact the boiler as well as the engine, or that installing a scrubber can influence boiler performance,” says Hansen. “Alfa Laval has prepared system-specific solutions that ensure a safe and fuel-optimized boiler fuel supply, as well as strategies for keeping back pressure at the right level for optimal boiler performance, even after the boiler is connected to a scrubber.”
Looking ahead to continued innovation
By taking advantage of Alfa Laval Aalborg expertise, whether through new systems or smart advice, customers can feel confident in their boiler solutions in 2020 and beyond. With solutions for the coming years already in hand, development will continue – at the Alfa Laval Test & Training Centre, on board and elsewhere.