Emerson Process Management has successfully installed its Micro Motion Viscomaster Viscosity meter on the MT Tintomara, a 44,999 DWT product tanker operated by Laurin Maritime. The Viscomaster meter was installed to help improve fuel efficiency by accurately measuring viscosity, density and temperature of the heavy fuel oil (HFO) that supplies the vessel”s main and auxiliary engines.

The Viscomaster meter replaced the original mechanical sensor, which needed regular cleaning, maintenance and recalibration − a difficult and time-consuming process. In addition, to meet the requirements of new emissions regulations, the fuel for the engines has to be changed from HFO to gasoil, depending on where the vessel is operating. These frequent changes in fuel density were proving challenging for sensors based on traditional technologies.

The Micro Motion Viscomaster unit with adapter flange was mounted on the onboard booster unit — a skid-based package that conditions the HFO between storage tank and injection system of the engine. The booster unit ensures that the fuel being delivered provides the correct flow rate, cleanliness, pressure, temperature and viscosity for efficient and reliable operation of the engine. Emerson offers a range of retrofit installation adaptors for capillary or in-line installation.

“The mechanical installation was straightforward and was completed by connecting the Viscomaster meter to the existing control unit − no other equipment needed to be replaced,” said Henrik Olsson, chief engineer onboard the MT Tintomara, in a prepared statement.

The Micro Motion Viscomaster range of self-contained, head-mounted transmitters uses vibrating fork technology to measure density and viscosity. They are highly tolerant to harsh environments such as onshore and offshore power plants, and provide reliable, accurate control with little or no maintenance or recalibration. Integral 4-20mA and RS 485 Modbus outputs remove the need for external amplifiers or terminal boxes.

The meters are approved by Lloyd”s Register for marine environments and have a wide range of equivalent worldwide marine approvals.

“After a few months, the sensor was taken out of the adapter for inspection,” said Olsson. “It was totally clean of fuel or build-up that could affect the accuracy of the measurements. The Viscomaster meter is performing perfectly on-board, and maintenance time and costs have been reduced to a minimum. Based on this success, the chief engineers of other vessels in our fleet are considering the benefits of changing to Emerson’s Micro Motion Viscomaster viscosity meters.”