Simplicity lays the groundwork for reliability in the Alfa Laval Gas Combustion Unit (GCU), which has long set the standard for boil-off combustion on LNG carriers (LNGCs). Through design enhancements and connectivity, Alfa Laval has taken the GCU’s original simplicity and made it even smarter in the new GCU 2.0.
With demand increasing worldwide, there is more LNG in transit than ever before, points out the company. Regulating cargo tank pressure is vital when moving it by sea, which means LNG boil-off gas (BOG) must be safely combusted when it cannot be used by the engines or boilers. The Alfa Laval GCU has an exceptional reputation in BOG management, and the new GCU 2.0 builds directly on that proven track record.
“The Alfa Laval GCU is reliable and easily maintained, in large part because of the simplicity of its design,” says Jeppe Jacobsen, Global Sales Manager. “That principle is unchanged in the GCU 2.0, but we’ve extended the capacity and lifetime by refining certain details.”
Refinements in the GCU 2.0 include an even more optimized flow of combustion and dilution air. The adjustments were determined through extensive combustion testing, which was performed using the full-size GCU at the Alfa Laval Test & Training Centre. The result is even steadier combustion at a reasonable temperature, which extends burner lifetime and reduces distortion of the burner plate.
“Alfa Laval is unique in having a full-size GCU in a controlled testing environment,” says Jacobsen. “The GCU has proven its capabilities at sea many times over, but we’re constantly developing it at the Alfa Laval Test & Training Centre. The simplicity and design principles don’t change, but even small adjustments can create large performance gains.”
The most evident change in the GCU 2.0, however, is in the service offering around it. All GCU 2.0 deliveries will be connectivity-ready, making it easy to take advantage of Alfa Laval Digital Services for Gas Combustion Units.
“The need for maintenance is already limited, but our Digital Services protect daily operation and safety,” says Jacobsen. “Online remote monitoring lets GCU customers secure their readiness to operate, and the access to live and historical data makes troubleshooting easier. With data guiding our support team, service visits can be kept to an absolute minimum.”
Through the enhancements and connectivity in the GCU 2.0, Alfa Laval adds further strength to a broad LNG equipment and service offering. Covering LNG as both cargo and fuel, the solutions support a marine industry in rapid transition. “The GCU 2.0 is specifically designed for LNG carriers, but Alfa Laval has solutions that enable LNG’s use on the widest possible range of vessels,” says Jacobsen. “LNG has a key role to play in our move towards a more sustainable future.”