Increasing Safety with Smart Fuel Hoses

Wärtsilä is proud to present its smart Fuel Hose. The Wärtsilä Smart fuel hose is a multi-layered hose based on state-of-the-art rubber material, strengthened by embedded steel wires, with a minimum burst pressure that is five times higher than the nominal fuel pressure of a low-pressure fuel pipe. The new fuel hose features a cutting-edge, leakage detection system fitted in the space between the two hoses. This facilitates the monitoring of the condition of the hose, as well as maintenance management.

“This safety feature makes it possible to identify leaks before they become a problem,” says Tom Backlund, Wärtsilä’s General Manager Large Bore Engines. “If the fuel hose breaks, there is another hose on top of it to prevent the fuel from leaking out or spraying, and, in the meantime, an alarm will go off to alert operators to the problem and allow them to fix it.”

What is more, Backlund explains that the smart fuel hose requires no complex installation or significant investments. “It’s effectively a ‘plug-and-play’ solution that can be installed where the old fuel hose used to be, without any major modifications,” he continues.

“A fire in the engine room is any seafarer’s worst nightmare,” says Tom Backlund, Wärtsilä’s General Manager Large Bore Engines. This is especially true when it comes to fuel leakages in vessel engine rooms. This is why the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulation, enforced by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), stipulates a number of minimum safety standards for operations throughout the vessel, including the engine room, with a strict limit for splash guards’ surface temperatures that could ignite liquid and cause fires.

Wärtsilä continuously delivers improvements to its engines and has introduced a variety of new solutions to comply with the hot surface requirements. It has also developed barriers that prevent any fuel leakages from spreading to hot surfaces.

The Wärtsilä Smart fuel hose is the result of two years of focused research and development work, during which time Wärtsilä partnered with suppliers, DNV GL and several customers to create the optimal product.

Once the product was developed it also underwent extensive field tests lasting almost a year, on board a vessel operated by a Norwegian ferry company, before its market launch at the start of this year.

Image Credit: Wärtsilä