engines of cruise ship off Norway shutdown by storm?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Squidly-Diddly, Mar 23, 2019.

  1. Squidly-Diddly
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    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    Even though the ship was built 2017 and presumably only got fuel from UK or Norwegian sources?

    IIRC standard automotive oil filters are designed so that if the filter clogs it is bypassed so at least you don't blow the engine. I'd think a massive diesel on a passenger ship would have a clogged filter warning, AND automatic and manual bypass.

    Heard something about how certain big rigs and earth movers will pump several times as much diesel as they could burn, and it gets heated up in the pumping and goes to some "hot fuel" holding tank, since hot diesel is better for the engine....and something about how you really, really don't want to run out of diesel.
     
  2. Sparky568
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    Sparky568 Junior Member

    Haven't heard or read anything about what actually happened but my bet is something electronic or software glitch is the cause. Much like a $5.00 relay or bad software code can drop electrical power to entire regions. Modern large diesel engine fuel systems should be equipped with multiple levels of fuel filtration including centrifuges with bypasses to maintain power while changing or cleaning. But then again if it's bad fuel there's no fix onboard for that.
     
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  3. RAraujo
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    RAraujo Senior Member - Naval Architect

    But 4 engines with fuel problems supplied from (at least) 2 different daily tanks? I also would bet on electronics/software.

    Does anyone know if it was running on HFO or MGO?
     
  4. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    It is not uncommon that when in extreme roll and trim attitudes, there is a fuel starvation from the tank to the engine, this can cause such issues.
    An allowance must be made for such events....was it?
     
  5. RAraujo
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    RAraujo Senior Member - Naval Architect

    Yes, but before losing the engines we can assume that the ship was making way with the stabilizers deployed and thus the roll would not be so extreme. Of course I'm just speculating...
     
  6. Squidly-Diddly
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    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    I guess we'll have to wait a few weeks for Official Word. But looking at how typically top-heavy that cruise ship is, and the roll angle, plus I'm assuming strong wind....SCARY and looks like it might pass the Point of No Return.

    So thats another big question: How close were they from going over (given conditions), and what would be the "S-2" on that boat, if any? Were they one semi-rogue wave away from losing it all? Could they used the bow thrusters to keep bow into storm (or do those need main engine power)? (and were they ballasting down? COULD they take on more ballast or was that also on the fritz, etc)
     
  7. Ilan Voyager
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    Ilan Voyager Senior Member

    We have to wait for the expertise report...My guess is that initially that was a software problem. Plus surely other problems that added. Generally a shitty situation is the result of the sum of several causes. The mechanics have restarted 3 of the engines while being shaken like clothes in a washing machine, a nice exploit .
    About 15 years ago a brand new USA warship was crippled by a software bug after firing a missile, and had to be tugged 400 NM to San Diego.
    12 years ago. A 60 feet yacht grounded at the entry of Puerto Aventuras Mexico as the computer shut down suddenly the engines while approaching the harbor by bad weather.
    Myself 10 years ago I had to flash reload the soft and re initiate completely the computer of a twin diesel engines yacht, which suddenly froze while approaching Cancun, leaving the captain with no engines and no governs. The owner asked for an system with simple cables and hydraulics...
    Cars had similar problems. The Apollo mission and the Shuttle had suffered computer problems. A big bunch of war planes have gone down because of software bugs, even with a redundancy of 3 computers. And 2 737-Max Boeings have fallen very recently killing hundreds of people, the very probable cause is a bug in the anti stall system of the flight computer.
     
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  8. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    Every diesel engine I have ever owned required priming if the fuel ever ran dry. And it is a technical procedure that first involves cleaning the filters which introduces more air into the system. But I don't know diddly about these big diesels on cruise ships.

    However, if dirty fuel caused the trouble, it would mean the industry missed; not the captain.
     
  9. BlueBell
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    BlueBell Ahhhhh...

    Close to half a million flights and only 8 reports of this symptom.
    It would appear more of a poor design overall combined with the odd faulty sensor and no redundancy.
     
  10. Ilan Voyager
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    Ilan Voyager Senior Member

    With planes 8 reports; 2 planes fallen and more than 300 dead is already far too much. There is no place for approximations in aviation.
     
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  11. baeckmo
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    baeckmo Hydrodynamics

    A preliminary report from the authorities state that the reason for shutdown was "...low levels of lubrication oil".
     
  12. Angélique
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    Angélique aka Angel (only by name)

    It seems to me that for the engines oil to reach the level sensors goes the same as what's said about the fuel level in post #19 + #20.

    If so, then I think the update for that needs to be to have oil level sensors on all sides of the engines, and only shut an engine down when all sides indicate too low.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2019
  13. Angélique
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    Angélique aka Angel (only by name)

    Yesterday they tried to fly one of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 & 9 & 200* fleet to California to park it there for storage, only a pilot and copilot were aboard, they had to break off the flight for an emergency landing, due to engine problems it says . . .

    (* The 200 variant is an Boeing 737 MAX 8 which seats 200 passengers, who all can hardly move or breath due to the cramped space each of them has in that high-density configuration.)


    Boeings 737 MAX 7 & 10 seems to be OK for now, at least there are no disturbing reports on them far as I know.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2019
  14. Tiny Turnip
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    Tiny Turnip Senior Member

    I'm absolutely no expert on these matters, but I am aware that racing and high performance sports cars have baffles in the sumps to slow down the sideways movement of oil when cornering, and prevent oil starvation. Wouldn't/isn't something similar sensible/already adopted in marine engines where sideways movement of the oil and consequent starvation is likely to occur in any heavy seas?
     

  15. Angélique
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    Angélique aka Angel (only by name)

    Seems to me the baffles for engine lubrication oil and fuel are already there, but maybe this could be inadequate in extreme situations ?

    Which leaves me wondering how prior to the engines shut down the movement could get that extreme while the ship was still making way and the ship's stabilizers were still working ?
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2019
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