Differences between a turbo for a marine engine and a turbo for diesel engines
The main difference between a marine turbocharger and an automotive turbocharger is the refrigeration system. Most of the car turbochargers are refrigerated only by air, in a land transport vehicle, the engine has a fast and continuous current of fresh air, this is due to the high speed of the vehicle and also the position of the engine (in the front of the automobile). In ships, the engines are placed in small chambers where there is no air circulation. So the marine turbocharger is refrigerated by fresh water or coolant.
Care and maintenance of marine turbochargers
The engine rooms in ships are lack of fresh air to refrigeration, and there is bad quality atmosphere. This lack of air is the reason why the engine has fresh water refrigeration system. It is essential to focus the attention in the air intake and its filter. A distinguishing feature of a turbocharged marine engine in front of a naturally air aspirated marine engine is its air filter, which is much more constraining when there is a turbocharger. When handling a marine turbocharger, we have to prevent the entrance of strange particles in the fresh water circulating system.
Atmospheric salinity is a hard enemy for all the metallic parts that compound the ship, its structure and its machinery. Marine turbochargers are sophisticated and technologically advanced devices, and turbochargers are very reliable and can work for thousands and thousands of hours under a proper maintenance program. All the measures taken to avoid humidity and salinity in the engine chamber will extend the life of the engine and its turbocharger.
Sailboats engine turbochargers remain for long periods with no activity, this is because they are used seasonally. The salinity, humidity and combustion particles can solidify and block the turbocharger. We must check the turbocharger at the beginning of the season to prevent breaks and failures.
The refrigeration fluid runs through hoses that are exposed to the salinity and wear, we must pay attention to possible fissures an leaks. It must be replaced if necessary.
Making it short, the main difference between a marine turbocharger and a conventional turbo is the cooling system and maintaining must be appropriate to the environment in which it is located, the sea.
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