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Story 097 – 1970 – Quality

Safely across the oceans

Wieland coolers for marine engine starting compressors

Starter compressors for large marine engines are safety-relevant components. For decades one of the world's leading manufacturers has relied on particularly robust coolers from Wieland.

Ship engines are real giants. They often have the dimensions of several single-family homes. Container and cargo ships use diesel generator sets with up to 20 cylinders and an output of 100 megawatts – that is almost 136,000 hp. Such engines cannot be started with an electric starter, as is usual in cars or trucks. The forces required to accelerate the huge pistons to the required starting speed are far too great.

Instead, compressed air is used, which sets either the crankshaft or the individual pistons in motion at a pressure of 30 bar. This compressed air is generated in so-called starter compressors, which are specially designed to meet the special requirements of maritime shipping. This is not only a matter of difficult conditions such as high humidity or ambient temperatures of 55 degrees, but first and foremost of operational safety and reliability: a ship without propulsion is unable to manoeuvre and is defenceless against the rigours of the high seas. In the worst case, it can lie abeam and capsize. This makes it all the more important to get a possibly failed ship's diesel engine up and running again quickly and reliably.

Since the 1970s Wieland has been supplying GEWA-H coolers for compressors which reliably start hundreds of marine engines on the world's oceans every day. The coolers are not only robust but also highly effective in cooling the air heated by the strong compression. They are also low-maintenance and can be easily replaced if necessary.

In some versions of the starter compressors, the distinctive, typical appearance of the coolers has become a design feature - and a synonym for quality, as they ensure perfect, reliable operation under all conceivable circumstances.

The GEWA-H finned tubes from Wieland are ideally suited for use in starter compressors due to their robustness and high cooling capacity.