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Tuesday, November 2, 2021 

According to Alfa Laval, simplicity lays the groundwork for reliability, so the company has taken the original simplicity of its Gas Combustion Unit (GCU), which it says has long set the standard for boil-off combustion on LNG carriers, and through design enhancements and connectivity, has made it even smarter in the new GCU 2.0.

With demand increasing worldwide, there is more LNG in transit than ever before. 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 2.0 is believed to build on the track record and reputation of its predecessor.

Jeppe Jacobsen, Global Sales Manager, said: “The Alfa Laval GCU is reliable and easily maintained, in large part because of the simplicity of its design. 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 a more optimised 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 steadier combustion at a reasonable temperature, which extends burner lifetime and reduces distortion of the burner plate.

Jacobsen said: “Alfa Laval is unique in having a full-size GCU in a controlled testing environment. 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. 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,” said Jacobsen.

Through enhancements and connectivity in the GCU 2.0, Alfa Laval considers it is adding 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. LNG has a key role to play in our move towards a more sustainable future,” concluded Jacobsen.

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