Owning an 85 meter long, 2107 tonne boat with 4 main engines delivering 12,445 horsepower places the owner firmly in the super-rich bracket, but even the wealthiest of us all will keep a wary eye on costs, especially when filling a craft whose fuel capacity exceeds 250,000 litres!
The super yacht previously owned by respected Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich is now managed by an Antibes based corporation who offer the yacht for private hire.
When originally built the yacht was fitted with an ultrasonic fuel meter which was fine for deliveries up to 600 litres per minute though discrepancies were nearly always apparent between the yachts intake meter, the tank fuel gauges and the fuel providers own meter readings. As bunkering rates increased to 800 or even 1000 litres per minute the ultrasonic meter simply couldn’t read the faster intake volumes. The ambient temperature also affects meter accuracy as fuel volume increases or decreases in line with temperature changes.
As with aircraft, super-yachts need to be working 24 hours a day if possible so a fast turnaround is essential if their high running costs are to be met. It soon became apparent to the new owners that inaccurate and conflicting readings between the various meter reading led to disputes with fuel suppliers. But even more important, a yacht whose passengers may as at breakfast to be taken across the Atlantic just as easily as they might ask for a boiled egg, always had to ensure they had enough fuel on board to meet such requests. Therefore, fuel accuracy was critical.
The yacht has two chief engineers. These two experienced mariners share the roll back-to-back spending two months on then two months off duty. A call was made to Alpeco, who are the experts in fuel delivery and metering with a request to address the problem and hopefully to improve the situation to the point where inaccuracy was no longer an issue. The solution was clear to Alpeco’s design engineers. Fit a new intake meter on the bunker line that would (a) offer the high degree of accuracy required and (b) could cope with the faster delivery volumes which are now standard in the industry. The meter Alpeco chose was the liquid controls M25-POD-1, weighing approximately 45kg.
The 3” M25 meter fits perfectly into the 100mm diameter bunker line and now shows accurate fuel intake at volumes up to 1100 LPM. The new meter also enables the yacht operator to challenge fuel supplier delivery records that conflict with their own and now forms a solid basis for dispute settlement.
Alpeco knew they also needed a flow display that would be capable of accurately displaying and recording the volume of fuel passed through the meter, Adrian Baskott approached Flowquip who supplied the Contrec Trac-40 Register. The Trac-40 is a custody transfer approved flow computer designed for measurement and sale of primarily hydrocarbon fuels to high accuracy international standards. Taking in both a flow and temperature signal we are able to calculate precisely the nett amount of fuel being discharged into the yacht corrected back to 15 deg C. In addition the Trac-40 is built to withstand the harsh operating conditions of vehicle or portable skid mounting, and has many features such as rugged buttons, battery backed weatherproof display and shake proof connectors.
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