United_Engineering_SafeStart

Wärtsilä SafeStart secures power plant reliability and safety

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A hydrostatic lock (hydrolock) in a power plant engine can be devastating. A Bangladeshi power producer took precautions against this by installing the Wärtsilä SafeStart system. “As a national producer of electricity, we cannot afford heavy damages and plant stoppages due to a hydrolock. With the SafeStart system, this risk is considerably reduced,” says Mr Muhammad Mazhar Iqbal, Director, Operations & Maintenance at United Engineering & Power Services Ltd.

The demand for electricity is growing fast in Bangladesh, and even if the capacity is increased on a continuous basis, there is still a shortfall of electricity. Therefore, the reliability of the power resources is vital. “Our power plants in Dhaka (4 x Wärtsilä 20V34SGC) and Chittagong (5 x Wärtsilä 20V34SGC) are very important for the export processing zone in the cities of Dhaka and Chittagong as well as for the national grid,” says Mr Iqbal.

The SafeStart system, that protects the engines, gives us peace of mind.

Taking precautions against hydrolock

Wärtsilä SafeStart is a hydrolock-indicating slow-turning system that protects the engine from a hydrolock during start-up, which increases the safety and reliability of the power plant operation. The retrofitted engines in Bangladesh are about ten years old, meaning that they do not have the SafeStart system built-in as newer engines have. 

“In order to avoid possible engine breakdowns because of a hydrolock, we decided to have the Wärtsilä SafeStart system installed. Now this risk is significantly reduced, and we can keep the engines at stand-by at all times. If an engine cannot be started, the system will give a notification of this. There is no need to double check anymore before starting the engine,” says Mr Iqbal.

Both installations overall went rather well and as planned. “During the installation on the engines of the first plant, there were some challenges with the piping, but this was quickly solved by Wärtsilä’s engineers, and the solution was used as a template for the rest of the installations,” says Mr Iqbal.

 
    Challenge

    Improving the safety and reliability of the customer´s power plant engines

    Solution

    Installing the Wärtsilä SafeStart system, which indicates and protects the engine from a possible hydrock through slow turning during start-up.

    Benefits
    • Increased safety of the engines and the personnel
    • Increased reliability of the plant operation
    • Built-in protection from a disastrous engine hydrolock

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