7 tips to keep your main engine turbocharger healthy

An image of an Accelleron engineer alongside Accelleron turbochargers
Accelleron’s maintenance and cleaning recommendations for your turbocharger can help to ensure low fuel consumption and maximum reliability. Here’s what you need to know.

Your turbocharger boosts the power and efficiency of your main engine, but it’s vital to stay on top of maintenance if you want to ensure low fuel consumption along with maximum reliability. Sticking to Accelleron’s maintenance and cleaning recommendations provided in your operation manual and following the tips below will make a huge difference.

Check U-tube manometer pressure

Checking the pressure loss of the filter silencer is something you can do using the U-Tube manometer in front the turbocharger, and it could help you to avoid costs further down the road. If you see a pressure drop of more than 200mm H2O, it’s worth cleaning or replacing the filter mat, as ignoring the issue could result in lower performance or even surging, which can damage your turbocharger.

Check lube oil inlet pressure and lube oil outlet temperature

Lube oil supply is as vital for the turbocharger as it is for your engine. Turbochargers from Accelleron are designed for a considerable operating range of oil inlet temperature and pressure levels. Still, if you observe sudden variations in lube oil inlet pressure, it may indicate a problem with the lube oil supply such as contaminated filters or even a leak. If there is a substantial amount oil leaking it is of utmost importance to stop the leak in order to avoid a fire in the engine room, as the oil might pour on hot surfaces and ignite.

If you observe increased oil outlet temperature during normal operation, it can be a sign of increased loading, friction within the bearings or clogging of the oil drain. In any case, it is advisable to stop the engine depending on the situation and check on the lubrication system before or after turbocharger.

If you suspect that the turbocharger has been operated on low oil inlet pressure or contaminated oil for a longer time, contact your Accelleron service station to check the condition of the bearings during the next service.

Increased exhaust gas temperatures before the turbocharger

If you detect higher exhaust gas temperature than usual, this could indicate insufficient air supply to the engine, caused by contamination of the turbine/compressor or by clogged mats on the filter silencer. Cleaning according to our operation manual may easily resolve the issue.

In case that does not help, the problem may root in contamination of the charge air cooler or the economizer in the exhaust gas duct, and in some cases even a malfunction of the injection system of the engine.

how to maintain your turbocharger

Turbocharger vibration may indicate turbine damage or contamination

Vibrations of the turbocharger itself during start up indicates a rotor imbalance, which can be caused by contamination or a foreign object damage. If the vibration is excessive, it won’t be resolved by normal cleaning during operation, and in this case it’s time to stop the engine and contact an Accelleron service station.

Turbocharger speed variation may indicate contamination

A drop or increase in speed may indicate contamination of the turbine. If cleaning according to Accelleron’s instruction does not help, the problem could also be a leak in the gas piping, charge air ducts or damage of the turbocharger’s rotor.

Strange noises indicate the turbocharger is in operation close to surge limit

Strange noises are an indication that your turbocharger in operation is close to its surge limit. Bangs or coughing noises are caused by surging. Sporadic surge blows can occur when the engine load is reduced quickly – such as when you’re manoeuvring.

If this is experienced periodically or continuously, the operator should slowly reduce speed and stop the engine. At the next occasion, the turbocharger should be assessed by an Accelleron service station, as the forces acting during surging may cause damage to compressor and bearings.

Ensure the turbine and compressor are cleaned according to our recommendations

As you can clearly see, contamination can cause issues for your turbocharger and negatively affect the engine’s performance, so it’s important to stick to the cleaning schedules found in your turbocharger’s operation manual.

If you cannot resolve the issue following the guidance given by the operation manual, don’t hesitate to contact your allocated Accelleron service station – we’re happy to provide the support you need.