Author Topic: Ask the engineer!  (Read 40551 times)

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Offline June Ingram

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Re: Ask the engineer!
« Reply #75 on: Nov 25, 2014, 07:49 PM »
Then what...?
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Offline Rod

Re: Ask the engineer!
« Reply #76 on: Nov 25, 2014, 10:06 PM »
MCR told TCR to shut in engines, told me to get the boilers relit.   I kinda took the quick way out...And manually opened the fuel valve that had shut, allowing fuel to 7 burners at once.
PLEASE DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I swear that the boiler front moved about 6"! It was something that had never been covered in training, not many of the seniors had ever done it, or at least admitted to doing it.  The other 2 boilers I did one fire at a time.
Lessons learned, don't do that, but also, put the manual overrides on in rough weather.

Offline skilly56

Re: Ask the engineer!
« Reply #77 on: Nov 26, 2014, 04:25 AM »
Hi Rod,

Another 'Minties Moment'! Love It! And it brought back dim memories.

Back in the early 70's I can recall a CPO taking me through the boiler-relight procedure and me hoping I never had to do it in anger. This was on a steam frigate with Babcox boilers, and I seem to recall they had 7 or 9 burners and a 'half' burner.
When manoeuvring the watch chief would signal for 'Up a Half', or "Up 1.1/2' or 'Up 2', or down as required, and look out if you got it wrong.

The thought of you firing seven at once has me cringing - I would have been crapping myself if present. Probably because we have an understanding of the fuel explosion potential when the purging isn't done for the required time before ignition.
Lucky the T.A.s/ feed pumps/fans etc., didn't stop.

Don't know if you are onside with the weather gods up your way, but can you please ask them to melt the snow in Buffalo so we can drive through from Toronto to Boston on Dec 6th. Then doing Amtrak down to NY for 6 days, then down to Philly for a couple more, then Washington/Virginia for a week for my lad's engagement party, then home to Xmas sunshine and 20 - 30 degrees C., I hope.

Cheers
Skilly
« Last Edit: Nov 26, 2014, 08:38 PM by skilly56 »

Offline June Ingram

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Re: Ask the engineer!
« Reply #78 on: Nov 26, 2014, 02:37 PM »
Thanks, Rod and Skilly, for your messages !  Who else was there to witness the 7 burners coming on at the same time ?  What is the procedure for lighting one at a time ?  Skilly, have good travels !  June :)
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Offline Rod

Re: Ask the engineer!
« Reply #79 on: Nov 28, 2014, 10:44 PM »
Skilly first,
Have not heard that "Minties Moment " in many, many years! Thank you!
I certainly would not do it again. NO doubt about that. I said the boiler front moved 6' well the soot that rained down on us, was amazing.
We were extremely lucky. Alarms were going off all over the place, fortunately the ER guys were able to throttle back rapidly. Load was automatically shed. AND yes I nearly had to use that "Break glass in case of emergency" box that contained new undies.
I was not castigated over the incident, basically it was the first time for everyone!
After that, in rough weather, manual overrides (for the non Engineers, handjacks for Skilly),  were put on.
Basically I made a decision after an order was given, and it worked!
I was an Engineer Cadet at the time. In charge of the boiler room. Had been at sea maybe 8 months?

To June:
My fireman was there he had been at sea about 5 months longer than me!

The procedure for lighting a boiler, from cold is that you put the burner in, and there is a contraption, called an ignitor, about 5 foot long, that you put in through a hole in the boiler front, turn on the fuel, pull the trigger and the end of the ignitor creates a carbon arc and the fuel is ignited. As the boiler is cold...you need to warm it up gradually. If you have had extensive brick work repairs done....it literally may take days, depending on who is in charge. You may put a fire on for an hour, then off for an hour.  Once they have decided that the brickwork is good to go, then you start building pressure, maybe put 2 fires on. Watch the water levels, because water expands when heated, (ever overfilled your electric kettle?), When pressure starts to build up, you have to open the  drains, in the steam lines, to let condensation out. Water is not good for turbines! Main steam valve from the boiler, you would open 1/4 turn at a time, again to warm things through. The whole process, again depending on who was in charge, could take 6-10 hours.
Lighting a hot boiler.... Please to not fire me Skilly....
If for whatever reason, 1 boiler had shut down while running, you would shut ALL fuel valves to the burner, withdraw all but 1 burner and, of course air supplys,  usually #4 and if you went by the bible, you would drag out the ignitor etc etc. If it was within a couple of minutes you became an atiest and lit the fuel off the back wall of the boiler. Then you would put the other burners in as soon as needed. Min 3 was required to make 850 psi.
Sorry to be so long winded, but it is not easy to make it short!

Back to Skilly, sorry nothing with the weather gods here. But take your lifejacket!

Offline June Ingram

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Re: Ask the engineer!
« Reply #80 on: Nov 30, 2014, 09:07 PM »
Thanks, Rod, very much, and I appreciate very much your detailed explanations !  June  :)
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Offline June Ingram

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Re: Ask the engineer!
« Reply #81 on: Dec 02, 2014, 06:30 PM »
Hi Rod -

It's me again !

Was the blast from all 7 seven burners coming on at the same time felt and heard throughout the ship ?

How did your fireman react and what did he do ?

After being in dry dock, how long did it usually take to fire up all three boilers ? 

Were the turbines under steam ever brought up to their maximum horsepower ?

Regarding the turbines, could you please explain how the dual-tandem reduction gears work ?

Thanks much !

June   :)
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Offline skilly56

Re: Ask the engineer!
« Reply #82 on: Dec 02, 2014, 09:48 PM »
Hi Rod,

A wee bit off topic, but have just been told that 'Aruba Jones' (one of QE2's original 1969 engineer cadets, from Manchester) has failed his medical and is now on the beach at age 65. Brian was my 1/E for years, before getting my job when I smashed my back up and got carried off.
Another one bites the dust.
Skilly

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Ask the engineer!
« Reply #83 on: Dec 02, 2014, 10:18 PM »
when I smashed my back up and got carried off.

Hello Skilly, therein surely must lie a tale... not a happy one, it seems...

Did it happen in the course of duty?

Offline Rod

Re: Ask the engineer!
« Reply #84 on: Dec 03, 2014, 10:55 PM »
June,
7 burners at once...not the whole ship, but I am sure that the people living directly above felt a little bit of vibration!
My fireman kinda just stood agape as I did. You being an American would remember the quote from Urkel "Did I do that?"
Firing up from cold. I had only one instance of that Rotterdam in the 70's. The drydock insisted on completely dead ship.
Because you have to warm everything through, brickwork, piping etc etc You would put one fire on for about 10 minutes....then gradually increase the time. As pressure built up you would let a little bit of steam through to the engine room to let their systems warm up. Then you have the inevitable leaks, which have to be fixed. Some requiring complete shutdown. I believe in Rotterdam it took nearly 48 hours before we let steam in any quantity through to the engine room and alternator room.
In a loss of power situation at sea it could take 16 hours to get full power back. Because of close tolerances in the turbines, they have to be constantly turned when cooling down/heating up. In a blackout event this would have to be done by hand with a gigantic ratchet. Don't forget no ventilation, so temps were up in the 180's.
Double reduction gearing....on this one June going to keep it as basic as possible. Turbines rotate at thousands of rpm, shafts at 165-175 max.
You had 2 turbines on each shaft, high pressure and low pressure that had to be geared down.
Dual tandem double reduction allowed both turbines to be attached to the same gear box.

Offline Rod

Re: Ask the engineer!
« Reply #85 on: Dec 03, 2014, 10:59 PM »
Skilly, I remember "Aruba" very well. He was a TCR Engineer when I joined. Yes I do know how he got the name of "Aruba" , NO I will not repeat it until they come up with a "THE QE2 STORY....the "X" rated edition!
About a year after I joined as a Cadet, I believe he went to the "small" ships.
I think that if I had stayed at sea....I would have bitten the dust as well!

Offline June Ingram

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Re: Ask the engineer!
« Reply #86 on: Dec 04, 2014, 03:51 PM »
Hi Rod -

Thanks very much for your message. 

Just didn't know how loud a "whump" seven large burners would make coming on at the same time. 

Thanks for letting us know the amount of time you actually experienced in firing up the boilers from a dead ship. 

Incredible about cooling down the turbines in blackout and the work temperature.

That actually answered what I was unsure about in that both the high pressure and low pressure turbines are attached to the same gear box.

June  :)
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Offline ship pro

Re: Ask the engineer!
« Reply #87 on: Dec 05, 2014, 06:34 PM »
A picture showing Aruba Jones , 3rd from left, having a beer on paradise beach Nassau February 1972

Offline skilly56

Re: Ask the engineer!
« Reply #88 on: Dec 05, 2014, 10:58 PM »
Thanks JayCee,
You must have really done some fishing through the basement to find that one!

I'm going to frighten him with that photo. I'll sneak it to his wife, and she can sit it alongside the one of him in his cadet's uniform in his lounge.
I believe the Aruba incident is probably why he got transferred to Caronia 8)

I would have picked him out no trouble. But, time favours no man (especially ship's engineers for some reason), and when one has a succession of good cooks on board, and one has stayed on the same ship (a self-discharging mini-bulk cement carrier) for 26 years, then naturally the elastic expands, as witnessed by the attached photo I took on 30.10.2009.

The gentleman standing to the right is an ex-captain of the old 'Doulos' about 5 years back, and another shipmate of mine who lives not far from me.

Cheers

Skilly
« Last Edit: Dec 05, 2014, 11:44 PM by skilly56 »

Offline Rod

Re: Ask the engineer!
« Reply #89 on: Dec 06, 2014, 01:28 AM »
That Martin Harrison next to Aruba?