Monday, January 4, 2016

FTV Firing up The Kennedy's Boilers

YHello Everyone!

Today I talked with a few senior engineers who were part of the process of the boiler light off on December 28th. The Steam boilers provide the energy needed to run all the systems on the ship.
Controls monitor the build up of steam pressure
Engineers at the control panel

In order to fire the boilers the engineers must ignite the boiler and then add fuel oil to slowly build up the steam pressure. Special safety cautions require that the boilers are fired up slowly and tested after each of the firing steps are completed. 

The picture below is one of the two D shaped, fire tube boilers we have down in the engine room. First test is to fire the first boiler for 5 minutes and then stop for ten while they fired the second boiler for 5 minutes. They cycled through this for about 2 days until December 30th when they started firing one of the boilers continuously. 

The blue circle on the right side is the 
flame inside the boiler.
high and low pressure turbines
With the boilers firing in full pressure now they are able to run the whole ship on ship power instead of either shore power and ship power. When I say running the whole ship that means that they are able to run things like lights, refrigeration systems, air units, and generators. And of course the shaft that is connected to the propeller which will move the ship forward.

This is shaft alley in the engine room. 
The ship is now ready to provide all systems and services for the arriving cadets and crew

I will talk to you after move in day! 
The steam engines that power the Kennedy are examples of heat engines. Heat engines convert heat energy (super-heated water) into the  mechanical work that turns the shaft connected to the propeller. The steam engine is an example of an external combustion engine consisting of a boiler, safety valve, cylinder, steam reservoir, piston and a drive wheel. 

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