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Proceedings Paper

A low cost mid-infrared sensor for on line contamination monitoring of lubricating oils in marine engines
Author(s): L. Ben Mohammadi; F. Kullmann; M. Holzki; S. Sigloch; T. Klotzbuecher; J. Spiesen; T. Tommingas; P. Weismann; G. Kimber
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Paper Abstract

The chemical and physical condition of oils in marine engines must be monitored to ensure optimum performance of the engine and to avoid damage by degraded oil not adequately lubricating the engine. Routine monitoring requires expensive laboratory testing and highly skilled analysts. This work describes the adaptation and implementation of a mid infrared (MIR) sensor module for continued oil condition monitoring in two-stroke and four-stroke diesel engines. The developed sensor module will help to reduce costs in oil analysis by eliminating the need to collect and send samples to a laboratory for analysis. The online MIR-Sensor module measures the contamination of oil with water, soot, as well as the degradation indicated by the TBN (Total Base Number) value. For the analysis of water, TBN, and soot in marine engine oils, four spectral regions of interest have been identified. The optical absorption in these bands correlating with the contaminations is measured simultaneously by using a four-field thermopile detector, combined with appropriate bandpass filters. Recording of the MIR-absorption was performed in a transmission mode using a flow-through cell with appropriate path length. Since in this case no spectrometer is required, the sensor including the light source, the flowthrough- cell, and the detector can be realised at low cost and in a very compact manner. The optical configuration of the sensor with minimal component number and signal intensity optimisation at the four-field detector was implemented by using non-sequential ray tracing simulation. The used calibration model was robust enough to predict accurately the value for soot, water, and TBN concentration for two-stroke and four-stroke engine oils. The sensor device is designed for direct installation on the host engine or machine and, therefore, becoming an integral part of the lubrication system. It can also be used as a portable stand-alone system for machine fluid analysis in the field.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 May 2010
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7726, Optical Sensing and Detection, 77260M (14 May 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.854476
Show Author Affiliations
L. Ben Mohammadi, Institut für Mikrotechnik Mainz (Germany)
F. Kullmann, Institut für Mikrotechnik Mainz (Germany)
M. Holzki, Institut für Mikrotechnik Mainz (Germany)
S. Sigloch, Institut für Mikrotechnik Mainz (Germany)
T. Klotzbuecher, Institut für Mikrotechnik Mainz (Germany)
J. Spiesen, Martechnic GmbH (Germany)
T. Tommingas, IB Krates OÜ (Estonia)
P. Weismann, OELCHECK GmbH (Germany)
G. Kimber, BP Marine Limited (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7726:
Optical Sensing and Detection
Francis Berghmans; Anna Grazia Mignani; Chris A. van Hoof, Editor(s)

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