Why No INDIAN Marine Engine Manufacturing | Locomotive Factory To Manufacture Ships Engines In India

Why No INDIAN Marine Engine Manufacturing | Locomotive Factory To Manufacture Ships Engines In India
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India is still lagging behind when it comes to indigenous development of Propulsion Systems especially engines. With the projected requirements of naval platforms in coming years by the Indian Navy, the need of the hour is to call for indigenous development of the propulsion systems including engines by the Defence Industrial Base (DIB). The author projects the scope of growth in marine propulsion technology for warships and the opportunities for participation by private players in pursuance of Government of India's vision of 'Make in India'.

Marine propulsion system generates the thrust to move a ship or boat across water and its performance greatly depends on the selection of the main engine. The choice of propulsion system is very critical to meet the desired performance and speed requirements for a given displacement of a vessel. The selection and type of propulsion system largely depends on the displacement, purpose and role of the warship namely Destroyer, Frigate, Corvette, Boat, Aircraft Carrier, or Auxiliary vessels (Tankers, Off-Shore Patrol Vessels, etc). The system has a significant share of the total shipbuilding cost, as well as annual operating cost in fuel consumption. Propulsion system for any vessel can be divided into distinct components depending on role of vessel, design and performance. These components are: Main Engine, Gear Box, Shafting and Propeller. The control system provides the human-machine interface for operating the system, but integrates all the above components, so that the propulsion system can perform its intended task at the desired level of performance. Types of Propulsion System The Naval ships primarily comprises of three major systems 'Float', 'Move' and 'Fight,' with the propulsion systems falling into the 'Move' Category. Equipment under this category encompasses propulsion system and power generation diesel/gas/steam turbine engines, alternators, associated control systems (integrated platform management system/automatic power management system), auxiliary mechanical systems like pumping and flooding, heating ventilation air-conditioner (HVAC), firefighting systems and other ship systems including general electrical equipment.

The marine propulsion systems mostly are either Mechanical or Electrical. Mechanical propulsion system implies the use of the diesel engine to drive the ship's propelling shaft, while Electrical propulsion is a system consisting of a prime mover a steam turbine, diesel engine, etc. and a generator, electric motor and the measuring instruments, converters which are used to drive these components. Recently, significant advantage has been given to electrical propulsion due to an easy control of speed and direction of propeller's revolutions coupled with possibility of remote control being effected from several different locations. Over and above, one of the considerable advantage of electrical propulsion over mechanical, is that a larger number of engines and propellers has been proved to guarantee greater safety of navigation.

Indigenization Level The Propulsion Systems used by the Indian Navy (IN) has been limited to mainly three conventional propulsion modes: Steam Plants, Diesel Engines and Gas Turbines (GT). Developments have been made in respect to steam propulsion plants and small diesel engines. Indigenously manufactured steam turbines of BHEL and main propulsion diesels of Kirloskar Oil Engines Limited are already in use onboard ships. Nuclear propulsion and Integrated Electric Propulsion are envisaged for future ships & submarines and are yet to make headway. Further, a number of projects are underway for indigenous development of marine propulsion systems including main propulsion controls through various agencies such as DRDO, DPSUs like BEL and Private Sector firms like L&T, Mahindra Defence Systems and Tata Power SED.
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