I had the opportunity to speak with Ed Zaleski, Project and Field Engineer, PowerQuick, a division of Maradyne, at the recent International WorkBoat Show in New Orleans, and we discussed his company’s alternative starting systems. Zaleski explained that these can be a hydraulic operated system or what is known as a blacklight system, where there’s no electricity available.
These starting systems can be used to start propulsion engines, and are frequently used in situations where you’re not allowed to have electricity, say on a barge that’s carrying fuel oils.
“There, you’ll either have the air, where they’ll run the air from the ship over to the barge and connect it—or they’ll have a stand-alone hydraulic system and the accumulator is on board the package. On those, when the engine starts, it recharges the accumulator, so it’s ready to go for the next start,” he said.
Zaleski added that with the hydraulic accumulator-based systems, you have stored energy—so, in any condition, you can start an engine.
“Should the accumulator become exhausted, you have a hand pump, so you can always pump it back up—so you’re never without the capability to start a diesel engine or a gas engine,” he said.
Maradyne also has an air-based line, with both vane starters and turbine starters, which are frictionless and have no rubbing parts—so they use no lubrication other than sealed gearboxes. With the vane starters, depending on how long you operate it, you may or may not have to use oil, he added.
Zaleski said that the workboat industry seems to be doing okay.
“Oil and gas is down, but the river seems to be doing pretty well, it’s holding it’s own,” he said. “The dive industry, maybe has been hit a little bit—with these offshore oil platforms, they’re still required to be serviced, but there’s not the exploration going on. It seems like there is a shift going on in the industry right now, with the change in administrations, there’s a little more optimism about exploration for fuel and energy independence, so we’re hoping for good things this upcoming year.”