Diesel-Mechanic Dredger Drive

Dredgers are mainly driven by two medium-speed four-stroke diesel engines. On the flywheel side of the engine the dredger’s propulsion drive usually takes place, on the front side a dredger pump is driven mechanically, or a large generator produces the electricity for the dredge pump units. The direct pump drive at the front side of the engine or the propulsion drive can each be engaged or disengaged via clutches in combination with flexible couplings. For this application VULKAN offers the MESLU Clutch System, a torsionally-rigid double cone friction clutch combined with an elastic RATO or VULKARDAN E series. For the MESLU clutch, the outer part is supported by the inner part via bearings. This means that the heat generated during clutch operation is lower than with a bearing less clutch, as the MESLU clutch does not have to center itself over the friction liners. This also leads to less and equal wear of the friction liners.

Heat dissipation takes place through the outer part of the clutch. An additional advantage of the MESLU clutch combination is that the generated heat does not effect the highly flexible coupling due to its location outside the clutch. The monitoring device is part of the MESLU Clutch System and detects the slip inside the MESLU clutch i.e. the rotational speed difference between the drive and driven side by means of a non-contacting transducer. The clutch will disengage if the speed difference is outside the pre-set limits, preventing heat overload of the clutch friction pads. In addition, the twist angle of the highly flexible RATO or VULKARDAN E coupling can be monitored, preventing damage to the drive.A good tuning of the drive unit’s torsional behavior is achieved by a large range of dynamic torsional stiffness and damping values available for those highly flexible couplings. If a generator is driven by the front drive, this runs without load during propulsion drive of the dredger. During dredging operations the propulsion drive can be disengaged via the clutch.

With its broad spectrum of products, consisting of clutches and highly flexible couplings, VULKAN is able to provide the best solution for all dredger drives.