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Engine balancing:
An efficient approach to save slow speed
diesel engines

Nauryzbek Bekpembetov
MEO4B, 01698-11

The efficiency of the ship depends on the performance of the Main Engine. To perform
the high efficiency of engine, the engine should be balanced properly. Otherwise unbalanced
engine may cause a damage of the engine parts, vibration, electronic faults, noise and stress on
structure. As a size of engine rises, the damage size is also increases. Therefore, the balancing of
2 stroke, low speed marine diesel engines on of the biggest engines ever made in history,
which generates tremendous amount of power, is one of the most important points to take into
consideration. Improvement of the engine balance reduces vibration and other stresses, increases
the overall performance and reliability, and minimizes the stress on machineries close to the
The balance of the engine obtained by controlling two points: Power balancing (gas
pressure balance) and Balancing of moving parts.

Power balancing is a process of making an adjustment to obtain equal power from each
cylinder. Power balancing is made by small adjustments on fuel pumps of individual cylinders.
The most important part is fuel amount injected in the cylinder. This adjustment should be such
that cylinders are not overloaded and exhaust temperature is not over the acceptable limits.
Therefore adjustments for power balancing must be carried out very carefully. While making the
adjustment exhaust temperature and indicator diagram of each cylinder should be considered. By
balancing the power from each cylinder, the load will spread over the length of the crankshaft

Balancing of moving parts consists from two parts: static and dynamic balancing. Static
balancing requires that the sum of all forces on the moving system must be zero. Another name
for static balance is single plane balance. It means that all masses which generate the inertia
force are in the same plane. Dynamic balancing requires two states: the sum of all forces should
zero and the sum of all moments should be zero. Sometimes it is called as two plane balance.
The static balance must be done by manufacturers while construction. But dynamic balancing
can be done after, by adding or removing the right amount of weights at the correct angles in two
separate planes along the shaft.
Whenever a crankshaft rotates, the crankpin exerts some centrifugal force, which effects
to bend the shaft and produces axial and torsional vibrations. To overcome this effect another
mass is attached to the shaft at that position to balance the centrifugal force. So that the
centrifugal forces of two masses will be equal and opposite. This process of adding the second

mass to counteract to the centrifugal force of the first mass is called revolving mass balancing.
The forces created by reciprocating motion of the piston produces imbalance on the rotation of
the shaft because of different forces act on it. The resultant of these forces is called as
unbalanced force or shaking force. The balancing of the shaking force is named as reciprocating
mass balancing. The magnitude and the direction of the shaking force and shaking couple varies
during the cycle, thus also creates axial and torsional vibrations. The reciprocating mass balance
is obtained by adding two counterweights rotating in opposite directions. On primary force
balancer the speed of rotation of the counterweights is same as crankshaft speed, but on
secondary force balancer the speed is twice of crankshaft speed.
Properly balanced engine saves about 2-3% of fuel amount. In other
hand the balancing of the engine increases the lifetime of moving parts such
as: crankshaft, piston, bearings and etc. That is why constructors are
developing the equipment which controls the balance or minimizes the
vibration. Combustion monitoring system Marine is a one of the modern
systems for advanced engine balancing. The main purpose of CMS Marine is
the equalization of output of all cylinders. Dampers and de-tuners are used
to minimize the axial, torsional and longitudinal vibrations. Dampers use oil
or high viscous fluid as a silicon which filled to the cylindrical casing
providing the damping effect. They are also called as a hydrodamps. Flexible
connections made from special materials between shafts compensate the
torsional vibration.
Concluding this I have determined the state of Engine balancing, types
of balancing and subdivisions of moving parts balancing. I have also
described the reciprocating and revolving motions which are creates forces
and moments, and the ways to balance them. I have mentioned several
modern trends for controlling and minimizing the engine balance, which are
in addition increases the performance of the engine. It is impossible to
eliminate the vibration of a huge marine engine at all, but there are ways of
approach to save it.

1. Balancing-ppt. Aahad Nohani, 12.12.2012
2. Vibration characteristics of two-stroke low speed diesel engines,