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Engine Wash System/ Service Providers

Aero Jet Wash, LLC

Certified Aviation Services

GE ClearCore Engine Wash

Juniper Aircraft Service Equipment


GE’s Clear Core wands go up through the bypass duct and hook around to spray into the front of the booster.

believe pure water could clean on its own. They said we had to use detergents,” Welch said. “But our results turned them into believers. In many cases we’ve shown them much better overall cleaning results than they had in the past.” But all of the wash providers will be quick to point out that it’s not tap water. It’s water that has been specially processed then heated and pressurized before it is delivered via very special, and in some cases, patented methodology into the engine. For example, in developing its forth- generation EcoPower Engine Wash System, Pratt & Whitney actually patented the size of its “atomized water droplets.” As Welch explained it, the atomized water droplets are specifically sized and dispersed to create a “fog” that is most effective in following the airflow path through the engine core. “If you use very pure water it can act ‘chemically’ to remove contaminants from inside the engine,” Welch said. “It has an affinity for the salt and dirt ions that coat the core components of the engine. You just have to get it in there and let it sit for a while before washing it out.” Getting the water—and detergents,

when requested by the operator—into the right parts of the engine core is without question the biggest challenge all the OEM’s and MRO’s had to conquer in the development of their green solutions. You can’t just spray water into the front of the engine and expect it to get where it will do the most good. To make sure that the cleaning process is efficient and effective with the need for harsh detergents or solvents, the OEM’s and MRO’s have

developed a variety of unique water distribution systems. For example, Lufthansa’s Cyclean system uses nozzles that attach to the engine’s spinner, which enables them to reach inside the first set of fan blades. “We’ve don’t get any dispersion out to the bypass so all of our heated water gets into the core,” Landherr said. “Also, our nozzles can rotate with the spinner so we get full 360-degree coverage. Old methods only get coverage in certain sections of the core and leave contaminants behind.”

“If you can get deep into the core and

compressor section and clean there, that’s where you will get the most fuel savings and EGT margin improvement,” he added. GE’s ClearCore engine wash technology uses COTS wash wands developed by Juniper. “Our wash wands go up through the bypass duct and hook around to spray into the front of the booster,” Weisman said. “That way we’re guaranteeing that all the heated, high pressure water is going all the way through the core of the engine.” No matter which water delivery system

you use, Weisman stressed the importance of following the procedures set in the engines maintenance manual. One step that operators often overlook is the need to do a dry our run after the washing. “Some airlines are not doing it or doing it properly,” he said. “This can result in getting water into the oil sumps or allowing some wash residue to remain in the engine.” “Then when you do start it the first time you can get odors or light smoke in the cabin,” Weisman said. “It’s brief, but it’s also not something you want in the cabin on a revenue flight.”

Lufthansa Technik Cyclean Engine Wash

Pratt & Whitney EcoPower Engine Wash

Opinions vary on the need to run the engine to dry it out. Every provider has their own methodology and it’s best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

The Clean, Green Pay Off What’s the big pay off for washing a new- generation jet engine? There are plenty. “Every engine washed has a reduced fuel consumption between 0.5 and 0.8 percent,” Veldkamp explained. “With every kilogram of fuel saved, the emission of 3.15 kilogram of carbon dioxide (CO2

) is reduced.”

“When we wash an engine you see a significant increase—up to 12 degrees C in EGT margin,” Welch said. “Cooler running engines run more efficiently.” Hawaiian Airlines was recently awarded the first ever aviation carbon credits, based in large part to its use of Pratt & Whitney’s EcoPower Engine Wash. According to the company, since 2005, Hawaiian has saved more than 2.5 million

gallons of fuel and reduced its CO2 emissions by 22,000 metric tons as a result of ongoing use of the washing system.

GE states that an airline with a fleet of 10 GE90-115B-powered Boeing 777-30ER’s could produce annual fuel savings of close to $500,000, while reducing their annual CO2

emissions by 1,900 metric tons. No matter how you measure it, saving fuel, money and the environment—seems like quite a nice payoff for giving your engines a bath once-in-a-while. AM

Aviation Maintenance | | June / July 2012 51


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