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Wednesday, October 24, 2018 

Monitoring instrumentation supplier Rivertrace has added a ‘Smart WiO’ water-in-oil sensor that provides continuous monitoring of dissolved water content in oil. The company says that this allows ship operators to limit the risk of engine and machinery corrosion.

Rivertrace explains that any oil can absorb a certain volume of dissolved water up to a maximum concentration - the ‘saturation point’. When the saturation point is exceeded, any unabsorbed water can cause corrosion inside the engine. The saturation point can change with an oil’s age, cleanliness, temperature and other factors including composition, whether the oil is mineral or synthetic and the formulation of additives.

The traditional method of determining water content is by test kits. According to Rivertrace, these detect free water in lubricating oil or emulsion from 100.02% humidity. However, any water content values measured exceeding 100% humidity indicate that free water is already present, and the engine is being exposed to corrosion and oil degradation.

Rivertrace’s Smart WiO Sensor uses capacitive measurement of absorbed water in oil to continuously monitor water content value as a humidity percentage value, taking into consideration oil temperature as well as measuring saturation of the oil regardless of the oil type and age. The monitor is intended for preventative maintenance protocols and condition-based monitoring for lubricating and hydraulic oil, with water presence indicated by early warnings from pre-set alarms. At 50% humidity the WiO Sensor shows an alarm, allowing the crew to take preventative actions. At 90% humidity the main alarm is triggered. This, says the company, alerts the crew before any free water is present in the oil.

According to Gillian Peden, Rivertrace Business Development Manager: “As specialists in water quality monitoring we are expanding our range or products to offer our customers a partner for their maintenance and compliance monitoring needs. Rivertrace is committed to ensuring that the marine industry has the right tools to measure water in oil and limit the risk of engine corrosion and premature wear with our solution the new Smart WiO Sensor.”

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