Parker filter carts used onboard QE2

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The Hydraulic Filter Division of Parker Hannifin has supplied a pair of filtration carts to enable hydraulic fluid to be cleaned prior to the ship docking for the steering system to be upgraded.

Parker filter carts used onboard QE2Hydraulic filtration carts from the Hydraulic Filter Division of Parker Hannifin have enabled engineers on the Queen Elizabeth II (QE2) to carry out a major upgrade to the ship's steering system by offering a quick and effective method of increasing the cleanliness of the oil in the system. Due to the efficiency and portability of the filter carts, the cleaning operation was achieved with no additional time in dry dock or disruption to the cruise liner's schedule, thereby minimising costs.

Martin Cunningham, the Rolls-Royce Projects Manager involved with the upgrade, explains: "We had just three days in which to complete the necessary steering and gear hydraulic component improvements before setting sail. The new closed-loop system consisted of a hydraulic cylinder unit comprising four 1-2 metre long hydraulic pressure rams each containing 350l of oil, in order to steer the ship's rudders.

New pump and servo control system

"It was critical that the oil in the system underwent a complete filtration process before the upgrade began, to bring the oil up to a standard of NAS 7, which was a prerequisite of the new pump and servo control system that was being installed. Flushing out the system while the ship was docked was not an option, as this would have meant the QE2 missing its cruise schedule in addition to docking charges in excess of £100k per day."

Due to its experience in producing filtration systems for the marine sector, Parker Hannifin was approached to supply a solution to the problem, and offered a cost-effective and time-saving approach that involved filtering the hydraulic oil while the cruise liner was sailing. In order to enable this, two 10MF portable filter carts were supplied and connected to the closed loop steering gear system of the QE2, enabling on-board decontamination of the hydraulic oil by filtering out contaminants and releasing the oil back into the system.

The 10F filtration carts have been specifically developed to remove solid contamination from petroleum-based fluids such as hydraulic fluid, gear and lube oils. Portable and capable of removing particles as small as 3 microns due to Parker's latest filter elements, the carts make remote, on-demand filtration fast and convenient, making them highly suitable for the project onboard the QE2.

Simple to install and operate

Furthermore, the filtration carts are extremely simple to install and operate, requiring just a power supply and no additional hardware. A flexible, kink-resistant hose is featured as standard, making the systems suitable for inaccessible, compact environments such as those on board the ship.

Thanks to Parker Hannifin's knowledge and the carts' innovative design, the hydraulic oil was cleaned to the required standard and the upgrade completed successfully and within the deadline. Martin Cunningham, continues: "The carts provided the ideal solution to our needs. Being able to filter the oil while sailing saved valuable time when the ship was docked, minimising the time and money needed to carry out the work and enabling the QE2 to leave on schedule."

Although the hydraulic oil in the QE2's control system is now of a high enough standard for the new steering system to operate effectively and reliably, the portable carts can easily be used again should additional filtration requirements emerge, providing for flexible and cost-effective long term filtration.

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