UK-based engineering specialist Rivertrace has expanded its product range with the addition of a new Smart WiO – Water in Oil sensor that continuously monitors dissolved water content in oil allowing ship operators to proactively limit the risk of engine and machinery corrosion.
Contamination of oil with dissolved water poses a significant corrosion risk to engine machinery. All oil can absorb a certain volume of dissolved water up to a maximum concentration called the ‘saturation point’. When the saturation point of an oil is exceeded, any unabsorbed water will fall out of the oil as free water and 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.
Unlike traditional test kits that require regular testing to ensure detection of free water, the Smart WiO Sensor uses capacitive measurement of absorbed water in oil with continuous monitoring. The Smart WiO Sensor continuously monitors water content value as % humidity taking consideration of the oil temperature. The sensor also measures the saturation of the oil independently from the oil type and oil age.
Its intended use is for preventative maintenance protocols and condition-based monitoring for lubricating and hydraulic oil, detecting water presence to avoid costly damage and premature wear with early warnings from pre-set alarms. At 50% humidity the WiO Sensor shows a pre-alarm allowing the crew to take preventative actions to reduce the water content. At 90% humidity the main alarm is triggered alerting crew before any free water is present in the oil.