Lufthansa Technik has developed in "Cyclean Engine Wash" a new method for washing engines quickly and effectively. Thanks to the new technique, engine efficiency is enhanced so that costs are cut, while the environment benefits from lower CO2 emissions. Cyclean is available for every engine type in the Lufthansa Technik portfolio and is offered by the company's Airline Support Teams worldwide. The new engine washes are not just available at Lufthansa Technik stations but can also be performed directly in the field.
Every flight exposes an engine to continuous dirt accumulation, especially during taxi, take-off and landing. Depending on the area in which the aircraft is operated, the air may contain sand, chemicals, hydrocarbons and other particles. This accumulation of dirt is referred to in the trade as "compressor fouling" and means that over time the compressor has to work steadily harder to compress the required quantity of air. This has the effect of reducing engine service life and, as fouling de-posits build up on an engine, it consumes more fuel. The result is that fuel and maintenance costs rise while at the same time the environment is unnecessarily polluted.
Regular washing with Lufthansa Technik's new Cyclean Engine Wash product now ensures that the engine's high-pressure compressor works more cleanly and efficiently so that on average the operating temperature is lower than on an engine with substantial fouling deposits. Thanks to the improved performance, maintenance costs can be cut throughout the entire life cycle of an engine. On the basis of typical flight data, Cyclean can bring airlines savings of between 18,000 and 180,000 US dollars per aircraft (depending on aircraft and engine type). Unlike conventional methods, with a Cyclean Engine wash the interval between washes is tailored to the aircraft so as to bring the maximum benefit. The engines cleaned regularly with Cyclean consume less kerosene and, depending on type, their CO2 emissions are be-tween 0.5 and 0.75 percent lower.
Cyclean Engine Wash is a mobile machine which can be used without either the thrust reverser or the engine cowlings having to be opened. A headpiece with two nozzles tailored to each engine type can be attached directly to the spinner. The 70ºC hot water is sprayed straight into the core engine at a pressure of up to 100 bar. Because the water jet is targeted in this way, a lot less water is needed for an engine wash than is the case with conventional methods. For example, only 110 liters are required for the CF6-80 engine type, down from 250 liters. Another environmental bonus is the fact that the waste water is collected straight after the wash.
As well as the costs saved and environmental protection aspects, a further advan-tage of the new method is that it takes very little time. Whereas previously an engine wash has taken an average of six hours to perform, it can now be completed in only one hour. This is because time-consuming preparatory measures as well as post-processing are no longer required. In this way it will be possible in the future to perform an engine wash directly at the gate. Furthermore, an engine run-up after the water wash is dispensable. At present, Lufthansa Technik is negotiating with the engine manufacturers that this procedure becomes part of the maintenance documents.
For more information, visit www.lufthansa-technik.com.