Mitsui O.S.K. Lines’ training institute in Tamachi (Minato-ku, Tokyo) developed a turbine plant simulator for LNG carriers. According to the company, it is the world's first full-scale turbine plant simulator reproducing the operating conditions and sounds of an actual engine. The simulator exactly recreates the engine room of the LNG carrier Al Zubarah, with about 100 square meters of floor space. It provides training updates for experienced officers, as well as initial training for mariners new to LNG carrier operations. Apart from basic day-to-day operations, it also allows to practice emergency response and accident prevention techniques.
The turbine plant simulator consists of the following equipment: five plasma screens, valve operating panel, main engine side operating panel, generator turbine/water feed pump side operating panel, boiler side operating panel, generator control panel, engine control consol, boiler operating panel, boiler/main engine control panel/auxiliary machinery group starter panel, and desks for instructors. Wherever possible, the simulator equipment mirrors the equipment found on board an advanced LNG carrier.
Turbine engines, which run on LNG that evaporates during shipment of cargo, are used to power some LNG carriers. A boiler in the turbine plant generates steam to turn the vessel's propeller. Many valves are used to control feed water, fuel (heavy oil and LNG), and steam. Understanding the piping system and the precise operation of valves are basic elements to ensure safe operation of LNG carriers. As trainees operate the simulator valves, they can track the system's operation on a large plasma screen that shows a three-dimensional diagram. At the same time, they hear the actual sounds of machinery, creating a realistic training environment. Another feature allows trainees to see larger and more detail views of specific parts of the system by touching the plasma screen. The system is also linked to the MOL-developed cargo handling simulator, allowing more comprehensive training in LNG carrier operations.