What is a automatic HFO/MGO change over control?


Automatic HFO/MGO switching is a system that allows automatic switching between two different types of fuel: Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) and Marine Gas Oil (MGO). It is an essential tool for ships and power plants that run on diesel engines and need the flexibility to switch between these fuels, often based on local environmental requirements or economic considerations.

Function and application

The primary function of this system is to ensure a seamless and safe transition between HFO and MGO without interrupting the operation of the engine or causing potential damage.

Areas of application

Compliance with emission standards: In some geographical regions, particularly in Emission Control Areas (ECA), stricter emission standards are required. Here a vessel may be forced to switch from HFO to the cleaner and more environmentally friendly MGO.

Optimization of engine performance: Under certain operating conditions, the engine can work more efficiently with a particular type of fuel, which makes a change desirable.

Economic reasons: Prices for HFO and MGO may vary and in some cases it may be economically more advantageous to switch to the cheaper fuel.

Technical aspects

An automatic changeover system usually includes sensors, control software and mechanisms that monitor fuel flow and pressure. If necessary, the fuel changeover is initiated by valve changes and other components to ensure continuous operation to ensure.

Key components

Control unit: Monitors and initiates the switching process based on the preset parameters or manual input.

Sensors: Monitor fuel flow, pressure and quality to ensure that the changeover process is running smoothly.

Valves: These allow physical switching between fuel lines and tanks.

Safety aspects

An automatic switching system must have security features to detect and address potential problems. This could be, for example, an unexpected drop in pressure in the system or the detection of impurities in the fuel. Such security mechanisms may include automatic shutdowns, alarms or diversions.


Automatic HFO/MGO switching is essential for modern ships and power plants that rely on flexibility and efficiency. It not only enables compliance with environmental regulations, but also optimises engine performance and operating costs. It is important that such systems are developed and maintained with the highest safety standards and precision.

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