Shipbuilding. Energy. Transport

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Shipbuilding. Energy. Transport Maritime Market magazine

Press Release

3,000 hours successfully completed on test bench: the new MTU gas marine engine from Rolls-Royce

    •  Bench tests confirm acceleration behaviour and performance similar to diesel engine
    •  New environmentally friendly gas engine to go into series production as first high-speed pure-gas marine engine as of 2018
    •  Engine meets IMO III emission standards with no additional exhaust gas treatment
    •  Harbour tugs and ferries to get first engines

FRIEDRICHSHAFEN – The new MTU gas marine engine, the first from Rolls-Royce, has already successfully completed 3,000 hours on the test bench. “We can now confirm that the engine meets both our requirements and those of our customers: its performance and its acceleration behaviour are similar to the excellent characteristics of a diesel engine.
It is economical, reliable and clean,” said Dr. Ulrich Dohle, CEO of Rolls-Royce Power Systems AG. As of 2018, Rolls-Royce will deliver the first certified series production gas engines for commercial vessels. The MTU brand is part of Rolls-Royce Power Systems.

Dr. Ulrich Dohle, CEO of Rolls-Royce Power Systems AG, said: “We are convinced that gas engines will become increasingly more important as supplements to our proven diesel engines for marine applications. Natural gas is an important fuel of the future. It will be available longer, it is cheaper to obtain in many regions of the world and has a better environmental footprint than heavy oil or diesel.” Future emission regulations will demand even more environmentally friendly propulsion systems than are currently available. In the case of the gas engine, health threatening substances in the exhaust gas have been reduced by 80 - 100 per cent compared with the diesel engine and greenhouse gases by up to 11 per cent. The new MTU gas engine will meet the IMO III emission standards in force since 2016 with no additional exhaust gas treatment required.

In the gas engine portfolio as of 2018: 16V 4000 with up to 2,000 kW power output

The 16-cylinder gas engine will cover a power range from 1,500 to 2,000 kW and will be based on MTU’s proven 16V 4000 M63 diesel engine for workboats. As of the end of 2017, the first series engines will be used to power a tug built by Damen Shipyards for Svitzer towage and salvage company. The two companies have entered into collaboration with MTU to jointly put the world‘s first tug powered by high-speed gas engines into service. It is to feature high performance in addition to reduced fuel costs and emissions. As a result of their dynamic acceleration behaviour, their low environmental impact, reliability and economy, the new MTU gas engines are ideally suited to tugboats, ferries, push boats and special purpose vessels such as research vessels.

As of 2019 as propulsion system for Lake Constance ferries: 8V 4000 with a power output of 750 kW

The gas engine portfolio will initially be supplemented by an 8-cylinder engine, which is to be available on the market with a power range of 750 to 1,000 kW. As of 2019, this MTU gas engine is to provide the propulsion for a new Lake Constance ferry operated by the local public utility, Stadtwerke Konstanz, which will ply between the two Lake Constance towns of Constance and Meersburg. The new ferry will be one of the first in Europe to be powered by a high-speed pure-gas engine. It is to feature low emissions and improved economy while delivering the customary high performance.

Fuel consumption, emissions, safety and acceleration are the focus of the development work

The new MTU gas engines will be equipped with a multipoint gas injection system, a dynamic motor management system and an advanced turbocharger. The multipoint gas injection system is designed to provide the engine’s dynamic acceleration behaviour, increased performance and reduced emissions. The competition concept ensures that the IMO III emission standards are met without the need for additional exhaust gas treatment. Controlled combustion ensures that fuel is used efficiently. The safety concept, which has been optimised for gas operation, includes double-walled gas supply lines, which means that no additional complex safety precautions are required in the engine room. On the test bench, it was possible to simulate real-life manoeuvres, which represented the dynamic acceleration behaviour of a diesel engine. The successfully completed 3,000 hours on the test bench demonstrate that the gas engine leaves nothing to be desired in terms of the customary reliability of a proven MTU Series 4000 diesel engine.

In its development of the new gas marine engine, MTU has benefited from the 30 years’ experience it has gained to date with stationary gas engines for power generation and the experience available within the Rolls-Royce Group, which has equipped ferries with medium-speed pure-gas propulsion systems for some 10 years now.

 - The new MTU gas marine engine, the first from Rolls-Royce, has already successfully completed 3,000 on the test bench.
 - In 2018 Rolls-Royce will deliver the first certified MTU gas engines for commercial marine applications.
 - The Reverse Stern Drive (RSD)® Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) tug is powered by two high-speed 16-cylinder pure gas MTU engines by Rolls-Royce. The tug has excellent seakeeping behaviour, superb manoeuvrability and outstanding towing characteristics.
 - The new ferry of Stadtwerke Konstanz will be one of the first in Europe to be powered by a high-speed pure-gas engine. MTU will develop the new gas engine 8V 4000. In the picture: The latest Stadtwerke Konstanz ferry "Lodi" (2 x 8V 4000 MTU Diesel engines)


Please see MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH company electronic office


Rolls-Royce Power Systems AG with registered offices in Friedrichshafen is a specialist for large engines, propulsion systems and distributed energy systems, which operated previously under the name of Tognum AG. The core company is MTU Friedrichshafen, with its regional companies of MTU America in Novi, Michigan, USA, and MTU Asia in Singapore.
Under the MTU brand, Rolls-Royce Power Systems markets large high-speed engines and propulsion systems for ships, for heavy land, rail and defence vehicles, and for the oil and gas industry.

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