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Wartsila Engine Unveiling: A New Contender In Hie 320-mm Bore Stakes

ul classed of medium-speed engines, the Vasa 32, has been joined by k - n ^ ^ g & i a H r b o r e contender. The Wartsila 32 brings higher unit power, enhanced fuel consumption, significantly reduced componentry and integral computer control to a fiercely competitive sector of the engine business. This new type has been engineered to deliver 460 kW per cylinder at 750 rpm in marine applications, compared with the maximum 420 kW attained with the Vasa 32 at the same crankshaft speed. The fact that the Vasa 32 has achieved such a prominent market standing and set new standards in key performance areas caused Wartsila Diesel to set rather high technical attainment levels for itself; .in regards to the new generation of machinery.

The unusually long, two-year test program for the Wartsila 32 in-line prototype testifies to the thorough preparation that preceded the release of the engine for commercial production m March. An 18-cylinder V-engine was fired up on the testbed one year ago, and is now being installed in a pilot powerplant for extensive field trials.

Although the Wartsila 32 is viewed as the long-term replacement for the Vasa 32, sales of the latter show no sign of diminishing. Investments at the Vasa factory in western Finland provide for economic, overlapping production of both generations of 320-mm bore machinery as long as market demand is steady. The buoyant level of business for recently introduced Vasa 32 models, notably the low NOx (nitrogen oxide) version, colors the company's thinking. Offered in the usual in-line and V-form cylinder numbers, the new Wartsila 32 spans the power bam up to 8,280 kW. It is undoubted an attractive powering option, given its technological level Jind high output within a compact envelope, fuel-burning and exhaust emission performance, overhaul intervals and maintainability. Nonetheless, the continual upgrading, refinement and adaptation of the Vasa 32 since the original series was released in 1977 has ensured the enduring competitiveness of the class, currently covering the 1,480 to 7,380 kW range.

Last month, overall sales of the type had reached 2,621 engines of an aggregate 8.9 m kW. The marine market accounts for 1,888 engines, equating total power of 5.3 m kW. Therefore, in jjrie Wartsila 32 project, the designers had to look to outperform^the already high-performance Vasa 32 in every key area. The fact that the latest low NOx version had achieved emission targets well below the IMO curve, while yieldconsumption (sfc) figures made the task that much harder. Over the years, the Vasa 32 has been the platform for the introduction of new technology in mediumspeed engine design, including such innovations as pressurelubricated piston skirts and antipolishing rings.

However, the fact that the original design margins have been fully utilized, through the progressive upgradings, necessitated thg development of a new generation that could accommodate ever-higher operating parameters over the long term. The Wartsila 32 is the means by which the major player in the global four-stroke engine business can look to build on an already commanding 60 percent share in one of the hottest categories of the engine market.

While retaining the same bore size of its predecessor, the Wartsila 32 has a longer stroke at 400 "mm, compared with the 350 mm of the Vasa 32.

Mean piston speed is correspondingly higher, at 10 m/sec. The engine's long providing period has indicated that targets for the new design have been achieved at 179 and 178 g/kW-hr at nominal output in the in-line and V configurations, respectively. Lube oil consumption is .5 g/kW-hr, and a 20,000-hour TBO (time between overhaul) interval is reported.

The Wartsila 32 is exceptionally clean-cut, with a 40 percent lower component count. There are no external, low-pressure fuel pipes which have been replaced by ducts integrated into the injection pump design — while ducts for water and oil have been incorporated in the engine block. Ease of maintenance has been one of the key considerations. Thus, the multi-duct containing the water system and exhaust and air piping stays in place when lifting the cylinder head, and the rocker arm cover is suspended on hinges. A one-piece lube oil module is used and mounted directly on the engine, while the proven hydraulic jack method for moving main bearings caps has been adopted.

The engine computer is the central unit in the Wartsila engine control system (WECS), which includes monitoring of main bearings and cylinder liner temperatures, as well as individual exhaust valves.

The NOx levels for the new generation are less than half the values stipulated in the IMO proposals. Even more significant is the fact that further improvements in fuel consumption have been achieved along with enhanced environmental acceptability. At the official unveiling in London on March 19, Wartsila Diesel management reported that a total of 18 engines of the Wartsila 32 type had been sold as pilot installations, with the first examples set to go to sea towards the end of April.

The initial newbuilding application entails two eight-cylinder, inline units as the 3,520-kW prime movers in a 4,500-dwt platform supply vessel nearing completion at the Brattvaag yard in western Norway. The Wartsila Propac propulsion package for theJohannes Ostensjo-owned newbuilding also includes Wichmann PR90.41 CP "propellers and a Wichmatic 2 propulsion control system.

Four six-cylinder L32 engftie's1 developing 2,640 kW each, plus an auxiliary unit of the same type have all been specified for 14,000- gt cruise ship Columbus, under construction in Wismar, Germany. Following the.vessels scheduled for ITS Schiffswerft this summer, Columbus will operate under long-term charter to Hapag- Lloyd.

 
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