RK280: Cutting A New Path

Friday, January 11, 2002
The RK280 from the MAN B&W Diesel stable offers the best of both worlds, in that it was designed and built using the accumulated experience garnered since Rudolf Diesel introduced the diesel engine in 1893, melded with modern engine making methodologies which include predictive engineering techniques such as Finite Element Analysis, Dynamic Analysis, Thermodynamic Cycle Simulations and Fluid Dynamic Analysis. Incorporated into this new engine are the results of extensive field study and experience was gained from the RK270 series, which have performed well in the fast ferry, naval and power generation sectors. The new unit is billed by its maker as "the most powerful and fuel efficient 1,000 rpm diesel engine in the world." Marketing claims and bragging rights notwithstanding, the unit does boast some convincing numbers, as evidenced by the attached charts.

Available in 12, 16 and 20 cylinder V formats, with a continuous rated power of up to 9,000 kWb, the RK280 embodies the continuation of the "less is more" trend, in that particular attention has been paid to reducing the component count of the engine and minimizing the maintenance activities necessary. In addition, the engine has a slim profile and clean lines, and with ease of maintenance and installation in mind, it incorporates integrated passages and pipes that result in its compact dimensions. Also, the engine comes complete with lube oil coolers, filters and all thermostatic valves, reducing the volume of separately connected ancillary equipment required.

The crankcase is machined from spheroidal graphite cast iron and features underslung main bearings, which are retained by two vertical studs and two cross bolts per side for overall stiffness. The main bearing caps are secured by hydraulically tensioned studs to ensure maximum integrity of the crankcase system. The engine has a 52 degree vee angle, which is said to minimize torsional effects, and allows location of the intercooler within the engine vee, effectively reducing engine height.

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