From Sharks to Tier III
Exhibitions are traditional launching points for major equipment makers, and Caterpillar Marine Power Systems is no exception. Last month at the International Workboat Show in New Orleans the ubiquitous marine power company made announcements regarding it progression toward US EPA Tier 3 Regulations. In addition, it brought to the show an interesting repower presentation from its recent work on OCEARCH’s ‘Shark Wranglers’ vessel.
Caterpillar in New Orleans highlighted its array of U.S. EPA Tier 3/IMO II compliant marine power solutions, among them the Cat 3516C marine engine, C175 marine engine as well as the C18 and C32 engines, both of which have recently became available to order in a Tier 3 configuration.
The headliner was the 3500C Tier 3/IMO II compliant engine family as well as the C175 marine engine. The 3500C engine family includes both the 3512C HD and 3516C HD marine engines, both available in a wide range of ratings that meet EPA Tier 3 and IMO II without after treatment. These new propulsion, auxiliary, and DEP engines, designed and built from the current 3500C platform, have minimal dimensional and weight changes in comparison. New features for the 3500C series include stainless steel exhaust heat shields and a closed crankcase ventilation system.
The C175 engine for marine applications is a EPA Tier 3/ IMO II certified engine series consisting of 16 cylinder, V engines. The four-stroke, non-reversible engines are rated at speeds from 1600 to 1800 rpm and intended primarily for use as main propulsion for vessels. The engines are turbocharged and aftercooled with a common rail injection fuel system with electronically controlled injectors. The C175 platform is designed for optimal emissions flexibility and capability, high power density, improved reliability and durability targeting the BSFC and reliability of a medium speed engine with the power density and unmatched performance of a high-speed engine.
Power to Study Sharks
Aside from the traditional display of new engines and technologies in the exhibition hall, Caterpillar brought to the show one of its more interesting repower clients. In 2007, Chris Fischer created OCEARCH to help raise awareness of global marine conservation and further research efforts into great white sharks. To date, OCEARCH has raised more than $10m for shark research while leading scientific expeditions around the world’s oceans. The OCEARCH team was featured on the television series ‘Shark Wranglers’ on the History Channel, receiving acclaim for its efforts researching the unsolved mysteries of great white sharks.
Central to its research efforts is MV OCEARH, a Cat-powered 126-ft. vessel equipped with a custom 75,000 hydraulic lift and research platform with the capability of handling 5,000 pound sharks. Repowered in 2011 with support from Milton Cat and Elite Diesel, the MV OCEARCH features 2x Cat 3412 engines, 1x C4.4 generator set and 1x C6.6 generator set while serving as an at-sea laboratory.
“In 2012 the engines of the MV OCEARCH were overhauled, lowering our emission levels and reducing fuel consumption by 20 %,” said Fischer. “The new Cat generators literally paid for themselves in less than half a year because of their efficiency.”
Cat to Repower ACL Vessels
A workboat client in the more traditional sense, Caterpillar announced that American Commercial Lines (ACL) chose Cat C280 marine engines to repower six of its towboats, according to Bill Foster, ACL vice president of Boat Maintenance. All six vessels are scheduled to be repowered in 2012. The first vessels being repowered are the MV J. Russel Flowers and the MV Thurston B. Morton. Cat dealer Whayne Power Systems is assisting with the repower project.
ACL has been operating three of its higher horsepower towboats since 1998 powered with Cat 3612 engines. The Cat 3612 engine, the predecessor to the C280, has proven to be reliable and durable. After 21 years of operating with the Cat 3612 marine engines, ACL’s MV Carol P. received the first major overhaul recently in Paducah with the support of Whayne Power Systems. Following the overhaul and refurbishment, the MV Carol P was dedicated as the MV Dan Jaworski. The renamed vessel represents ACL’s new standards for performance, high operational efficiency and reliability.
(As published in the January 2013 edition of Maritime Reporter- www.marinelink.com)