ABB Turbocharging said it will step up its promotion of variable valve train system, Valve Control Management (VCM).
VCM helps a turbocharger to manage air actively so that an engine can operate at different speeds, loads and ambient conditions, thereby increasing its range of application and operation. A major market for this technology is gas power plants. VCM offers new options for higher performance engines that need either a wide range of operation or a fast load response, such as on tugboats, off-highway trucks and emergency power generators.
Suboptimal air-fuel flow results in greater risk of engine knock, more polluted exhaust and lower efficiency. Valve train systems are designed to ensure that air flows into and out of an engine’s cylinders at a relatively constant rate, thus allowing the engine to burn the fuel and power an engine. Generally, most valve train systems must be set for a particular engine load; they must be matched to a particular operating condition. They cannot switch flexibly from one load to another and so compromise on fully leveraging the engine’s full potential. Running an engine with this type of valve train system at a load other than what it was originally set to results in lower efficiency, smoke, and greater thermal load on the engine.
Valve Control Management is an intelligent valve train system that responds adaptively to change the timing in an engine’s valves so that an engine always receives an ideal amount of air. This technology thus manages transient behavior – i.e. changes in engine speed, load or both – so that engines can accelerate more rapidly from one load point to another. VCM optimizes the configuration of the engine for every load, allowing the engine to work as efficiently as possible. A turbocharging solution equipped with VCM can take an engine that is idling to full load in half the time that it normally takes – in some cases even more quickly.
Since VCM manages the amount of air supplied to the engine, thermal load and exhaust gas temperature are also reduced, which in turn makes various mechanical components more reliable and durable. This technology thus makes the environment cleaner by reducing smoke and toxic emissions in exhaust gas. When combined with ABB Turbocharging’s two-stage turbocharging solution, Power2, VCM considerably improves the trade-off between NOx emissions and fuel consumption.
"In the next few years, the market is going to revolve around the issue of fuel and fuel flexibility – the option for both gas and diesel. With lean burn combustion solutions, if you burn gas instead of diesel, you reduce NOx by 85%. For the same power output with gas, you have 18% less CO2. And gas is also cheaper for the same amount of energy – in the US, for example, about a third less. In Asia, prices are expected to drop as well,” said Oliver Riemenschneider, Head of ABB Turbocharging. “We now expect big ships to be converted by 2020, because sulfur in exhaust is going to be regulated more stringently on these types of vessels very soon as well. So it’s NOx, it’s CO2, and it’s sulfur. And it’s money. Fuel and fuel flexibility go to the very heart of all those things, and VCM – particularly in combination with Power2 – speaks to all of those issues.”