Wärtsilä's new Propulsion Test Centre has been established and funded by Wärtsilä with strong support from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, who will provide the resources to operate the facility. The test centre is located in Tuusula, southern Finland, and will enhance the company's capabilities in product validation and research activities.
The new facility enables Wärtsilä to speed the development of new, high quality and environmentally sound propulsion products together with research institutes, universities and suppliers. It will have a central role in propulsion related research and development activities carried out by the company. In particular, the test centre will be used for functional and endurance testing with an emphasis on mechanical power transfer.
The test installation can accommodate thrusters up to slightly above 2 MW in power. The main components are a frequency converter with an electrical motor and generator, a specially designed gearbox, and a hydraulic loading system. Including all needed auxiliary systems such as cooling, controls and lubrication, the test centre covers an area of about 200 square meters and will be capable of running tests on a 24/7 basis.
"This investment in a full scale test facility for propulsion products is one of the key elements in our strategy for supporting and assisting our customers in lowering operating costs through higher propulsion efficiency and lower maintenance expenses. Having a technology development centre enables us to provide the best possible technical support for the propulsion needs of the entire marine sector," says Jaakko Eskola, President Ship Power and Senior Executive Vice President, Wärtsilä.
The extensive list of benefits offered by Wärtsilä Propulsion Test Centre includes the ability to stretch the limits of current propulsion products, and to validate future products and new technologies prior to market introduction. This includes the introduction of, for example, cost efficient components, new environmentally acceptable lubricants, and new propulsion diagnostic techniques. With the new test centre Wärtsilä says they will remain at the forefront of propulsion technology advancement as the demands of the marine industry evolve.