HEINZMANN leads in dual-fuel retrofit of marine propulsion engine

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

February 24, 2017

  • Vessel Bencomo Express of Company Fred. Olsen, S.A. Photo HEINZMANN
  • Installation des Motors CATERPILLAR 3618 am Prüfstand Photo HEINZMANN
  • Vessel Bencomo Express of Company Fred. Olsen, S.A. Photo HEINZMANN Vessel Bencomo Express of Company Fred. Olsen, S.A. Photo HEINZMANN
  • Installation des Motors CATERPILLAR 3618 am Prüfstand Photo HEINZMANN Installation des Motors CATERPILLAR 3618 am Prüfstand Photo HEINZMANN

The use of LNG in marine applications is becoming increasingly common. It offers a big potential in terms of operating costs and emission reduction. Diesel engines converted to dual-fuel show considerably reduced emissions in case of high conversion ratios. Depending on the emission standard which is required, expensive and unwieldy exhaust aftertreatment systems can become unnecessary or their implementation costs are significantly lower. The engine performance is comparable to gas engines.

HEINZMANN, a specialist in engine and turbine management solutions, offers dual-fuel retrofit systems for a wide range of diesel engines to be converted to gas operation and at the same time providing all the safety features required for marine applications.

Test bench runs on a CATERPILLAR 3618 engine have recently been successfully completed for the world’s first dual-fuel conversion on a marine high-speed propulsion engine.

The project was initiated by Fred. Olsen, S.A. with the motivation to improve fuel economy and to reduce emissions at the same time. HEINZMANN was chosen as a competent and innovative duel-fuel system supplier. Due to the need of comprehensive simulation works, system engineering works and project management, AVL, a specialist in development of complete powertrain systems, was acquired as a partner for executing engine design, simulation, test bed planning as well as for performance and emission development. As part of the GAINN4SHIP INNOVATION project, the dual-fuel conversion is cofinanced by the European Commission.

HEINZMANN’s tailor-made system components for successful dual-fuel conversion

The dual-fuel conversion was done in a way that the diesel injection system itself was not modified. If necessary, this allows unrestricted diesel operation at any time. The precise multi-point gas admission system is installed as a cost effective “Add-On” solution and is based on type approved components in a double-walled configuration. For this project, the gas admission valve MEGASOL 200 II Marine was specially developed by HEINZMANN in order to meet the safety requirements of marine applications.

The complete dual-fuel system is operated by HEINZMANN’s latest version of EFI controller, MVC 01-24. This offers very flexible system configuration in order to achieve the best possible adaptation for any application. Together with an intelligent air path management controlled by HEINZMANN’s wastegate valve WG 70, it was possible to operate the engine with a conversion ratio up to 90% gas. As a result the calculations from the comprehensive simulation works executed by AVL were met exactly. The reliable HEINZMANN knock control system ARIADNE was installed to operate the converted engine at the highest efficiency limits.

Special attention was paid to the transient behaviour of the engine. Also the switch over from diesel to gas and back occurs smoothly and quickly. In case of gas system failure the system returns to diesel immediately.

Dual-fuel converted high-speed engine ready now for field operation

On test bench extensive performance, emission and reliability tests were successfully carried out by AVL followed by DNV-GL approval testing. Fuel consumption was noticeably reduced by the engine efficiency raise in dual-fuel operation.

Emissions could be reduced by 30% CO2 , 50 % NOx and 90 % SOx at a conversion rate of 90% LNG and 10% MGO.

The Dual-Fuel retrofitted engine is now ready for field operation. At the beginning of 2018, all four engines of the ferry Bencomo Express running between Tenerife and Gran Canaria, are expected to be converted to LNG. Further vessels are to follow.

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