Home > Groundbreaking technology jointly developed by Wärtsilä and ABB Turbo Systems to cut diesel engine emissions

Groundbreaking technology jointly developed by Wärtsilä and ABB Turbo Systems to cut diesel engine emissions

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article image The new engine design features two turbochargers that are arranged in series to generate increased air pressure, airflow and a superior turbocharging effect

Wärtsilä and ABB Turbo Systems are taking part in a joint development programme for a groundbreaking application of two-stage turbocharging on large diesel engines. Together with two-stage turbocharging, advanced engine technology offers considerable advantages in engine emissions and fuel consumption.

The application of two-stage turbocharging technology on Wärtsilä diesel engines has been developed through close co-operation between Wärtsilä and ABB Turbo Systems. In this programme, Wärtsilä is focusing on developing advanced engine technology, which with the turbocharger, is able to reach high performance and grow to be a cost-effective commercial solution for its customers. ABB Turbo Systems is delivering the turbocharging technology with defined performance in terms of airflow, pressure ratios and efficiency.

Mikael Troberg, Director of Wärtsilä Testing & Performance explained that ABB Turbo Systems is one of their main development partners, and has played an important part in Wärtsilä’s product development for over 30 years. “Our customers benefit from the productive and successful R&D activities of our two companies, both of whom are leaders in their fields.”

With the new engine design, two turbochargers are arranged in series to generate increased air pressure, airflow and a superior turbocharging effect. This results in a very high efficiency rating of up to 76 percent. The increased air pressure, combined with the advanced engine technology, improves the engine output and power density by up to 10 percent. At the same time, both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are reduced.

Additional engine systems or the use of exhaust gas after-treatment can further reduce emissions and a precise combination of fuel consumption levels and reductions in CO2 and NOx emissions can be selected through detailed systems configuration. Intelligent engine control allows optimum operation of the advanced engine design over the whole load range, and a significant reduction in NOx emissions can be reached.

By compensating for the reduced air density, 2-stage turbocharging technology guarantees the engine’s operational performance at high altitudes. The significant reductions in fuel consumption and emissions are the result of extensive joint testing of the 2-stage turbocharging system on the Wärtsilä engine. The tests have taken place at Wärtsilä’s test facility in Vaasa, Finland, and the targets for the development programme have been successfully met. Wärtsilä and ABB Turbo Systems plan to commence a major pilot project with a customer in the near future.

Another driving factor in this development work has been to significantly lower lifecycle costs, and this target has been met. So too has the goal of lowering NOx emissions. The market potential for this technology in power plants is believed to be big. Similarly, the advanced technology for combustion control developed by Wärtsilä will be beneficial to the shipping market, when the market requirements are in place. Here, in addition to costs, the compactness and cost effective design are considered to be of importance. Calculations indicate that in certain power plant applications, the investment in advanced 2-stage engine technology could be regained in less than two years of operation.

Mikael Troberg explained that the conceptual design for the new power plant engine started three years ago, “Testing of the concept, and verification of the technology, has been successfully carried out using four-stroke Wärtsilä 20 and Wärtsilä 32 engines. We see this technology as being a key for the next generation of Wärtsilä emissions-friendly engines. The technology has been developed for the four-stroke portfolio, in both marine and power plant applications. The next logical step is the two-stroke engine family for large vessels, typically as single engine installations.”

Emissions control is increasingly important today, with reducing CO2 and NOx levels being high on the agenda. The current market is demanding environmentally sound solutions with competitive lifetime costs and this need continues to pave the way for the introduction of new technologies developed by Wärtsilä and ABB.

ABB Turbo Systems is represented in Australia by ABB Australia .

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