JANUARY 19, 2016 — The first dual-fuel two-stroke engine designed and developed by Winterthur Gas & Diesel (WinGD) equipped with a low-pressure gas admission system has successfully completed its Type Approval Test (TAT) and will be delivered to the shipyard this month for installation in the first of a series of LNG-fueled tankers.
The TAT took place at the works of WinGD's Chinese licensee Yuchai Marine Power Co., Ltd. (YCMP), based in Zhuhai, China in early December 2015. The TAT, on a 5 cylinder, 500 mm bore Wärtsilä brand RT-flex50DF engine employing WinGD's dual-fuel (X-DF) technology, was witnessed by representatives from major Classification Societies ABS, BV, CCS, DNV-GL, KR, LR, NK and RINA.
With the TAT successfully completed, WinGD's low-pressure dual-fuel technology, referred to as "X-DF" is now fully ready for commercial use in marine propulsion applications and this particular 5RT-flex50DF engine will now be delivered to China's AVIC Dingheng Shipbuilding Co. for installation in the first of four 15,000 DWT tankers ordered by Terntank Rederi A/S, based in Skagen, Denmark (see earlier story). The tankers will operate mostly in northern European waters designated as Sulfur Emission Control Areas (SECAs).
As well as being the first engine with WinGD's two-stroke low-pressure dual-fuel X-DF technology for a commercial application, the 5RT-flex50DF is a central element in an EU-supported Joint Industry Project (JIP) aiming at improving the environmental compatibility of energy transportation in the Baltic sea.
The "Into The Future – Baltic SO2lution" project centers on cooperation between shipowner Terntank, marine solutions provider Wärtsilä, engine designer Winterthur Gas & Diesel, fuel and bio-products supplier North European Oil Trade (NEOT) and energy and environmental consultant Wega Enviro. It aims to validate dual-fuel propulsion concepts at sea, based on the high efficiency and intrinsically low emissions of SOx, NOx and particulates of engines burning LNG.
The RT-flex50DF engines with X-DF technology were chosen for the Terntank tankers because of their ability to achieve emissions of SOx and particles at levels very close to zero percent, NOx emissions at least 85 percent below the levels demanded by IMO Tier III in ECAs, and fuel efficiency which translates into CO2 emissions some 25 percent lower than engines running on diesel fuel.
The EU funded project also plans to promote retrofits of this more environmentally-friendly propulsion technology into existing vessels and the building of the necessary LNG infrastructure in the Baltic region.
"The successful TAT is proof that WinGD low-pressure X-DF Technology is not only commercially competitive, but also fulfils all the safety standards required," says Mr. Marcel Ott, General Manager Dual-fuel Technology at WinGD's headquarters in Winterthur, Switzerland. "And, at the same time, the adoption of the RT-flex50DF engine for the Baltic SO2lution shows that the technology is already acknowledged as a very environmentally-friendly propulsion option".
The low-pressure gas admission system designed and developed by WinGD for its X-DF engine series draws on Wärtsilä's long experience with what has become a well-proven industry standard technology on medium-speed dual-fuel engines. In contrast to high-pressure gas injection engines, which operate on the Diesel cycle, WinGD's low-pressure X-DF engines works on the lean burn Otto cycle when operated in gas mode – i.e. ignition of a compressed lean air-gas mixture by injection of a very small amount of liquid pilot fuel.