NOVEMBER 29, 2013 — Wärtsilä yesterday inaugurated a new test facility for future propulsion products and technology. Located in Tuusula, southern Finland, the Wärtsilä Propulsion Test Center has been established and funded with strong support from VTT Technical Research Center of Finland, which will provide the resources to operate the facility.
Wärtsilä says the new facility enables it to speed the development of new, high quality and environmentally sound propulsion products in cooperation 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 center 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 center 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," says Jaakko Eskola, President Ship Power and Senior Executive Vice President, Wärtsilä. "Having a technology development centre enables us to provide the best possible technical support for the propulsion needs of the entire marine sector."
Wärtsilä says benefits of the center include 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 cost efficient components, new environmentally acceptable lubricants, and new propulsion diagnostic techniques.