Leading low- and medium-speed engine manufacturers, Wärtsilä and MAN Diesel & Turbo, have announced the kick off of the next phase of the extensive, long-term HERCULES research program. The overall vision of the program is to achieve sustainable and safe energy production from marine power plants. This next phase is made possible by funding from the European Commission.
Phase III of the program, HERCULES-C, aims at integrating several successful technologies in order to reduce emissions and optimize the efficiency and long-term reliability of marine engines. HERCULES-C is planned to run for three years, from 2012 to 2014, with a budget of Euros 17 million. This brings the total HERCULES research program budget, which includes the earlier HERCULES-A and HERCULES-B projects, to Euros 76 million.
The first objective of HERCULES-C project is to achieve further substantial reductions in fuel consumption, while at the same time optimizing power production and usage. This will be achieved through advanced engine developments in combustion and fuel injection, as well as through improvements in ship energy management, and the use of engine technologies supporting transportation mission management.
The second objective is to maintain the performance of engines throughout their operational lifetime. This involves advanced materials and tribology developments to improve efficiency and reliability, as well as sensors, and monitoring and measurement technologies to improve the controllability and availability of marine power plants.
The third specific objective of HERCULES-C is to achieve near-zero emissions by integrating the various technologies developed in the previous collaborative research efforts.
Wärtsilä and MAN Diesel & Turbo together cover about 90% of the world’s marine engine market. These two major partner groups have been collaborating in the HERCULES program since it was conceived in 2002 to develop new technologies to increase marine engine efficiency. In so doing, fuel consumption, CO2 emissions, as well as gaseous and particulate emissions can be reduced, while engine reliability will be increased.
February 10, 2012