Monday, July 1, 2024

Wärtsilä—"World's most efficient engine becomes a colossal clean energy generator"

We've looked at some Wärtsilä engines over the years, usually the ones that used LNG or ammonia (as hydrogen carrier) as fuel for ships. They are quite large.
More after the jump.

From New Atlas, June 25:

One of the world's largest engines becomes a clean generator. Originally designed to burn diesel, dual-fuel, or gasoline for tankers and container ships, the Wärtsilä 31 marine engine gets a new life generating clean, renewable electricity.!/quality/90/?

The Wärtsilä 31 engine is in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the most efficient 4-stroke marine engine ever made in its class. It also boasts the highest power per cylinder in engines of equivalent bore size. It can be configured in 8 to 16 cylinders and with a power output ranging from 4.6 MW to 10.4 MW at 720 and 750 rpm.

This Finnish company is best known for making the world's largest combustion engines – notably the 89 ft (27 m) tall, 44 ft (13 m) long, 110,000 horsepower RTA96-C. The Wärtsilä 31 engine is a fair bit smaller, maxing out at 15.4 ft (4.7 m) high and 28.8 ft (8.7 m) long, and running on fossil fuel, it can crank out up to 13,142 horsepower (9.8 MW). 

The cylinder bore and stroke (12.2 x 16.9 inches, or 31 x 43 cm) sound enormous if you're coming from the auto/moto world, but compared to some of the company's bigger engines, which have cylinders big enough to walk into, they're relatively compact.

Converted to a generator, the hydrogen-ready 31SG-H2 version can run on natural gas, or a blend of natural gas and 25% hydrogen – or it can be upgraded to run on 100% hydrogen. There's also a flexible-fuel 31H2 designed to run natively on full hydrogen, but also accepting natural gas or blended fuels....


June 2018: Shipping: "The Engines of the Largest Container Ships in the World, and Challenges their Manufacturers Face" 

October 2019:  Shipping: "Wärtsilä, Norsepower Team Up on Rotor Sails"

Wärtsilä makes scrubbers, they front for these Flettner rotors, they make some pretty sophisticated power and propulsion equipment, I don't understand why they don't make more money. 

December 2019:  Shipping: "Forced boil-off gas—The future of LNG as a fuel for LNG carriers"

It seems like a natural. As the folks at Wärtsilä tell us:
    Boil-off gas (BOG)LNG tankers are designed to carry natural gas in liquid form at a temperature of – 163°C, close to the vaporization temperature. Despite tank insulation designed to limit the admission of external heat, even a small amount of it will cause slight evaporation of the cargo. This natural evaporation, known as boil-off is unavoidable and has to be removed from the tanks in order to maintain the cargo tank pressure.
So you're going to have LNG going through the phase change back to a gas, even on those arctic tankers Novatek is running in -20°C weather.

March 2020: Hydrogen: "Wärtsilä Testing Ammonia Fuel for Shipping"

March 2021:  Hydrogen: "Why the Shipping Industry Is Betting Big on Ammonia"

October 2021: Shipping: "Wärtsilä to investigate use of ammonia in LNG-powered engines"

You know CMA CGM has to be all over this research, what with trying to do the right thing carbon-wise by buying their fleet of gargantuan LNG-powered ships, as we said in "Shipping: The U.N. Appears To Be Trying To Sink French Flag Carrier CMA CGM" under the watchful eye of the U.N.'s International Maritime Organization.