Wärtsilä and MAN Diesel & Turbo continue HERCULES project

05 Jan 2011

Marine engine manufacturers MAN Diesel & Turbo and Wärtsilä Corporation have agreed to pursue a large joint research project, the HERCULES-C project, as a continuation of the HERCULES programmes for the research and development of marine engine technology.

The overall vision of the HERCULES research programme is for sustainable and safe energy production from marine power plants. The technological themes of the HERCULES initiative have, since its inception in 2002, been higher efficiency, reduced emissions, and increased reliability for marine engines. However, according to the companies, to take marine engine technology a step further towards improved sustainability in energy production and total energy economy, an extensive integration of the multitude of identified new technologies is required.

The proposed HERCULES-C project, expected to run for three years from 2012 to 2015, will adopt a combinatory approach for engine thermal processes, system integration and optimisation, as well as engine reliability and lifetime. HERCULES-C’s aims towards marine engines that are able to cost-effectively produce the required power for the propulsion of ships throughout their lifecycle, with responsible use of natural resources, and respect for the environment.

The HERCULES-C Project has a targeted budget of EUR 19m, bringing the total combined budget of the HERCULES programmes (2004-2015) to EUR 79m.

The specific objectives of HERCULES-C are to achieve further substantial reductions in fuel consumption, while optimising power production and usage. This will be achieved through advanced engine developments in combustion and fuel injection, as well as through the optimisation of ship energy management, and engine technologies supporting transport mission management.

Furthermore, green product lifecycle technologies will be introduced to maintain the technical performance of engines throughout their operational lifetime. This includes advanced materials and tribology developments to improve safety 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 from the previous collaborative research efforts.

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