Cummins launches QSK50

Industry Database

Cummins Inc. has announced that the QSK50 marine engine for variable speed diesel electric (VSDE) applications is now available.

The 50-litre platform has been used in traditional fixed speed diesel electric applications, as well as traditional propulsion and power generation, since its launch in 2006.

"Cummins will play a critical role in the advancement of this more efficient technology, supplying engines to system integrators for packaging into complete variable speed diesel electric packages," according to Waldemar Marchetti Director of Strategic Growth – Offshore. "We will continue to expand our product line, skills and capabilities, working with partner suppliers to design customised packages utilising the latest technology."

Cummins says it is taking diesel electric technology to the next level with the introduction of optimised ratings for variable speed diesel electric (VSDE) applications. The company says that VSDE technology is ideal for low load applications, such as fishing vessels, offshore support vessels, ferry boats, and passenger vessels.

As with a traditional fixed speed diesel electric gensets, a variable speed diesel electric genset features an engine, base rails, system controls and alternator. But unlike traditional diesel electric, VSDE utilises the DC component to allow the engines to operate at variable speed, eliminating the need for paralleling gensets. Early reports published by system integrators show significantly reduced fuel consumption, reduced CO2 emissions and lower system weight for the complete VSDE package compared to fixed speed diesel electric applications; operators should also expect reduced maintenance costs and increased engine durability.

While Cummins' existing ratings can be utilised in VSDE applications, the new 2183 hp at 1800 RPM QSK50 rating was optimised specifically for variable speed applications, by providing maximum fuel efficiency at all operating points. Further efficiency gains can be achieved via the power management system. Over the coming months, the company will offer additional ratings optimised for VSDE. At launch, all ratings will meet IMO Tier II emissions at the ISO E2 and E3 test cycles.

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