EcoCam continues MAN diesel fuel optimisation

17 Mar 2014
The EcoCam from MAN promises to bring improved fuel economy to mechanical engines operating at low loads

The EcoCam from MAN promises to bring improved fuel economy to mechanical engines operating at low loads

MAN Diesel & Turbo has announced a device known as EcoCam, intended for retrofitting to its mechanical two-stroke engines with single turbochargers.

EcoCam is said to enhance fuel savings on older engines when slow steaming, by allowing adjustment of exhaust valve timing at low load thus delivering an increased Pmax cylinder pressure. The principle behind EcoCam is a ‘virtual cam’, in effect a flexible cam profile, which is controlled hydraulically by adjusting the amount of actuator oil in the hydraulic pushrod.

Flexible exhaust-valve timing has traditionally only been available for electronically controlled engines. The earlier closing of the exhaust valve provides a higher compression pressure, thereby delivering a higher combustion pressure and lower fuel-oil consumption. Reductions of between 2g/kW and 5kW are claimed for the EcoCam, and MAN says these figures have been verified in two independent test bed installations as well as onboard a ship in service.

The company points out that low-load tuning can impact on torsional vibration and NOx emission levels. When a low-load tuning method is installed these factors have to be taken into account to ensure that the vibrations’ impact is not harming the engine and that the NOx level is in compliance with IMO regulations. Calculations as to the new torsional vibration and NOx amendment are included in the EcoCam package.

Payback periods for the EcoCam have been estimated at as little as 18 months, for a typical 6S50MC-C engine with 6,000 annual running hours. The EcoCam is initially being made available for a number of S50MC-C engine types, and the company says it will eventually be rolled out for the whole mid-bore and large-bore programme.

Christian Ludwig, head of retrofit and upgrade, said: “Slow-steaming is now an established industry standard across all segments, including the tanker and bulker markets, and MAN Diesel & Turbo continuously seeks to further refine its technology and improve efficiency. The MAN EcoCam adjusts the exhaust-valve timing between 10 and 60% load, giving a 2 - 5 g/kW fuel saving with minimal to no interruption to a vessel's schedule during installation. The MAN EcoCam has been thoroughly tested and we are happy that we are now able to provide our customers with a low-load tuning method for mechanically controlled engines with a single turbocharger.”

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