Orders underline acceptance of all-electronic engines

26 Jan 2010

The seven-cylinder Wärtsilä RT-flex82T low-speed engine, seen on the test bed at Hyundai Heavy Industries in Korea, develops 31,640 kW at 76 rpm

Wärtsilä reports recent sales success for its RT-flex82T low-speed engine, which was introduced to the market in 2005.

The company reports that orders for a total of 30 seven-cylinder RT-flex82T engines have been received in recent months, including: 

· Six engines for VLCCs to be built by Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co.

· Six engines for VLCCs to be built by Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co Ltd

· Two engines for VLCCs to be built by Hyundai Heavy Industries Co.Ltd.

· 16 engines for very large ore carriers to be built by Jiangsu Rongsheng Heavy Industries Co Ltd

All of the engines have been contracted by Wärtsilä licensees.

Wärtsilä claims a global market share of about 50% in electronically-controlled low-speed engines. Despite the current very low overall order levels for the engine companies, Wärtsilä says that orders for 140 of the its  82-cm bore marine engines have been placed. Of these, some 120 are for the RT-flex common-rail version.

The RT-flex82T type approval tests were recently successfully carried out at Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) in Korea. This test was carried out in the presence of representatives from the major classification societies. The first engine tested, a 7-cylinder RT-flex82T with maximum continuous power of 31,640 kW at 76 rpm, was installed in a VLCC built by HHI.

Wärtsilä claims that its RT-flex82T is the ideal prime mover, and also the market leader, in electronically controlled engines VLCCs and ULCCs and for very large bulk carriers of between 200,000 and 400,000 dwt. With the slower ship speeds now being employed as a fuel saving measure for container ships, Wärtsilä says that its RT-flex82T, being a low rpm engine, is an attractive alternative to the higher rpm engines normally fitted in these ships. The lower rotational frequency offers fuel cost savings that are attractive in projects where fuel efficiency is high on the agenda.

The four 82-cm bore engine types in Wärtsilä's portfolio, the RT-flex82C, RTA82C, RT-flex82T and RTA82T, are designed to offer economic and environmental benefits to different vessel types, according to their operating requirements. The programme was first introduced in November 2005, and all versions are based upon a common platform with as many parts as possible being shared. This, the company says, enables benefits of rationalisation in design and manufacturing, optimised manufacturing, and reduced spare part stocks, to be realised.

The common-rail technology used on these engines is claimed to offer optimum cost efficiency for large tankers and very large bulk carriers. In the currently challenging marine market conditions, such efficiencies are seen as offering notable economic and environmental benefits to ship owners and operators. Features of the RT-flex common-rail system include optimised fuel injection pressures and timing for all loads. The system can be employed in special tuning regimes to optimise brake specific fuel consumption (BSFC), and to enable a special low-load tuning, which provides the lowest possible BSFC in certain operating engine loads. This not only allows fuel cost savings, but also enables lower exhaust emissions of CO2.

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