MAN describes new dual-fuel gas engine concept

28 Jun 2013
MAN Diesel & Turbo’s new booster fuel injection valve

MAN Diesel & Turbo’s new booster fuel injection valve

MAN Diesel & Turbo’s new ME-LGI concept is intended to expand the company’s dual-fuel portfolio enabling the exploitation of more low-flash-point fuels such as methanol and LPG.

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Significantly, rather than the high-pressure gas system developed for the ME-GI low speed two stroke dual-fuel engine running on HFO/MGO/LNG, the me-LGI employs a low-pressure gas fuel supply, which the company says offers a significant reduction in first cost and enhances reliability potential. Additionally, onboard fuel storage arrangements for these alternative fuels are considerably less complex and less costly than LNG tanks.

Ole Grøne, senior vice president – low speed promotion and sales, said: “We can really see the momentum towards dual-fuel operation building now. The ME-GI engine we introduced – and immediately received orders for – in late-2012 confirmed the growing demand to have the option to run ships on LNG as well as HFO in the face of increasing fuel prices. Owing to market interest, we have now extended our dual-fuel engine programme with an ME-LGI unit that can run on liquid fuels.”

He continued: “The interest in our ME-LGI engine confirms this dual-fuel, low-speed trend and offers even more alternatives to HFO – including methanol, LPG, dimethyl ether (DME), and (bio-) ethanol as well as other, low-flash-point fuels.”

MAN says that the concept that can be applied to all MAN Diesel & Turbo low-speed engines, either newly-built or through retrofitting. The ‘ME-’ prefix indicates that the new engine uses electronic control of the fuel injection system, but in addition rather than a standard fuel injection valve, the L-GI uses a new so-called Booster Fuel Injection Valve.

Mr Grøne concluded: “MAN Diesel & Turbo’s experience with two-stroke, dual-fuel engines stretches back to the 1990s. As such, we have long been prepared for this market development and feel uniquely poised to deliver the optimal solutions.”

The ME-LGI has been developed in response to interest from the shipping world in alternatives to HFO. Methanol and LPG carriers have operated at sea for many years and many more LPG tankers are currently being built as the global LPG infrastructure grows. With a viable, convenient and comparatively cheap fuel already onboard, it makes sense to use a fraction of the cargo to power the vessel with an important, environmental side-benefit. MAN Diesel & Turbo says it is working towards a Tier-III-compatible ME-LGI version.

The company believes that methanol, a sulphur-free fuel, offers great potential stemming from the low-sulphur fuel requirements for ship operation within ECAs. According to MAN, all of its existing MAN B&W two-stroke engine types are expected to be retrofittable in a cost-efficient manner using the LGI concept to burn methanol or LPG.

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