‘Workhorse’ genset keeps up with the times

30 Nov 2013
The L16/24 genset has notched up sales of over 30,000 units

The L16/24 genset has notched up sales of over 30,000 units

As MAN Diesel & Turbo celebrates one of its most successful auxiliary engines, it has received orders for its larger diesel genset engines for electric propulsion plants in cruise ships and specialist vessels.

MAN Diesel & Turbo’s 16/24 genset was first introduced in the 1990s, when its uncluttered appearance signified an industry trend, and picked up design awards. In the meantime, it has clocked up sales of over 30,000 units, justifying the company’s description of the L16/24 as a “proven workhorse that has been employed by a broad range of applications and whose continuous re-designs have kept it competitive.”

Mikael C. Jensen, MAN vice president and head of engineering for the low-speed business unit, said: “Since its first entry to the market two decades ago, the L16/24 has regularly been updated and kept pace with modern demands. The Mark 2 package with valve guide arrangement has been standard for a couple of years for newbuildings, and is also now offered as a retrofit package. A sales total of 3,000 units is a remarkable achievement in a tough market, and we will continue to develop the engine so it remains competitive in the years to come.”

The company has introduced several different generations of the L16/24 over its lifetime with a constant focus on achieving extended overhaul intervals and increased output. The HFO-powered engine has shown its versatility and has been employed as a genset onboard many different ship types, from handysize bulk carriers, tankers and general cargo vessels, to small and medium-sized reefers, container vessels, ferries and cruise ships. Away from the sea, it has provided land-based power supplies to countries with both the hottest and the coldest climates. Another application has been as a research engine, with examples serving in laboratories, testing lubricating oils, and in various technical universities in Europe and South America.

The streamlined, exterior design of the L16/24 has been well received by the industry. Not only does the near-absence of external tubes and pipes improve the aesthetics, with fewer joints there is less to go wrong and maintenance is simpler.

The L16/24 engine family, available in 5-cylinder to 9-cylinder in-line configurations, covers the 450kW to 990kW power range, at 1,000rpm and 1,200rpm. It has been designed for light weight and compactness, offering favourable power density and specific weight characteristics. The largest in the range measures 1m x 2.4m x 5.8m, and weighs 13.1 tonnes. The company believes that these factors combine to make the L16/24 particularly cost-effective, in terms of both capital investment and daily operation. The L16/24 is claimed to operate with very little vibration and is fitted with sound insulation jackets in order to reduce engine noise, leading to Improved working conditions.

CRUISE ORDER

MAN Diesel & Turbo is to supply eight 9L32/44CR engines for the diesel-electric propulsion of two cruise ship newbuildings at Fincantieri Cantieri Navali in Italy. The engine order is being executed in cooperation with Alfa Laval, which will supply accompanying PureSOx exhaust-gas-treatment systems (scrubbers) for sulphur-oxide removal.

Each cruise ship will be powered by two 9L32/44CR and two 12V32/44CR engines, providing a combined output of 23,520 kW in a diesel-electric propulsion arrangement. The engines will operate with MAN Diesel & Turbo’s common-rail injection system, which is capable of operation with both HFO and distillate fuels. This technology, developed in-house by MAN Diesel & Turbo , is claimed to be fully optimised for these engines, and to provide superior performance in terms of fuel consumption and smoke emissions, especially at part-load.

Sokrates Tolgos, head of cruise and ferry sales at MAN Diesel & Turbo, said: “We feel extremely honoured to have won Fincantieri, the world’s largest cruise shipbuilder, as a new customer for our engines in this high-added-value market segment. Fincantieri’s and Viking Ocean Cruises’ confidence in realising such a technologically leading and innovative cruise project with MAN Diesel & Turbo and Alfa Laval, our consortium partner, signals a new era of cooperation. We consider it an historical step for our future growth in the cruise and ferry business.”

Mr Tolgos continued: “By combining MAN’s efficiency-leading 32/44CR engines with the PureSOx exhaust gas-treatment system, these super-luxury cruise vessels can fulfil the increasingly stringent global requirements for permissible sulphur-oxide emissions in the most economical manner possible. This especially applies to the demanding limit of 0.1% sulphur fuel equivalent in Emission Controlled Areas (ECAs).”

The two new vessels are bound for Viking Ocean Cruises, a sister company to major river cruise operator Viking River Cruises. With a total passenger capacity of 936 and a crew-to-passenger ratio of about 1:2, the ships are destined to serve the small, super-luxury vessel market segment. Delivery of the first of the two newbuildings is scheduled for early 2015, followed by the second in early 2016.

The PureSOx system is said to remove over 98% of sulphur oxides from a ship’s exhaust gas through washing it with seawater (open-loop system), or freshwater (closed-loop system), or a combination of both (hybrid system). This enables vessels to comply with IMO and regional emissions limits while using HFO, instead of changing to the more expensive low-sulphur marine gas oil.

Because of the tight space requirements that exist for technical equipment on cruise ships, the more compact ‘multiple inlet’ PureSOx system design has been chosen where the exhaust gas from each engine pair is cleaned using a single PureSOx system. For these ships, Fincantieri and Viking Ocean Cruises decided to employ the system in closed-loop configuration, using freshwater with caustic soda as a reducing agent. This cleaning system will, its is expected, be able to handle the environmental limitations imposed by any port or harbour, and will permit operation in low-alkalinity waters such as estuaries or the Baltic Sea, or any other such sensitive area.

MULTI-LAYER VESSEL

In a further order, MAN Diesel & Turbo is supplying the main gensets for a specialised ship newbuilding, at Lloyd Werft Bremerhaven in Germany for UK-based client Ceona. The Ceona Amazon is described as a ‘multi-layer vessel’ and will be powered by a diesel-electric plant based on two  9L32/44CR and four 8L32/44CR main gensets, providing a total output of 28 MW. Each engine will be constructed at MAN Diesel & Turbo’s Augsburg production facility, and transported to the company’s Frederikshavn, Denmark site for a full electrical test before the gensets’ delivery to the shipyard.

MAN claims that the 32/44CR has gained a strong foothold in the offshore market due to its favourable power and SFOC (specific fuel oil consumption) characteristics. This, says the company, is the third significant 32/44CR order it has secured in the offshore market in 2013 alone.

The 33,000gt Ceona Amazon is 199.4m long, 32.2m wide and draws 7.5m. It has accommodation for 200 personnel in 114 comfort-class cabins. The newbuilding, due to enter service in late 2014, is designed for exceptional sea-keeping characteristics, making it suitable for operations in remote and challenging locations. Ceona Amazon is intended for construction and pipe laying operations, and is based on a drill-ship design, featuring dynamic-positioning (DP). The ship has a large under-deck storage hold for line pipe or umbilicals, together with a large deck area that allows further storage of line pipe and standard, flexible installation reels. It is fitted with two heave-compensated mast-head cranes, and a single heave-compensated knuckle-boom crane.

The pipelay system consists of an inclined-lay system and a rigid, pipeline firing-line system. The vessel can lay rigid pipelines, flexible pipelines and umbilicals, and can install large, subsea structures using one or both of its cranes in tandem-lift mode to 3,000m water depth. It is able to operate without the need for support from a spool base, and the ship’s systems can be operated remotely, making it suited to overall field development.

The newbuild is part of a fleet upgrade and development programme being undertaken by specialist offshore contractor Ceona which is involved in the engineering, procurement, construction and installation markets. Lloyd Werft Bremerhaven mostly focuses on repair, conversion and extension of large ships, and undertakes newbuilding work, mostly on specialist vessels . It has a 260,000m² facility on Germany’s North Sea coastline, near the outflow of the River Weser, and can handle ships with a maximum draught of 11.5 m.

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