Wärtsilä to upgrade modular waterjet range
Wärtsilä is to overhaul its light weight modular waterjet range, introducing a new axial pump design, which will boost performance by increasing thrust by as much as 3%. The upgraded design also features improved cavitation margins, which will lower noise levels.
Wärtsilä currently markets a compact LJX modular waterjet series, as well as a midsize waterjet series, which is designed for engines with power ranges from 500 kW up to 4500 kW.
Wärtsilä’s current LJX-range of waterjets is set to be supplanted by a WXJ-series. The new modular waterjet series will feature a new axial pump design, which boosts performance with an increased thrust of as much as 3%, while the improved cavitation margins will help reduce the environmental impact by lowering noise levels.
Wärtsilä’s axial pump design occupies less space on the vessel’s transom than competitors’ mixed-flow pump-based designs and has better operational flexibility. No less importantly, the axial pump is significantly lighter than the mixed-flow pump.
Wärtsilä waterjets are particularly well suited to powering high-speed ferries and navy vessels, and feature on the catamaran Francisco, the fastest ferry in the world which ferries passengers between Uruguay and Argentina at a speed of 53 knots.
The introduction of the Wärtsilä 14 high-speed engine at the end of 2018 means Wärtsilä can now offer customers in the high-speed ferry segment a complete package. Meanwhile, structural changes in the high-speed market include the advent of LNG-fuelled vessels.
The first new vessel equipped with Wärtsilä waterjets, LNG solutions, and Wärtsilä engines has already been commissioned by Spanish Ferry operator Baleària, which plans to build the largest ever high-speed catamaran, which will operate on LNG fuel. The 125-meter-long vessel will be the first high-speed ferry that will feature both Wärtsilä waterjets and the Wärtsilä 31 DF medium-speed engines along with an LNG fuel storage and supply system.
The changes are consistent with Wärtsilä’s Smart Marine vision to lead the maritime industry into a new era of ultra-high efficiency, improved safety, and reduced environmental impact.
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