Two Giants Join In Hercules-C
Two European marine engine manufacturers, MAN Diesel & Turbo and Wärtsilä Corp., agree to pursue Hercules-C joint research
Wärtsilä and MAN Diesel & Turbo have announced their continued partnership for the third chapter of the Hercules project. The overall vision of the Hercules research program is for sustainable and safe energy production from marine power plants. The technological themes of the Hercules initiative, since its inception in 2002, have been higher efficiency, reduced emissions and increased reliability for marine engines. However, for taking marine engine technology a step further toward improved sustainability in energy production and total energy economy, an extensive integration of the new technologies is required.
The proposed Hercules-C project, expected to run for three years from 2012 to 2015, addresses this challenge by adopting a combination approach for engine thermal processes, system integration and optimization, as well as engine reliability and lifetime.
In this way, Hercules-C aims for marine engines that are able to costeffectively produce the required power for the propulsion of ships throughout their life cycle, with responsible use of natural resources and respect for the environment. Hercules-C follows two earlier Hercules projects. In Hercules-A, from 2004 to 2007, large-scale research platforms were established, with the main objective being to screen the potential of a broad range of emission reduction technologies. Significant improvements were achieved as a result of this work.
In Hercules-B, running 2008 to 2011, the quest for reducing emissions was retained, focusing on several specific technologies. At the same time, however, more importance was placed on improved efficiency and, as a result, reduced fuel consumption and fewer CO2 emissions. The Hercules-C Project is planned to run over a three-year period and has a targeted budget of US$24.6 million (E19 million), bringing the total combined budget of the Hercules programs (2004 to 2015) to US$102.4 million (E79 million).
The specific objectives of Hercules-C are to achieve further reductions in fuel consumption, while optimizing power production and usage. This will be achieved through advanced engine developments in combustion and fuel injection, as well as through the optimization of ship energy management and engine technologies supporting transport mission management.
Green product life-cycle technologies will be introduced to maintain the technical performance of engines throughout their operational lifetime. This includes advanced materials and tribology developments to improve safety and reliability, as well as sensors, and monitoring and measurement technologies to improve the controllability and availability of marine power plants. The third specific objective of Hercules-C is to achieve near-zero emissions by integrating the various technologies developed from the previous collaborative research efforts.