The Propulsion System of the Future

By Eric Haun at July 12, 2016 11:16
Filed Under: General, New Technology, Propulsion systems, Research & Development

(Photo: MTU)

What will the future look like for MTU’s research and development? What will the marine propulsion system of the future look like? An interview with Dr. Andreas Lingens, Executive Vice President Development at MTU.

What will the future look like for MTU’s research and development?
We are currently focusing our research and development activities on four areas: one of them is the improvement of diesel technology in terms of emissions and fuel consumption. This means that exhaust gas treatment will gain in significance. Another key focus is on the extension of gas technology beyond the current stationary areas of application to include mobile applications. A third area is the hybridization of the powertrain in order to reduce fuel consumption and to enable an electrical propulsion system to provide low power operations or to generate electrical energy for other applications. Improving services and economy by analyzing operational data is a fourth key focus of our research and development activities. The customer will notice the improvement in terms of greater availability, lower maintenance costs and lower operational costs.

What is behind MTU’s green and high-tech program?
As part of our green and high-tech program, we are developing technologies that will help us to reduce the level of health threatening emissions even further; to establish gas as an alternative fuel in the mobile applications, in order to reduce the emissions of gases that are harmful to the climate and to cut fuel costs; to provide better mobile propulsion systems in terms of energy efficiency and additional customer benefits; to identify upcoming maintenance work and potential operational disruptions and to keep them to a minimum in terms of their impact on our customers operations.

In this comprehensive technology development project, our aim is to improve our engine technology and to develop modular propulsion systems ranging from the gas supply system to the electrical propulsion system. With the full range of technologies we will have available in the next 20 years, we expect to reduce the emissions of gases that are harmful to the climate by as much as 50 percent and to cut health-damaging emissions by over 90 percent.

Will ships still be powered by internal combustion engines in 2020? 
Yes, definitely. Other types of drive system are not yet capable of delivering the power that [vessels] need. Electric drive systems running on fuel-cells or accumulators would theoretically also be possible, but both have limited power density and range, particularly on account of their energy storage systems. But there will undoubtedly be an increasing level of electrification around all aspects of the IC engine. And we will make engines smarter so that our customers will be able to run them more economically and in a way that suits the specific application better.

So what are "smart engines"?
Ultimately, it is about three things: our clients want to run their engines economically, they want the engines not to break down and they want to be able to maintain them as cost-effectively as possible. Up to now we have always serviced all engines of a particular class at a fixed rate according to a set maintenance schedule. In future, engines will be able to tell us when highly stressed components, consumables and filters need replacing. We are developing remote data analysis methods for that purpose. We use data loggers to record operating data from the Engine Control Unit and send it to our analytics systems via the mobile phone network or LAN. The engine data is then analyzed so as to provide the customer and ourselves with information about the engine and the application. Servicing is no longer carried out after a fixed number of operating hours, but exactly when it is necessary according to specific utilization. What is more, the maintenance of our engines is becoming more predictable and so causes less disruption to the operator's processes.

What will the marine propulsion system of the future look like?
The marine propulsion system of the future, depending on the type of vessel, mission profile and the cost and availability of fuel, will incorporate a diesel or gas engine as the prime energy converter. The powertrain will be electrified to a greater extent, as this will enable us to reduce fuel consumption in most of the real-life operational profiles and to provide electrical power for other on-board applications. There will of course also be ships operating solely on electric power for applications with short mission periods. Big data will not be confined to future marine propulsion systems, but we will also see improved maintenance, early detection of malfunctions and the appropriate response, and autonomous operation.

In which areas will natural gas be the dominant fuel?
Wherever the cost of fuel is a major factor. For continuous-duty power generation, gas engines have virtually displaced diesels. And, of course, we are testing gas engines for marine applications. But even locomotives, large pump engines and mining vehicles could be operated much more economically with gas. One challenge is the fuel supply, i.e. storage in tanks and delivery to the engine. But we will find ways around that. Apart from lower fuel costs, lower CO2 emissions and more economical emissions control for future emission stages are increasingly important aspects.


(Photo: MTU)

Volvo Penta Debuts New D8 Diesel Engine & IPS

By Greg Trauthwein at June 14, 2016 13:33
Filed Under: Diesel Engines, Propulsion systems

(All photos courtesy of Greg Trauthwein or Volvo Penta)


Ever since the global financial meltdown of 2008 briefly crippled the world leisure boat market, Volvo Penta adopted a strategy to increase its commercial market share with its family of innovative propulsion systems and controls. Last week off the west coast of Sweden, Maritime Reporter & Engineering News got up close and personal with the new D8 diesel and IPS15 pod, as well as the full range of command and control products courtesy of a day of test drives at Krossholmen, Volvo Penta’s Global Marine Testing Center.

By Greg Trauthwein


In the middle of a financial storm such as the one that swept the globe in 2008/2009 it is not easy to see a ‘silver lining.’ However Stefan Carlsson, Volvo Penta’s Marine Diesel segment head said that the dramatic drop in marine leisure business in 2009 set the company in a new strategic direction, determined to maximize efficiencies while diversifying its business into the commercial sector. Cracking into the rigorous commercial market is easier said than done, but with perseverance and a steady expansion of its product and service, Volvo Penta now offers a compelling argument as a one-stop-shop for a variety of workboat sectors.


New Product: The D8 Diesel Engine

Well-engineered products with a solid support infrastructure is mandatory in the workboat sector, and last week Volvo Penta effectively broadened it product range to compete more efficiently. The company introduced the D8 engine – which will replace the D9 – built to U.S. Tier III and IMO II specification and available in 450, 510 and 550 hp models.

The 8-liter engine expands the offering between the D6 and D11 models, for applications that require low weight with high power suited for propeller, waterjet and Volvo Penta IPS applications. The new engine has been designed for use in planing craft, and commercial uses include fast patrols, coast guard and rescue launches, police and ambulance boats, water-taxis and high-speed passenger ferries, fishing boats, and offshore support vessels.

While the D8 is new to the marine market, it is a well-proven platform which has been manufactured since 2013 serving the truck, buss and off-road industrial market. Krossholmen proves an ample testing ground for anything on the water, as Volvo Penta runs a diverse test boat fleet of more than three dozen boats, ranging in size to 70 feet in length.

The D8 is an in-line six-cylinder engine with a cylinder capacity of 7.7 liters, twin-entry turbo and sea-water cooled heat exchanger, a heat exchanger manufactured of composite material to eliminate corrosion. The engine has a common rail system (Denso) working up to 2000 bars. The injection is electronically controlled, and pre-, main, and post-injection are essential aspects for the engine’s power, torque, fuel efficiency, low noise and emission levels. 

“The high power-to-weight ratio together with the new common rail injection system where the nozzle has been optimized, together with a piston bowl of re-entry type, will provide excellent fuel efficiency,” said Anna Pettersson, chief project manager for Volvo Penta’s marine engines. 

Volvo Penta has developed three power outputs for the D8 inboard range – of 450, 510 and 550hp. They are designed to conform to the US EPA Tier 3 emissions standards, as well as IMO II and EU IWW. EPA certificates are expected in January 2017.  Power ratings will be set at R3 (for 450hp), and R4 for both 510 and 550hp. The IPS system, engine, drive and propellers are expected to be approved by DNV-GL. The inboard engine will also require certificates, which will be applied for from the classification societies: DNV-GL, RINA, LR, China CSS, RS and the Indian Register of Shipping (IRS). The engine will be ready for delivery in June 2017.


Meet the IPS15

Volvo Penta’s Inboard Performance System (IPS) is the showcase of the company’s innovations in marine engineering, and last week the IPS family added a fourth member, the IPS15, which has been developed and optimized to fit the D8 engines for the commercial market. Since its inception in 2005, Volvo Penta has continuously worked to develop its IPS pods to offer an integrated propulsion package with greater performance, fuel efficiency, maneuverability and comfort.

“It is all about propulsion efficiency and productivity for the yards, designers and operators. This is a fantastic move for us and our customers,” says Jakob Ursby, strategy manager for Volvo Penta’s Marine Commercial sector. 

The IPS design features forward-facing twin counter-rotating propellers which are mounted beneath the hull. As the propellers operate in undisturbed water, they cause less drag, which Volvo Penta claims improves performance and fuel consumption by up to 30% compared to traditional inboard engines. Features of the type approved IPS15 package include:

•Improved materials for heavy-duty commercial use.

•Reduced ratio of weight and hydrodynamic resistance.

•Reduced ratio of hull insert size.

•Optimized backpressure with 6-inch exhaust system.

•A new propeller series (N) custom fit for the system.

•Improved maneuverability with increased steering angle at low speed.


Integrated Solutions

Central to Volvo Penta’s commercial marine market push is the offer of a comprehensive, integrated solution. While the engines and IPS are central components, the entire package includes a family of intuitive and integrated controls, encompassing a joystick option, docking mode and dynamic positioning; it includes Humphree trim and stabilization products, as Volvo Penta recently took a majority stake (80%) in the iconic company; and it include the ‘glass cockpit’ solution, which ties together critical operational information in one neat, customizable package.

Installation of the IPS with 8-liter engines can be made for twin and triple configurations. For triple installations, one pod can also be disengaged and the engine can be used in PTO mode – for example, in powering a water canon on fire rescue boats - while still keeping maneuverability on the other two. The new package has three power settings:

D8 IPS600

D8 IPS650

D8 IPS700

The package has been designed to conform to US EPA Tier 3 emissions. The D8 IPS models will be available for delivery in May 2017.


Volvo Penta D8 Diesel Engine Highlights

HP range......450, 510, 550

Cylinders.......6 inline 

Cylinder Capacity.....7.7 liter

Cooling........Sea Water

Fuel Injection......Common Rail, electronic control

Emission Standards........U.S. Tier III; IMO Tier II

RPM......600 to 1600

Available......January 2017

Control System.....EVC E3


The Photos Below:

Helgoy Vind (Photo: Greg Trauthwein)

The new D8. (Photo: Volvo Penta)

The new D8 and IPS15 package.(Photo: Volvo Penta)

The IPS Pod Range. (Photo: Volvo Penta)

The Author on a test run.



Carbon Fiber Propulsion for Megayachts

By Eric Haun at June 08, 2016 14:58
Filed Under: Azimuth pod, Motor Yachts & Boats, Propulsion systems, Thrusters

Image: Rolls Royce

A new generation of high-performance lightweight steerable thrusters is the first to make comprehensive use of carbon fiber materials.

Developed by Rolls-Royce, these new propulsion systems, dubbed Azipull Carbon, were designed to provide lighter weight options for fast yachts, with further potential applications for passenger vessels and workboats, using carbon fiber material for load carrying parts to cut weight.

Roll-Royce said it has already garnered orders for the first thruster in this new series, Azipull Carbon 65 (AZP C65), via a contract with Italian yacht builder Benetti, who will include the composite thrusters in a new line of megayachts.

The contract covers a number of thrusters planned for delivery over the next three years and delivered to RINA Rules for Classification of Yachts. The first yacht, a 125 ft Fast Displacement called Ironman, has already been delivered, while the second and third hulls are presently under construction with delivery expected in the coming months.

AZP C65 is designed for a power rating of 2 MW and fitted with a fixed pitch, pulling type propeller (forward facing). The driveline is designed with two spiral bevel gear sets, installed in a supporting structure that ensures optimum load carrying capacity in all operating conditions. The thruster can be steered using a hydraulic system. An Automation and Control system, based on Rolls-Royce’s Common Controls building blocks, has also been developed to match the new thrusters, which each weigh 2,800 kg (dry).

Rolls-Royce said the new thrusters also facilitate a better vessel layout while maintaining high propulsion efficiency, excellent maneuvering capabilities, easy maintenance as well as low noise and vibration levels.

“Efficient and lightweight propulsion is key to reducing the environmental impact of a modern yacht,” said Vincenzo Poerio, Benetti, CEO. “We have been working closely with Rolls-Royce on a journey towards an excellent propulsion system for our new line of exclusive megayachts. The successful result of this collaboration has been confirmed by facts, indeed five units have already been sold and more units are already under construction to shorten delivery times and meet the increasing demand for this model.”

“This new development has greatly benefitted from the very good cooperation we have had with Azimut Benetti,” said Gary Nutter, Rolls-Royce, EVP Propulsion and Engines. “Their skills as a yacht builder and their engagement with us in creating the perfect vessel is an inspiration.”


Photo: Benetti

Australia Prepares for LNG Fueled Vessels

By Eric Haun at May 25, 2016 09:31
Filed Under: Fuels & Lubes, General, LNG fuel

Australia is well positioned to employ vessels fueled by liquefied natural gas (LNG) in certain sectors, according to an expert panel at a seminar organized by Maritime Industry Australia Ltd (MIAL) at the LNG18 conference.

In fact the initiative is already in motion, as Woodside and Siem Offshore have partnered to launch their first LNG fueled vessel in 2017, and Bass Strait freight service operator SeaRoad Shipping will also introduce its purpose built LNG fueled cargo vessel later this year.

Members of the 'LNG as a Marine Fuel' panel said Australia holds a “natural advantage” due to its possession of abundant LNG reserves as well as the necessary expertise.

Much of the work has already been done in this area and that the regulator was prepared for LNG fueled vessels, according to Alex Schultz-Altmann from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).

Nick Rea, from EVOL LNG, added that a well established domestic LNG industry is in place to service the LNG marine bunkering requirements of most major ports around Australia today, while relatively low cost truck-to-ship or shore-to-ship infrastructure can be made available quickly, opening a way for vessel owners to more easily consider LNG as a marine fuel.

However, despite LNG’s apparent appeal for Australian ship owners, the panel also acknowledged that the motivation to convert to LNG has been somewhat diminished due to current low oil prices.

The panel determined that being “ready to go” when market conditions changed still requires a cohesive approach. As Banu Kannu, Wärtsilä’s GM Marketing, indicated “it feels like there are pockets of success in Australia, in terms of the use of LNG as marine fuel, but there is little communication across the various stakeholders. We need an LNG as Marine Fuel cluster that shares experiences and produces a consistent approach so everyone benefits.”

Woodside Orders Australia's first LNG Support Vessel
Woodside has signed a five-year charter contract with Norwegian company Siem Offshore Australia Pty Ltd, an agreement that will deliver Australia’s first LNG-powered marine support vessel in 2017.

Woodside Chief Operations Officer Mike Utsler said the announcement positioned the company as an early adopter of LNG as a marine fuel in the region. “We’re thrilled to be the first company to bring one of these vessels to the southern hemisphere,” Utsler said. “Australia is on track to become the world’s largest producer of LNG, so it makes perfect sense to build dual-fuel capabilities for our marine fleets here.

“Our LNG tankers use their cargo to power their engines, making them cleaner vessels that use less diesel. It’s natural that we progress this capability through to our support vessels,” Utsler added.

Woodside’s new vessel will support to the company’s assets in the Exmouth and Pilbara regions.

Woodside said it will continue to seek to expand the application of LNG-fueling in transportation in Western Australia.

SeaRoad's LNG-fueled Ro/Ro
SeaRoad has partnered with German shipbuilder Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft mbH & Co. KG (FSG) to build its first LNG fuelled roll-on/roll-off cargo ships, purpose-built to service Bass Strait. The delivery of the 182-meter-long vessel is planned for late 2016.

According to SeaRoad, the new vessel boasts a particularly flexible cargo carrying capability and is able to transport containers, including reefer units, trailers, cars, hazardous cargo, livestock, over dimensional and other mobile units.

The ship is being built under cover in modules, to be assembled in the shipyard, and launched directly from the facility prior to the superstructure being added to the hull. The fitout including the superstructure block will then be undertaken alongside at the yard.

Finland Breaks the Ice on LNG

By Eric Haun at March 09, 2016 15:15
Filed Under: Azimuth pod, Icebreakers, LNG fuel, Shipyards

Polaris undergoing outfitting at Arctech Helsinki Shipyard in January (Photo: Eric Haun)

Due for delivery in Q2 2016, Finland’s new icebreaker Polaris is the world’s first to feature dual fuel liquified natural gas (LNG) and diesel propulsion, earning the icebreaking vessel designations as the Finland’s most powerful and the world’s greenest.

Currently undergoing final outfitting at Arctech Helsinki Shipyard, the icebreaker is being built for the Finnish Transport Agency, who upon completion will sell Polaris to Arctia Icebreaking Oy, a subsidiary of state-owned Arctia Shipping, who manages all icebreaking operations in Finland.

A product of Finnish Arctic and maritime technological knowhow, Polaris draws upon some of the industry’s top names to secure a spot among the world’s most environmentally friendly and technologically advanced vessels.

Once delivered, Polaris will be able to break Baltic Sea ice under all conditions, and also features oil spill response and emergency towing capability at open sea.

The vessel's diesel-electric power plant includes two nine-cylinder Wärtsilä 9L34DF (rated 4,500 kilowatts each) and two 12-cylinder Wärtsilä 12V34DF (rated 6,000 kilowatts each) four-stroke medium speed dual fuel genets, as well as an additional eight-cylinder Wärtsilä 8L20DF auxiliary engine (rated 1,168 kilowatts). Combined power output is more than 22 megawatts.

Polaris' two vertical LNG tanks combine for a total volume of 800 cubic meters, enabling 10 days autonomy in typical winter conditions. Another 20 days autonomy is added via a combined 2,500 cubic meters capacity for fuel oil.

The icebrekaer also features a unique propulsion system: three electrically driven ice strengthened ABB Azipod units, two at the stern (6,5000 kilowatts each) and one at the bow (6,000 kilowatts), which combine for 19 megawatts, making Polaris Finland’s most powerful icebreaker to date.


Contract effective date: 2/14/14
Production start: 7/21/14
Keel laid: 3/4/15
Naming ceremony: 12/11/15
Launch: 12/30/15
Expected delivery: Q2/16

Principal parameters
L oa (without fenders or towing notch): 10 m
L dwl: 98 m
B dwl: 24 m
T dwl: 8 m
DWT: 3,000t
Speed: 17 kn
Bollard pull: 185 t

Autonomy: 30 days
LNG winter operation: 10 days
Max autonomy with diesel oil: 20 days

Flag: Finland
Class notation: Lloyds Register
+100A1 Icebreaker(+), Oil Recovery, Ice Class PC4, *IWS, ECO(NOx3, P, Sox), +LMC, UMS, GF, NAV1, IBS, MPMS, TUG

Fuel type (main engines, aux engines, steam boilers): LNG and MDO
LNG fuel tanks (Cyro): 2 x 400 m3
Maine diesel gensets: 2 x 6,000 kW + 2 x 4,500 kW
Diesel engines: Wärtsilä 12V34DF/9L34DF
Aux diesel genset: 1 x 1,168 kW
Rudder propulsors: ABB Azipod VI 2 x 6,500 kW (stern) + 1 x 6,000 kW (bow)

Propulsion arrangement selected for optimal load in all ice conditions and modes of icebreaking
Engine configuration selected for optimal load in all operation modes
When operating with LNG, the vessel fulfills IMO Tier III emission requirements
When operating with low sulphur MDO, the vessel fulfills IMO Tier II requirements
Zero-emission principle for garbage and grey/black/bilge water

Big Power for the Prince of Wales

By Eric Haun at November 10, 2015 16:15
Filed Under:

MT30 gas turbine lifted into the U.K. Royal Navy’s latest aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales (Photo: John Linton)

The U.K. Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers presently under construction are due to become the centerpiece of the nation’s defense force. Upon entering operation, each ship will essentially serve as floating four-acre military base capable of travelling up to 500 miles per day.

The second of the two QE Class ships, HMS Prince of Wales, now being built at Rosyth, has recently received its second gas turbine package, the first of which was installed in March. Each 120-metric-ton GTA package consists of a GE alternator coupled to a Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbine contained within an enclosure, aptly called the gas turbine enclosure.

Operating an aircraft carrier obviously requires a lot of power. For installation aboard Prince of Wales, enter the Rolls-Royce MT30, dubbed “the world’s most power-dense marine gas turbine.”

Generating a whopping 36 megawatts each (around 50,000 horsepower apiece!), Prince of Wales’ two mighty MT30s combine to provide roughly two-thirds of the 109 megawatts required to power the 65,000-metric-ton behemoth. That’s enough energy to power a large town, as noted the shipbuilder.

More about the MT30: the gas turbine has been granted type approval from ABS and Lloyds and is DNV design assessed and can be configured for either mechanical or electrical drive and maintains operating efficiency down to 25 megawatts. And despite its immense power offering, Rolls-Royce said the MT30 is designed with 50-60 percent fewer parts than others in its class and meets all current and anticipated emissions legislation – without modification and using commercially available fuels.

Equipping Prince of Wales was no easy task, however. Installation involved lifting the MT30 gas turbine and associated ancillary equipment housed in a steel package (the aforementioned gas turbine enclosure) onto the ship structure. With the enclosure in place, the large alternator, which is driven by the gas turbine to produce electrical power, was then hoisted into place.

Once operational, the GTAs will supply HV power to the four propulsion motors as well as the 13 ship service transformers, which distribute LV power to the weapons systems, mission systems equipment and navigation systems, as well as power to run required hotel services.

Prince of Wales, along with HMS Queen Elizabeth, are being built and delivered by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, which includes BAE Systems, Thales UK, Babcock and the U.K. Ministry of Defense.

Six Thrusters Installed in 52 Hours

By Eric Haun at August 19, 2015 10:05
Filed Under: Company News, Environmental, Offshore, Thrusters

With a threatening typhoon looming, a semisubmersible accommodation unit under construction at Chinese shipbuilder COSCO’s Qidong offshore-focused shipyard saw all six of its thrusters installed in record time.


According to the builder, the thrusters’ installation process was completed in a mere 52 hours, breaking COSCO’s previous record of 72 hours for offshore thruster installation.


The unit, being built for the Mexican buyer Cotemar, was towed to anchorage at 2 a.m. on July 3 after very thorough preparation, and by 11 a.m., the unit was ready for the first thruster to be installed.


Despite “huge and frequent waves” ahead of the imminent typhoon Chan-hom, COSCO said the installation team was able to install all six thrusters by 3 p.m. on July 5, smashing the 72-hour record set on its sister unit.


Following the thrusters’ installation was testing and verification of the unit’s service speed, DP3 dynamic positioning system and the Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) during sea trials. In fact, the loading test on the first thruster was finished at 11 p.m. on July 5, just hours after completing installation.


Rolls-Royce's New PM Azimuth Thruster

By Eric Haun at June 26, 2015 15:37
Filed Under:

Photo: Rolls-Royce

New from Rolls-Royce: Permanent Magnet Azimuth Thruster


The most recent addition to Rolls-Royce’s marine thrusters range was unveiled at Nor-Shipping in Oslo earlier in June.


Powered by permanent magnet (PM) technology, the new azimuth thruster is Rolls-Royces’ latest development in PM technology, adding to a portfolio that already includes tunnel thrusters and a newly developed winch.


Each PM azimuth thruster comprises three main assemblies: the PM motor/propeller/nozzle underwater unit, the hull mounting system which includes the azimuth bearing and duplicate frequency controlled electric steering gear and the inboard power unit which feeds electric power to the thruster. The PM motor, meanwhile, consists of two main parts: a stator that carries a number of electrical coil windings, and a rotor fitted with a number of strong permanent magnets.


A rotating magnetic field is created by the stator which interacts with the fields of the permanent magnets on the rotor, which generates force to drag the rotor around, providing the mechanical power.


A sea trials program aboard Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s (NTNU) research ship RV Gunnerus in saw a pair of thrusters demonstrate efficiency savings of 7-13 percent, depending on ship speed, and in comparison to azimuth thrusters powered by a conventional diesel-electric system.


Helge Gjerde, Rolls-Royce, Senior Vice President for Propulsion - Commercial Marine, said sea trials results have exceeded expectations in terms of efficiency. “The sea trials are continuing,” Gjerde said, “but initial findings have significant implications for future ship sustainability in both the marine and offshore sectors, as PM thrusters become a valuable supplement to traditional thruster technology.”


According to Rolls-Royce, the new thruster offers more than improved fuel economy, with added benefits including reduced noise and vibration, more power through a propeller of the same diameter and scope to remove and maintain PM thrusters without the need for dry docking.


Rolls-Royce’s first commercial PM tunnel thruster is being operated by Norwegian offshore vessel operator Olympic Shipping. The tunnel thruster, now in use aboard the Olympic Octopus, a multifunctional anchor-handling vessel (AHTS) of Rolls-Royce UT 712 L design, has clocked up more than 4,000 trouble-free running hours, Rolls-Royce said.


US Offering $1mln for Tribes’ Diesel Upgrades

By Eric Haun at May 15, 2015 16:04
Filed Under: Diesel Engines, Engine overhauls, Environmental

In an effort to reduce emissions from older engines impacting air quality in tribal communities, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made available $1 million in grant funding for tribal applicants to carry out clean diesel projects.


Under this grant competition, part of the Diesel Emission Reduction (DERA) Program, EPA anticipates awarding up to five tribal assistance agreements between $30,000 and $800,000 each for projects aimed at reducing air pollutants from diesel exhaust such as nitrogen oxides (NOX) and particulate matter (PM).


The EPA offered a tribes-only competition for clean diesel funding for the first time last year, awarding more than $925,000 to three North Puget Sound tribal communities in Washington State to help the Upper Skagit Tribe, the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community and the Lummi Nation replace older marine engines with newer, cleaner and more efficient ones.


“Puget Sound tribal communities depend on fishing, and this funding for cleaner marine engines results in tribal fleets that are better for the air and for the health of tribal communities,” said Dennis McLerran, Regional Administrator for EPA Region 10. “Funding through the Diesel Emission Reduction Act provides an important opportunity to leverage public and tribal funds for cleaner marine vessels.”


The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community received $792,000 to replace 12 older engines in its Swinomish Fishing Fleet with new, low-emission diesel engines. The project will further achieve emissions reduction from vessels using the shore power pedestals at the fisherman’s docks by allowing engines to be shut down while loading and unloading.


The Lummi Nation received $77,250 to reduce diesel pollution from two marine fishing fleet vessels that are used to harvest salmon, halibut, crab and shrimp. The Lummi Reservation is located in Whatcom County and is ranked among the 80th percentile of the worst counties in the United States for the number of people living in areas where cancer risk from Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) exceeds 1 in 10,000, for which diesel emissions is a high contributing factor. The average year of diesel engines in the Lummi fishing fleet is 1992.


The Upper Skagit Tribe received $55,890 to fund a marine engine repower project for its Fisheries Regulatory Compliance vessel used in the ports around Skagit, Island and Whatcom counties. Waterways immediately adjacent to the Skagit/Samish watersheds experience a disproportionate amount of air pollution from diesel fleets.


Though very efficient, diesel engines emit air pollutants linked to a range of health problems including asthma and other respiratory ailments, lung and heart disease, and even premature death, the EPA said.


Older engines have poor performance, low fuel-efficiency and high emissions. The EPA cites repowering marine vessels as one of the most efficient and cost-effective techniques for cleaner air and a healthier environment.


Grant funding is not exclusive to marine engine retrofits. Other eligible projects include heavy-duty diesel trucks, locomotives, energy production generators, buses and other diesel engines.


Grant proposals from tribal applicants are due by July 15, 2015, and can be submitted at

GE Marine Diesel Engine Certified EPA Tier 4

By Eric Haun at February 09, 2015 15:33
Filed Under: Diesel Engines, Environmental

Image: GE Marine

GE Marine’s 12V250 marine diesel engine received U.S. EPA Tier 4 Certification, meeting emissions requirements through non-Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology that requires no urea-based after-treatment.

GE said it is also working towards U.S. EPA Tier 4 and IMO Tier III Certification for additional models and families of its marine engines utilizing the same non-SCR technology, including its 16-cylinder V250 and six- and eight-cylinder L250 marine diesel engine models.

“Achieving this certification validates our unique ability to meet Tier 4 emissions requirements without the disadvantages of after-treatment,” said Afra Gerstenfeld, General Manager of GE Marine. “Our non-SCR solution provides substantial operational benefits over urea-based solutions for the workboat marketplace.”

GE commissioned Jensen Maritime to conduct a study to compare its U.S. EPA Tier 4 and IMO Tier III compliant in-engine, urea-free solution to a competitor’s solution that requires urea based after-treatment. According to the study’s findings, for operation on a typical line-haul tug, GE’s solution takes up about 25% of the engine room space required by the competitive solution, weighs about only 25% of the competitor’s solution, and does not require additional onboard equipment/storage for urea or dockside support infrastructure for urea storage and processing. 

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