Wärtsilä, MAN Diesel & Turbo Renew Emissions Reduction Research
Conceived by two of the world’s leading engine manufacturing groups in 2002 and launched in 2004, Wärtsilä and MAN Diesel & Turbo’s HERCULES (High Efficiency Engine R&D on Combustion with Ultra Low Emissions for Ships) research and development project sought to develop new large engine technologies to increase marine engine efficiency primarily reducing emissions and fuel consumption.
Now, following three completed projects within this program from 2004-2014, the initiative will be renewed with the HERCULES-2 venture, pending approval under the Horizon 2020 EU Framework Program for Research and Innovation.
According to Wärtsilä, the HERCULES-2 project aims to develop a fuel-flexible marine engine that is optimally adaptive to its operating environment. The work will focus on four areas of integrated research and development divided into Work Package Groups (WPG): WPG 1 – a fuel flexible engine; WPG II – new materials (for engine applications); WPG III – an adaptive powerplant for lifetime performance; and WPG IV – a near zero emissions engine.
The work aims to build upon and ultimately surpass the targets of the previous HERCULES projects by combining the latest technologies and integrated solutions, notably including several full-scale prototypes and shipboard demonstrators that will speed the development of commercially available products.
The project will further accelerate the shipping industry’s transition to better fuel efficiency and a significantly reduced environmental footprint, while strengthening the position of the participating partners in the market place.
The cooperation between Wärtsilä and MAN Diesel & Turbo will also involve a number of other European companies, as well as universities and research institutions. The consortium is made up of 32 partners, of which 30% are industrial and 70% are universities and research institutes. The budget is divided between industry and the universities on a 63% - 37% basis, respectively.