New 300hp (224 kW) Diesel Outboard

At the recent international defence exhibition and conference (DSEi) in London, a new lightweight diesel engine was on display. The British company Cox Powertrain Limited ( is developing, together with Ricardo UK a modular, power dense engine with target output of 300 hp (224 kW) @ 4,000rpm from a 3.6 liter supercharged 2-stroke diesel engine, weighing 300 lbs (136 kg). Such a high power to weight ratio opens up a variety of application opportunities such as marine outboard motor and powered flight e.g. UAVs.


Caption: Impression of the Cox 300hp Diesel Outboard.
Image Credit: Cox Powertrain Ltd.

 The four cylinder, eight piston engine module features an unusual opposed piston (OP) configuration, whereby twin pistons reciprocate with a stroke of 130mm in opposing directions in a common cylinder of bore 98mm. This generates the high compression required for combustion of the diesel fuel without the need for massive cylinder heads. The fuel system is a Common Rail type with direct injection. While OP has been around since the early 20 century the Cox engine uses a Scotch Yoke* cranking arrangement to change the reciprocating piston movements into rotation, thereby substantially saving weight and the number of moving parts.

 As the 2015 deadline for the withdrawal of gasoline from NATO fleets approaches, due to considerations of on board fuel safety and logistics, the search for alternative high power/density engines that run on standard fleet fuels such as F76/JP8 aviation kerosene is increasing. To this end, the UK MOD has invested in the Cox engine project as a viable replacement for gasoline outboard motors.

 The modular construction of the engine allows two modules to be siamesed to produce an engine unit of 700+hp. Some variants may be able to deliver up to 900 hp.

 This is an ongoing development and Beta testing will commence in 2014 with an estimated launch date for the outboard motor version in 2016.


Caption: Cox 3.6 liter, four cylinder, OP single engine module with target out put of 300 hp (224 kW) @ 4,000 rpm. The supercharged diesel engine is expected to have a weight of only 300 lbs (135 kg). Image Credit: Cox Powertrain Ltd.

*An animation of the Scotch Yoke can be seen at: 


ROK Navy FFX to use Rolls-Royce MT30s

By Keith Henderson at June 28, 2012 04:32
Filed Under: Company News, Navy insights, Navy News

In a recent announcement, Rolls-Royce is specified as gas turbine supplier for the Republic of Korea Navy’s new Incheon Class (FFX Batch II) frigate program, marking a first supply of the MT30 to an Asian Navy.


Caption: the Rolls-Royce MT30 can produce 36 to 40 MW
Image credit: Rolls-Royce.

The first of class Incheon was built at Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and is scheduled to be commissioned in summer 2013. Eight ships are planned for the FFX class which is to replace the present Ulsan class and will be built at HHI and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME). A further 18 ships are projected to enter service by 2020 to replace the Po Hang and Dong Hae classes.

The Incheon Class is a coastal defence frigate of 2,300 displacement with an LOA of 374 ft (114 m) and beam of 46 ft (14 m). Unlike previous Korean frigate designs, this propulsion system is a two shaft CODAG arrangement but uses only a single gas turbine where previously two turbines were specified. The MT 30 gas turbine delivers up to 36MW of power and diesel engines provide for lower power requirements. The maximum speed is 30 kn and cruising speed is 18 kn giving a range of approximately 4,500 nm.

The gas turbines will be built and tested in the UK prior to delivery to Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) who is carrying out the integration with the module enclosure that includes the air inlets, exhausts and ancillary equipment.

Rolls-Royce is supplying this engine for the U.S. Navy's DDG-1000 Zumwalt class destroyer and Freedom class Littoral Combat Ships as well as the UK Royal Navy's new Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers.

New Coast Guard Class For Sweden

By Keith Henderson at June 26, 2012 08:13
Filed Under: Company News, General

The first of a new 90 ft class of five vessels for the Swedish Coast Guard Service was recently delivered to the port of Falkenburg, west Sweden with a further four under construction at Baltic Workboats AS, Estonia . The vessels are designed for main duties of maritime surveillance, border including fisheries control, protection of the environment, rescue and civil protection including firefighting, monitoring and diving operations.

Caption: Five of these 90 ft multi-role  Coastguard vessels have been ordered
Image credit: Baltic Workboats

The 52 t vessels have an LOA of 90 ft (26.5 m), beam of 20 ft (6.2 m) and draft of 5 ft (1.5 m). Unsual for its size, there is a triple pod propulsion system comprising three Volvo Penta IPS 1050 steerable pod drives with D13-800 diesels each rated at 800 hp at 2,000 rpm (Rating 4 - light commercial application).

Synchronisaton and control of the three engines and drives is carried out by the electronic EVC-E system which is connected to an Integrated Alarm Monitoring and Control System (IAMCS) through a newly developed from a Volvo Penta interface.

In addition to extremely good maneuverability using a joystick command for both speed and docking, a major benefit of IPS is reduced fuel consumption with savings of up to 30 per cent claimed by the manufacturers. The lower fuel consumption over the whole speed range not only produces substantial fuel cost savings but also reduced CO2 and NOx emission. The engines are already meeting the EPA tier 3 emission levels in force 2014.

The vessel has a crew of two and can accommodate up to five crew. There is one bow thruster of approximately 30 hp (22kW). Top speed at full load is 32 kn and the 5,000 liter fuel capacity gives a range exceeding 600 nm.

Caption: The engine room showing the three Volvo Penta D13 engines
Image credit: Baltic Workboats

Northern Sea Route Opening For 2012 Season

By Keith Henderson at June 21, 2012 08:14
Filed Under: Company News, General

The Vilkitsky Strait between the Siberian coast and the islands of Severnaya Zemlya is one of the key areas for navigating the Northern Sea Route, also known as the Northeast Passage, is already devoid of fast ice, one month earlier than last year . To the west most of the ice has already gone because large areas never achieve a thickness greater than 20 inches (50 cms) during the winter, according to the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research. An expedition to the same area in winter 2007/8 measured ice thicknesses of 40 inches (1 m).

Caption: The 75,000 hp nuclear powered Arktika Class icebreaker NS 50Let Pobedy, completed in 2007, is the most recent
ship to join Russia’s fleet of five other nuclear icebreakers.  A seventh is planned for completion in 2015.
Image credit: Rosatom

The Russian state-owned operator of nuclear icebreakers, Rosatomflot, is expecting the season to start with smaller vessels, around 20,000 dwt, being the first vessels to be escorted by its icebreakers and able to take a route closer to the Russian coastline. Larger vessels of greater draft, for example tankers, will take a more northerly route available in July. If conditions remain favourable the route could remain open as late as November, according to Rosatomflot assistant director Mikael Belkin, giving a five-month window. The majority of cargo using the route is industrial, comprising iron ore and oil and gas condensate.

This year a first for the route, will be the MV Ribera del Duero Knutsen, the world’s only ice-class 1A LNG tanker transporting LNG from the Norwegian Snovit project to Japan. Nordic Bulk Carriers of Denmark has indicated that it wishes to transport six to eight 70,000 tons shipments of iron ore from Murmansk to China this summer, consequently saving an estimated 1000 tons of fuel, or $650,000.

Use of the Northern Sea Route has increased rapidly during the last two years. In 2010, only four vessels used the route with a total cargo of 111 000 tons. The following year, 2011, the number of vessels sailing from Europe to Asia was 34 with a total cargo amounting to 820,000 tons. The prognosis for 2012 is that cargo volume is expected to double to 1,5 million tons.

Caption: An Arktika Class icebreaker in drydock showing the powerful triple propellers
Image credit: Rosatom

Sea Trials Start Of Indian Navy's Aircraft Carrier

By Keith Henderson at June 19, 2012 07:57
Filed Under: General, Navy News

Sea trials have commenced with the Indian Navy’s new aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya after a major refurbishment costing $ 2.3 billion at the Sevmash Shipyard, Russia. Originally laid down in 1978 at the Nikolayev South Shipyard in Ukraine as Baku, a Modified Kiev Class Project 1143.4 carrier, was launched in 1982 and commissioned in 1987: in 1991 she was renamed Admiral Goshkov.

Caption: The Virkamaditya being moved at Sevmash Shipyard, April 2012
Image credit: Sevmash Shipyard

In 1994, a boiler room explosion caused her to be withdrawn from service for a year undergoing repairs. She returned to service briefly in 1995 and in 1996 was taken out of service permanently and offered for sale.

The ship has a displacement of 45,400 t, an LOA of 928 ft (283 m), beam 167 ft (51 m) and draft of 32.8 ft (10 m). The propulsion system comprises eight oil fired boilers with four GTZA 674 steam turbines delivering 50,000 hp to each of the four shafts. Speed is 29 kn with a range of 13,800 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 18 kn. The air wing is expected to consist of carrier-based single seat MiG-29K and two seater MiG-29KUB fighter aircraft.

After leaving Sevmash Shipyard the carrier will heads out into the White Sea where she will be pushed to her maximum in a series of sea trials lasting 8 to 10 days. The ship will then enter the Barents Sea for air wing trials with test flights and demonstrations of take off and landing carried out using two Russian aircraft, MiG-29K and MiG-35, flown by Russian pilots. Russia last year delivered to the Indian Navy 12 MiG-29K single-seaters and 4 MiG-29KUB two-seaters, which will be based on the Vikramaditya.

India has ordered another batch of 29 MiG-29K deck fighters that will also provide airpower for the Vikrant aircraft carrier being built in India.

India plans to add two indigenously built carriers to her fleet and the first hull was laid down in 2009 with a planned launch date of 2013. All carriers will use Short Take Off But Arrested Recovery.(STOBAR). Once in service the INS Vikramaditya is to replace the Viraat (ex HMS Hermes) aircraft carrier.

Europe’s First Hybrid Tug Operational

By Keith Henderson at June 14, 2012 08:06
Filed Under: Company News, General, Industry Events

In Rotterdam Harbor, Europe’s first hybrid tug Rotor Tug RT Adriaan, is now operational as part of the Kotug fleet. During the winter, the tug has undergone a conversion with a XeroPoint Hybrid Propulsion System of AKA Canada. Inspired by the hybrid tug of Foss Maritime California and in partnership with AKA Canada, an extremely environmentally friendly and fuel-saving tugboat was developed.

Caption: RT Adriaan, Europe’s first hybrid tug.
Image credit: Kotug

The RT Adriaan, was retrofitted with the XeroPoint system that ensures the electric and diesel engines, generators and environmentally-friendly batteries will be centrally monitored and controlled to run at their optimum.

The hybrid tug has a Loa of 104 ft (32 m), beam of 39.4 ft (12 m) and draft of 21.2 ft (6.5 m) and has a gross tonnage of 463. Three Caterpillar 3512 C-HD main engines rated at 1765 kW at 1,800 rpm, each power a motor generator attached to a fully azimuthing Schottel Rudder Propeller SRP 1215 with a fixed pitch 2.40 m diameter propeller. There are two auxiliary 200 kW Catepillar C9 gensets and one 36 kW Caterpillar C4.4 emergency genset.

The tugboat can operate on battery power for much of the time, with the batteries being recharged from shore power when alongside and topped up using the on board auxiliary gensets. Only when full pulling power is required, are the main engines fired up to provide maximum thrust while at the same time recharging the batteries if required.

The benefits of the hybrid conversion are a 50 per cent reduction in harmful emissions, noiseless operation, improved fuel economy and reduced CO2 and savings in maintenance costs.

Caption: Schematic showing the key components of the hybrid propulsion system:
01 Battery Pack, 02 Switchboard, 03 Main engines, 04 electro motor / generator,
05 Thruster, 06 Auxiliary engines
Image credit: Kotug

New Narrow Wärtsilä RT-flex50 D Series

By Keith Henderson at June 12, 2012 07:55
Filed Under: Company News

Wärtsilä has announced the successful testing of a special version of its RT-flex50 two-stroke slow speed series. Designated the D version, it has the turbocharger relocated on the driving end side of the engine. Usually the turbocharger is positioned on the exhaust side of the engine considerably widening it and taking up more valuable engine room space than is really necessary. The new RT-flex50D series is much more compact by locating the turbocharger directly above the fly wheel at the driving end of the engine.

Caption: A typical modern handymax bulk carrier of 52,000 Dwt, MV Sabrina I
Image credit: Nsandel/Wikipaedia

In ships with narrow stern sections the engine choice was limited and often required specifying an engine of smaller bore and higher rotational speed. The reduced width of the new RT-flex50D will allow it to be used in these narrow ship designs and in some cases due to its higher output will allow a reduction in number of cylinders which reduces maintenance costs. The lower rpm of engine and propeller contributes to a beneficial reduction in fuel consumption

The Wärtsilä RT-flex50D is offered in five to eight cylinders configurations in the power range of 6,100 to 13,960 kW with a speed band of 99 to 124 rpm. It has full electronic control of the fuel injection and exhaust valve operation and can operate on a wide range of fuels, from marine diesel oil (MDO) to heavy fuel oil (HFO), of different qualities.

Compared to the existing RT-flex50B series the D series bmep is raised from 20 bar to 21 bar giving a five per cent higher power. The specific fuel consumption is reduced by 1 g/kWh to 170 g/kWh under standard tuning conditions. 

Typical applications for the new D series would be in small bulker and product tankers, handymax and panamax bulk carriers, container and feeder container vessels, and feeder ships.

Caption: A five cylinder Wärtsilä 5RT-flex50D engine on test at licensee
Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea. The maximum output of this
engine is 8,725 kW at 124 rpm.
Image credit: Wärtsilä Corp

Cruise Ship Floating on Air

By Keith Henderson at June 07, 2012 08:05
Filed Under: Company News, Research & Development

Carnival Corporation’s German subsidiary AIDA Cruises has two ships on order that will be floating on air. The two 125,00 GT passenger ships each with a capacity of 3,250 passengers is presently under construction at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works, Japan, with completion dates scheduled for the second quarter 2015 and second quarter 2016.

Caption: MALS Concept Sketch: Air bubbles covering the vessel's bottom, like a carpet of air.
Image credit: MHI

The air bubbles system to be used is the Mitsubishi Air Lubrication System (MALS) and uses patented technology whereby high efficiency blowers bleed air bubbles through small holes in the ship’s bottom to produce a carpet of air which reduces friction. Part of the know-how involves the configuration of the air outlet points to achieve maximum friction reduction at optimized air-blow volume.

Initial tests of this system started in 2010 on the heavy lift module carrier Yamatai whose wide shallow draft hull form made it an ideal choice. The friction reduction due to MALS produced a saving in fuel consumption in the region of 13 per cent. In this first application on a cruise ship, MHI predict a fuel saving of around sever per cent for the two AIDA vessels.

The AIDA cruise ships will use a diesel electric propulsion system driving two ABB Azipod XO2100 azimuth thrusters each with a rated output of 14 MW.

Caption: The AIDA cruise ships will be powered by
two 14 MW ABB Azipod XO2100 azimuth thrusters.
Image credit: ABB

MV Selandia Centenary

By Keith Henderson at June 05, 2012 07:52
Filed Under: General, Industry Events

One hundred years ago, the Danish engineering company Burmeister & Wain (now MAN Diesel & Turbo) was one of the few companies that foresaw the possibilities of Dr Rudolph Diesel’s invention. Not only were they able to see the commercial opportunities but had the engineering experience from steam engines and the talent how to construct a reliable diesel engine.

Caption: The M/V Selandia under way off the Danish coast during sea trials in 1912.
Image credit: MAN Diesel & Turbo

Just how much a market leader Burmeister & Wain had become can be seen from Lloyd’s Register dated 1929. The records show that the number of motor ships over 2,000 GT with diesel engines amounted to 381 four stroke engines built by Burmeister & Wain with two stroke engines being built by Sulzer numbering 102 and Doxford (Junkers License) 53 ships: the rest made up from MAN, Werkspoor and Krupp.

MV Selandia displacing 7,000 t, entered service in 1912 and was the lead class of five ships with the other four sister ships built at various shipyards in Europe. They all had twin Burmeister & Wain four stroke crosshead engines type DM 8150-X giving a service speed of 11 kn. On the Selandia’s acceptance trials she reached a speed of 12.2 kn. The engine was an in-line eight cylinder with bore of 530 mm and stroke of 730 mm and the bmep of 6.4 bar produced 920 kW at 140 rpm. It was a direct reversing engine whereby the engine was stopped, the camshaft slid on its bearings to the reverse position and another set of cams actuated to provide the correct valve timing to operated the engine in reverse rotation. From full ahead to full revers took only 20 seconds.

There were two 186 kW auxiliary diesel engines each with four cylinders. Each was driving a 220 V DC generator providing on board electrical power. At the free end of the generators there was a clutch to engage a compressor, used to produce the compressed air to operate the fuel injection system. Electric motors were used to start the main engines by turning the 6.5 ft (2 m) diameter flywheels.

On her eight week maiden voyage from Copenhagen to Bangkok, Selandia’s average fuel consumption for main and auxiliary engines was equivalent to 0.224 kg fuel per indicated kW.

It is interesting to note that in comparison to a coal fired steam ship of similar size there would usually have been a crew of around 36 of which 25 would have been engine room personnel: Selandia’s diesel engine room required only eight!


Caption: The towering eight cylinder Burmeister & Wain four stroke DM 8150-X engine
had an output of 920 kW at 140 rpm.
Image credit: MAN Diesel & Turbo

Joint Study by MAN and GL on LNG as a Fuel for Container Ships

By Keith Henderson at May 31, 2012 05:50
Filed Under: Company News, General

The decision faced by owners of container ships on the best way to meet the present and future exhaust emission regulations is a complex one. MAN Diesel & Turbo together with Germanischer Lloyd have published the results of a study just completed analyzing this problem as it affects container ships.

Caption: A MAN B&W 6S70ME-GI dual fuel gas/diesel two stroke
engine rated up to 19,620 kW at 91 rpm.
Image credit: MAN Diesel & Turbo SE.

The four technologies investigated in the study are: exhaust gas cleaning by scrubber, scrubber plus Waste Heat Recovery (WHR), LNG as a fuel and LNG with WHR. For each technology, its cost in acquisition and operating, including for example revenue lost due to reduced cargo carrying capacity is included. Fuels consumption according to an assumed usage profile is also estimated.
One ship size does not fit all and in the study circumstances were considered for five sizes of container ship. The smallest is a feeder of 2,500 TEU going up to the largest of 18,000 TEU. For each ship size the speed, engine power, round trip distance and percentage of distance spent in Emission Control Areas is estimated proportionally.

The study concludes that LNG offers lower emissions and given the right circumstances, less fuel cost. LNG as a fuel compared to a scrubber system depends on investment cost of the LNG tank, the price difference between LNG and HFO and percentage of operation is an ECA. For example with 65 percent operation in an ECA, the smaller vessel sizes (2,500 TEU and 4,600 TEU) a payback time under two years is predicted. On the smallest vessel, the LNG payback time is shorter than for a scrubber system.

The largest vessel of 14,000 TEU using an LNG system, even if infrequently in an ECA, has the shortest payback time of all and is shortened further if using WHR.

The downside is however the availability of LNG and its price delivered to the ship. If the price of LNG is the same as HFO based on energy content, payback time would exceed 60 month, indicating that breakeven would only be achieved when the 2020 worldwide use of low sulfur heavy fuel oil (LSHFO) with maximum 0.5 per cent sulfur is in force.

The full report is available at: 


Caption: A MAN LNG gas tank suitable for ships. MAN Diesel & Turbo has an agreement
with TGE Marine Gas Engineering, for a collaboration to offer optimum customer
solutions for gas-fuelled ships.
Image credit: MAN Diesel & Turbo SE.

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