In an effort to address methane slip and further reduce fuel consumption, Swiss-headquartered engine developer Winterthur Gas & Diesel Ltd (WinGD) has unveiled a new exhaust recycling technology in its second generation of X-DF dual fuel engines
Introduced as part of X-DF2.0, WinGD’s second-generation dual-fuel engine platform, Intelligent Control by Exhaust Recycling (iCER) delivers enhanced combustion control by using inert gas. During a virtual press conference, WinGD executives reported that incorporating iCER technology will result in a 50% reduction in methane slip emissions when using LNG and a significant reduction in fuel consumption, of 3% in gas mode and 5% in diesel mode. The iCER technology captures the unburnt fuel (methane) before it is ejected through the exhaust, providing the engine a second chance to combust it.
As a result, WinGD is confident its X-DF 2.0 engines will have methane slip levels of about 1.0-1.2 g/kwh as compared to 2.0-2.5 g/kWh in its first-generation engines.
Such performance is significant in that WinGD’s Otto cycle, low pressure engines have proven to be extremely popular, particularly for applications in the LNG carrier market. WinGD reported there have been 320 X-DF engines ordered, with some 60 in operation accumulating about 550,000 operating hours. One of the most popular types of engines for newbuild LNG carriers is the X72DF.
By advancing the performance of dual-fuel engines, X-DF2.0 will help shipowners prepare for shipping’s transition to carbon-neutral X-fuels. Building on the successful X-DF platform, the next-generation technologies minimise methane slip in expectation that these emissions will be regulated by IMO to help meet its 2050 greenhouse gas targets. Improved fuel efficiency will also be a key factor in reducing emissions further during the first phase of the transition.
“By adjusting the recirculation rate of inert gas and controlling parameters like fuel admission and ignition timing, we can increase compression ratios for greater efficiency,” said WinGD global director of sales Volkmar Galke. “The result is optimised combustion through closed-loop control regardless of ambient conditions and load.”
During the press conference, Mr Galke said he saw LNG as a bridging fuel in helping shipowners meet their future emissions targets. He cited DNV GL in showing that LNG’s use as a marine fuel will continue to grow into 2040-2045, when ammonia would emerge as an alternative fuel, but he added, if the renewable energy is available to generate it. As an engine manufacturer, he said, it wasn’t up to WinGD to decide, but rather the market on what those future fuels would be.
As part of its roll out of second-generation X-DF2.0 technologies, iCER will be available for all new X-DF engines. It is currently completing trials at one of WinGD’s dedicated test engine facilities – the final step in a two-year testing programme. WinGD is also finalising plans for a pilot installation.
As well as using LNG, X-DF engines can also burn carbon-neutral synthetic or bio LNG (BLNG) when it becomes available.
Riviera is hosting a week of free to attend 45-minute webinars focused on gas carrier tankers and terminals commencing 16 June. Register your interest now