MAN’s new flagship, the 45/60CR, shows where four-stroke marine engines are heading; it’s leaner, greener, meaner…and smaller.
The successor to the time-honoured 48/60CR, MAN’s latest version adds a host of new technology, including two-stage turbocharging which extracts maximum performance from the engine. And while it’s more powerful than its predecessor, the extra grunt comes with lower fuel consumption.
Similarly, Cummins recently launched the QSK95, the 95 standing for litres. It is a high-speed, four-stroke diesel capable of pumping out 4,200hp in marine applications. “This makes it one of the most powerful engines in its displacement class,” said Cummins Global Marine, marketing communication manager, Andy Kelly. “Power density – the amount of horsepower per litre of displacement – is a great example of how high-speed four-stroke diesel technology continues to improve across the industry,” he said, adding: “The QSK95 is producing power levels previously only available with a much larger, medium-speed diesel engine.”
And sheer grunt is always useful; harbour tugs, for instance, need instant power – a ‘fast, transient response’ in trade terms – when guiding ships into port. Thus, Cummins’ latest engine features a quadruple turbo arrangement that feeds air into the engine.
Engine-makers continue to make giant strides as they respond to demands for more durable, flexible, powerful and economical engines. The name of the game here is to achieve all of the above, but with minimum damage to the bottomline.
Which is what MAN has targeted with its 45/60CR. According to MAN Diesel and Turbo’s chief sales officer, Wayne Jones, the extra power and lower consumption “are particularly aimed at key lifecycle cost-oriented applications, such as cruise liners, RoPax ferries, RoRo vessels and dredgers.”
In terms of flexibility, the Ecomap 2.0 software – in effect, intelligent optimisation – means the electronically-controlled engine can be run according to different specific fuel oil consumption (SFOC) targets, which means the vessel can be fine-tuned to operate at maximum efficiency according to loading, sea conditions and other factors.
In another example of flexibility, MAN’s selective catalytic reduction (SCR) is now integrated into Ecomap, enabling the operator to tweak the propulsion system even further, for example by factoring in the prices of fuel and urea. That is obviously a useful contribution for economical running, but it also means NOx emissions can be cut by up to 97%.
Bearing in mind that the engine may run for 25-30 years, the 45/60CR has been designed from the outset under a family concept, that can be married with future derivatives such as duel-fuel options, according to the operator’s needs.
It’s small relative size also means it is more easily packaged. Cummins’ Kelly says: “The QSK95 can take the place of a medium-speed engine, but it’s between 25% – 75% lighter than its medium-speed competitors. That means the overall dimensions are reduced.”
Clearly, this reduces weight and makes more space available for cargo or some other productive purpose.
Putting numbers on the merits of the 45/60CR, MAN calculates that, based on a representative load profile of a cruise vessel, the cost benefit in terms of fuel/oil consumption ranges between 5% and 12% compared with power plants from rival manufacturers. In terms of hard cash, for a cruise vessel of around 120,000 – 150,000 gt, with 60-65mw of installed power, annual savings would be in the order of €0.9M – €2.M (US$1.1M – US$2.4M). This calculation assumes a price for fuel of €500 (US$610) a tonne.
The first set of V-type engines – the 12V and 14V – will be rolled out from end-2020, with the L-type engines due out from 2022. A MAN spokesman explained there was considerable interest in in the 45/60CR, more than two years before it’s coming off the production line.
All operators want fuel-sipping engines. As Cummins’ Kelly says: “Brake-specific fuel consumption (BSFC) is very important to vessel operators, as fuel consumption is the largest contributor to the cost of ownership.” The QSK95 uses an electronically controlled modular common rail fuel system that delivers the precise amount of fuel at the right time, reducing BSFC as well as emissions, which are created by unused fuel in the power cylinder.
With emissions standards getting tougher and more pervasive, that is a critical advantage.
Meanwhile, engine-makers are combining with the IT industry to provide real-time digital insights into the functioning of their creations, whether four-stroke or two-stroke, or indeed any other kind of propulsion. Sensors can deliver multi-dimensional data and installed in the correct places, these sensors can provide running read-outs of what the entire vessel is doing, not just the engine.
This information can be shared in a mutually beneficial, collaborative way, as BAE Maritime discovered with the Sea-Cores package it developed with OSIsoft, a pioneer in digital transformation. Sea-Cores helps the propulsion system and the vessel meet their full, combined potential.
First installed on one of James Fisher & Sons’ special petrochemical tankers, Sea-Cores gives the crew nine tools that deliver a real-time, digital view of the vessel’s progress at sea. The sensors measure fuel flow, monitor vibration, digital torsion and power use. For good measure, there is also a voyage data record, a pitch/roll trim monitoring system, and a GPS positioning system.
With all this information at their disposal, the Sea-Cores package allows crews to juggle a host of parameters, such as weather and sea conditions, navigation and routing, hull condition, hull and plant vibration, torque, fuel flow, in short, everything that might lead to the perfect voyage. The constant flow of information from multiple points means the crew, including onshore staff who have access to the same data, can see exactly the effect of any adjustments, for instance in engine speed.
BAE Marine has found that Sea-Cores pays for itself in 12 months, especially in fuel savings. For example, a company with a 25-ship fleet spending £700M a year on fuel could save £35M, thus trimming costs on fuel alone by 5%. In some cases, the package achieved savings of up to 20%.
This is also a mission of national importance; the British Ministry of Defence has stipulated that the Royal Navy reduce its fleet’s fuel consumption by 18% by 2020/2021.
Sensors are also playing a huge role in the interests of durability. As well as injecting the correct amount of fuel, the engine control module on Cummins’ QSK95 monitors a range of specific parameters that notify the operator about the health of the engine at critical times, forestalling the risk of any engine damage.
As veteran skippers will remember, it was not that long ago – 25 years perhaps – that engines would blow up without warning. Something that can help avoid that eventuality must be a welcome addition to any vessel.