Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The World's Biggest Diesel Engine

I have been working on merchant vessels of 10,000 tons, 11,000 tons general cargo ship and 40,000 ton Bulk carrier. The first German ship was installed with a MAN diesel, the third one is the famous Sulzer, the ship was launched in Shimonoseki Shipyard of Kita Kyushu. I have been amazed to see the team of engineer managed to repair one of the defective pistons at mid of Pacific Ocean for two days. The Diameter of the piston is approx. 30”. It is huge! The ship burned 20 tons of fuel at economy speed of 11 Knots at about 100 rpm. If you speed it up further for additional 3 more knots, it might use up more 10 tons of oil at RPM 112…

The Wartsila-Sulzer RTA96-C turbocharged two-stroke diesel engine could be a world another wonder. Designed to provide the motive force for a variety of supertankers and container ships, it comes with 6 cylinder in-line through to a whopping 14 cylinder version. The cylinder bore is 38 inches and the stroke is just over 98 inches. Each cylinder displaces 1820 litres and produces 7780 horsepower. Total displacement comes out to 25,480 litres for the 14-cylinder version.

At a length of 89 feet and a height of 44 feet, the total engine weight is 2300 tons - the crankshaft alone weighs 300 tons.

The RTA96C-14 can achieve a maximum power output of 108,920 hp at 102 rpm and astonishingly, at maximum economy the engine exceeds 50% thermal efficiency. That means, more than 50% of the energy in the fuel is converted to motion. Its Brake Specific Fuel Consumption (BSFC) at maximum power is 0.278 lbs/hp/hr.

The RTA96C-14 turbocharged two-stroke diesel engine is produced by Swiss company Wartsila-Sulzer and is the largest and most powerful diesel engine in the world today.

Fuel consumption at maximum economy is 0.260 lbs/hp/hour. Comparatively, most automotive and small aircraft engines can only achieve BSFC figures in the 0.40-0.60 lbs/hp/hr range and 25-30% thermal efficiency range.

The design and development of the RTA96C was close collaboration with the companies involved in the early stages of the first commercial project: the owner and operator P&O Nedlloyd BV, the ship designer and builder Ishikawa Jima Harima Heavy Industries Co Ltd (IHI), and the engine builder Diesel United Ltd.

The project began in March 1997 when the first engine, an 11-cylinder unit, was started on the test bed of Diesel United Ltd, Aioi.

Since then a total of 86 RT96C engines with eight, nine, ten, 11 and 12 cylinders in-line are in service or on order, 25 of these currently in service.

German MAN Diesel (formerly MAN B&W Diesel) is another provider of large-bore diesel engines for marine propulsion systems and power plant applications and turbochargers.

HK Snob

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