Wärtsilä will commercially launch its two-stroke Future Fuels Conversion platform during the first quarter of 2022. This innovative and patented engine combustion technology platform will enable the fast and cost-effective conversion of two-stroke main engines to operate on clean-burning future fuels.
The retrofit conversion will initially enable operation with currently available LNG fuel, most importantly with negligible methane slip from the engine. The modular design of this concept provides a platform that will be further developed in order to allow for the adoption of alternative green fuels such as methanol and ammonia or fuel blends when they become commercially available.
The development programme has recently been concluded with successful initial engine tests in the Wärtsilä two-stroke engine laboratory in Trieste. MSC Shipmanagement has collaborated with the company throughout the development as a key partner in the piloting and advancement of the platform towards future fuel applications.
The engine manufacturer says the flexibility of the platform allows for the first step towards adopting the use of future fuels can be taken now knowing that the investment will not become obsolete. MSC adds that the next step is a technology demonstration on one of its larger container vessels with a Wärtsilä RT-flex96C-B main engine.
Cryogenic fuel supply system
A world-first feature of the concept is the cryogenic fuel supply system, which together with a revolutionary injection system, provides flexible and optimised operational performance under all conditions. Among the other notable benefits delivered by this future-proofing solution are the capability to comply with upcoming environmental regulations and therefore providing assets with an extended operational life.
The conversion solution is aimed at vessels operating with two-stroke, electronically controlled engines. The concept can be complemented with Wärtsilä’s Fuel Gas Supply System to provide a complete turnkey solution. This will expand the company’s offering of fuel-flexible options to help meet its customers’ decarbonisation strategies.
The first commercial conversion project will be completed by mid-2023. The conversion concept is applicable to both large and smaller bore engine types.
Wärtsilä is not the only engine manufacturer coming up with a solution to bridge the gap between what is possible today and what is available and technically feasible in the future. A little under two weeks ago, Anglo Belgian Corporation (ABC) also introduced a new, multifuel engine platform facilitating the transition from conventional fuel to new and future fuel types.
Picture: Integrated solution of Wärtsilä Alternative Fuels Conversion platform for two-stroke engines with Wärtsilä Fuel Gas Supply system in a container vessel (by Wärtsilä).