Alfa Laval and Swiss engine designer WinGD have established a partnership in which Alfa Laval will deliver two fuel supply systems for testing WinGD’s ammonia-fuelled engine in early 2024. The partnership is a significant step forward in the development of ammonia as a future fuel for ships.

Ammonia is anticipated to become a key fuel in the shipping industry’s efforts to reduce its impact on carbon emissions. To advance the use of zero-carbon fuels, WinGD is developing ammonia-fuelled engines, with the recent achievement of the first-ever approval in principle (AiP) from Lloyd’s Register for its X-DF-A dual-fuel range powered by ammonia.

Also read: WinGD to power Exmar LPG’s first ammonia-fuelled vessels

Ammonia fuel supply systems

In the next step of the company’s ongoing ammonia test campaign, WinGD has partnered with Alfa Laval to provide two customised ammonia fuel supply systems (FSSs) for their Engine Research and Innovation Centre in Winterthur, Switzerland. Alfa Laval will deliver the FSS for the injector test system and FSS for the engine test bench in early 2024.

Alfa Laval FCM, a leading low-flashpoint fuel supply system (LFSS), has a flexible design and fully automated operations to ensure safe and smooth process control.

Viktor Friberg, head of Marine Separation & Fuel Supply Systems, Alfa Laval: ‘We have expanded our technological expertise to be ready with solutions for ammonia engines in alignment with our ambition. This joint research and development project is an efficient pathway to facilitate the use of one more alternative fuel.’

Also read: WinGD wins first AiP for ammonia two-stroke engine

Towards 2025 delivery

The project is in the framework of WinGD’s and Alfa Laval’s earlier agreement for cooperation on methanol and ammonia, signed in 2022. This gives both companies the chance to optimise the overall fuel supply and use it for later application on board.

‘With each new collaboration we are one step further on the path to running engines with zero carbon emissions,’ adds Sebastian Hensel, R&D Director, WinGD. ‘Our ammonia testing campaign began in 2021 with extensive research into the combustion characteristics of the fuel. The fuel supply system is an important next step in the technology development, keeping pace with our delivery targets of 2025.’

Mitigation system

This project will provide a testing environment to help both the companies carry out development activities of the engine and equipment associated with it. Alfa Laval will also investigate and develop a mitigation system to secure safe handling of ammonia.

In 2022, Alfa Laval got approval for testing ammonia at the Alfa Laval Test & Training Centre in Aalborg. As with LNG, biofuels and methanol, the centre has deepened its knowledge of ammonia combustion to help in the development of onboard technologies, keeping safety and efficiency in mind.

Picture: Test engine in WinGD Engine Research and Innovation Centre.

Also read: WinGD and CMB.Tech co-develop large ammonia-fuelled engine