The fitting of Wartsila 50DF engines onboard the first LNG Carriers in 2006 set a trend in the industry. Since that introduction, 65 percent of all new LNG Carriers have been fitted with Wartsila dual-fuel engines. The technology enables the engine to be operated on either natural gas, light fuel oil (LFO), or heavy fuel oil (HFO), and switching between fuels can take place seamlessly during operation, without loss of power or speed.
When operating in gas mode, the nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions are at least 85 percent below those specified in the current IMO regulations, and CO2 emissions are some 25 percent less than those of a conventional marine engine running on diesel fuel. Additionally, the sulphur oxide (SOx) and particle emissions are negligible at almost zero percent.
“This is indeed an important milestone for Wartsila, and for the shipping industry as a whole. It confirms not only our leading position in the LNG transportation sector, but also the viability of Wartsila dual-fuel engines. They have demonstrated that they are a solid and reliable choice for owners and operators, enabling easy adaptation to different sailing patterns, in both arctic and tropical conditions, and to various operational profiles,” says Lars Anderson, Vice President, Wartsila Ship Power, Merchant.
Other marine sectors following the trend
In addition to its success in the LNG Carrier market, the Wartsila 50DF engine is increasingly being considered by owners and operators throughout the shipping industry. For example, in the cruise and ferry sector, where it is often necessary to operate in Emission Control Areas (ECAs), there is growing awareness of the advantages of operating on gas. Wartsila says the new Viking Line ferryto operate between Finland and Sweden will be the largest ferry in the world operating on gas.
Similarly, vessels serving the offshore oil and gas industry are increasingly being fitted with Wartsila dual-fuel engines. The need for flexibility, fuel efficiency, and compliance with stricter environmental regulations, are the drivers behind this trend.
The Wartsila 50DF engine is manufactured in configurations from a 6-cylinder in-line version to an 18-cylinder version in V-configuration, giving 950/975 kW per cylinder and a total maximum mechanical output of 17,100 kW. The engine speed is 500 or 514 rpm with 50Hz and 60 Hz applications. The maximum thermal efficiency is higher than with any other gas engine.
(This article compiled using information from a Wartsila Corporation, Trade and Technical Press release)