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June 18, 2019   |  


Balancing future focus and engine investment

Ambition does not mean that [Volvo Penta] is happy to forget its existing portfolio or its engine focus. Mr Inden believes in the transition to electric vessels, but sees that happening over a period of decades. Meanwhile, investment is continuing in its diesel engine range and in June the company unveiled several upgrades to its engines. At the top end of the power range, Volvo Penta has increased the power output for its D16 engines – often used as an auxiliary engine in the shortsea shipping sector – to meet the growing demand for electricity generation in that market.

The IMO Tier II-compliant engines now produce 479kW at 1,500 rpm and 532kW at 1,800 rpm, corresponding to 450kWe through a 50Hz genset and 500kWe through a 60Hz genset. The upgraded engine, Volvo Penta’s most powerful, has also achieved a 3% fuel consumption improvement compared with the previous version.

The enginebuilder has also been making strides to widen the commercial applications for its smaller engines. The six-cylinder, 7.7-l D8 engine was first introduced in 2016 for high speed and leisure applications. That launch was followed by a new variant that boasted a 3-4 rating, making it suitable for commercial light duty vessels. Volvo Penta has now introduced a 1-2 rated engine for heavy-duty applications, including tugboats and other work vessels.

The rebuilt D8 heavy-duty engine features common-rail fuel injection, double overhead camshafts and twin-entry turbocharger. A genset based on the new heavy duty D8 will deliver electrical power ranging from 136kWe to 250kWe. The current version complies with IMO Tier II NOx limits as well as EPA 3 and China 2 ratings.

A Tier III- and EU Inland Waterway stage V-compliant engine is planned for release in mid-2020, using selective catalytic reduction (SCR) to meet sulphur requirements.

“We’ve opted for the use of SCR because it keeps the engine working efficiently with optimised fuel consumption and keeps the power up to the right level,” says Mr Lantz.

Volvo Penta initially launched its IMO III solution for its 13-litre engines before making it available for other marine propulsion and genset applications.

“The IMO Tier III solution for the D13 has proven itself in tough marine conditions, having undergone 35,000 hours of field-testing prior to its launch in 2018,” explains Mr Lantz. “The new D8 IMO III engine has been developed to sustain high back pressure while also maintaining efficiency and drivability.”

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