The project HERCULES-B is Phase II of the HERCULES programme, conceived in 2002 as a 7-year strategic R&D Plan, to develop the future generation of optimally efficient and clean marine diesel power plants. The project is the outcome of a joint vision by the two major European engine manufacturer Groups, MAN Diesel and WARTSILA, which together hold 90% of the world's marine engine market. The research objectives in HERCULES-B focus on the drastic reduction of CO2 emissions from maritime transport, considering the existing and foreseen composition of the world fleet and fuel infrastructure.
The principal aim in HERCULES-B was to reduce fuel consumption of marine diesel engines by 10%, to improve efficiency of marine diesel propulsion systems to a level of more than 60%, and thus reduce CO2 emissions substantially. An additional concurrent aim is towards ultra-low exhaust emissions (70% Reduction of NOx, 50% Reduction of Particulates) from marine engines by the year 2020. Today diesel propulsion systems power 99% of the world fleet. HERCULES-B targets the development of engines with extreme operational pressure and temperature parameters, considering the thermo-fluid-dynamic and structural design issues, including friction and wear as well as combustion, air charging, electronics and control, so as to achieve the efficiency / CO2 target.
To achieve the emissions target, combustion and advanced after-treatment methods have been concurrently developed. To improve the whole power train, the interaction of engine with the ship, as well as the use of combined cycles in overall system optimisation, will be considered. The project HERCULES-B structure of work comprises 54 sub-projects, grouped into 13 Tasks and 7 Work packages, spanning the complete spectrum of marine diesel engine technology. The project HERCULES-B has a total budget of 25M, a duration of 36 months and a Consortium with 32 participants.
The project comprises 7 R&D Work Packages covering the whole spectrum of marine engine research and development. The building blocks of the project HERCULES-B are the various sub-projects. The whole HERCULES-B Project is made up of 56 sub-projects. A cluster of related sub-projects makes up a Task and there are 13 Tasks. A pair of related Tasks makes up a Work Package.
The Work Packages are parallel tracks of continuous R&D activities, which exchange high level information throughout the Project. The Partners work in groups at Sub project level, with specific targets. Work is consolidated into tasks and reported with written Deliverables or presented as machinery prototypes.
The Work Packages are:
- extreme parameter engines
- turbo charging
- exhaust emission reduction
- overall ship power train optimisation
- advanced materials, friction and wear
- electronics and control
A New World Record in Marine Combustion Engines: 30 MPa (300 bar) Combustion Pressure, achieved in Aalto University, Finland.
The Combustion Engine Research Group in Aalto University, Department of Energy Technology has put the performance values of combustion engines to a new extreme level. The Combustion Engine Research Group was able to reach 30 MPa cylinder pressure with the unique marine medium-speed research engine EVE (Extreme Value Engine) in April 2011. The reached 30 MPa peak combustion pressure is an unofficial World Record and it is significantly higher than that has been reported previously.
The research study is part of the project HERCULES-B project. This research achievement on high pressure combustion lays an experimental basis on combustion engine performance development and emission reduction for a cleaner and more sustainable future. The main research partners have been Wärtsilä Finland Oy and Componenta Pistons. For additional information contact professor Martti Larmi of Aalto University, Finland.
Furthermore: high engine speeds with 12 m/s piston speed successfully ran in December 2011.
Reduction of fuel consumption in marine diesel engines, improvement marine diesel propulsion systems efficiency and thus a substantial reduction of CO2 emissions. In addition to this, the project focussed on ultra-low exhaust emissions from marine engines by the year 2020.
A world record has been set with respect to cylinder combustion pressure in 2011.The main target of building a 300 bar firing pressure engine and 12 m/s piston speed engine were reached.
High combustion pressure can make engines more efficient.
Reduction of fuel consumption, improvements in propulsion systems efficiency and a substantial reduction of emissions and exhausts.
Various publications (papers) have been published with the approval of the European Commission. See:
Innovating for the future (technology and behaviour): promoting more sustainable development.
Further development is necessary.