9 July 2010

The 26th CIMAC World Congress was held in Bergen, Norway on June 14-17, 2010. The CIMAC Congress—organized once every three years—is a major conference covering internal combustion engine technology for ship propulsion, power generation and rail traction. This year, over 230 technical papers were presented in four parallel technical sessions and in poster sessions. The Congress also included an exhibition showcasing products related to engines, engine components and fuels. The meeting was attended by over 900 delegates from 39 countries.

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The main themes during this years’ Congress were related to the challenges faced by the marine industry to comply with the IMO emission and fuel quality regulations. From 2016, the IMO Tier III standards require an 80% NOx emission reduction in new ocean going vessels within the IMO emission control areas (ECA). Sulfur content in marine fuels must be reduced to ultimately reach 0.5% globally (2020) and 0.1% in ECAs (2015) or else alternative technical measures must be implemented (such as wet scrubbers) to reduce SOx emissions.

Several papers and presentations dealt with liquefied natural gas (LNG) as the prospective future fuel for ship propulsion. Many in the marine engine and shipping industry had expected that heavy fuel oils (HFO) of reduced sulfur content would become commercially available in compliance with the IMO requirements. As it becomes apparent that the fuel industry has no intention to offer residual fuels of reduced sulfur content, the burden to comply with the IMO requirements, such as by installing SOx scrubbers, rests on the shipping industry. This creates an incentive to use LNG fuels which would enable meeting the IMO emission requirements for both NOx and SOx.

An endorsement of LNG fuels for ship propulsion was presented by Det Norske Veritas (DNV), with the talk prominently placed during the opening ceremony of the Congress. As the fist step, LNG could be adopted for “short sea shipping”, with the Baltic Sea seen as the first area suitable for the development of LNG fueling infrastructure. In a second step, dual fuel MDO/LNG systems could be introduced on ocean-going ships, with LNG propulsion used in ports and coastal areas and MDO propulsion during Atlantic crossings. The adoption of LNG for ship propulsion will also depend on the LNG prices relative to other forms of energy, with current predictions indicating that LNG will become increasingly less expensive compared to crude oil. Future global energy options were also discussed on the last day of the Congress in the Collin Trust Lecture “Beyond Oil” given by Professor Kjell Aleklett of the Uppsala University. While most forms of crude oil and other fossil energy sources are believed to have peaked or are expected to peak in the near future, natural gas liquids were shown to be one of the few resources with relatively stable supply levels for many years.

Diesel Engines. A number of companies discussed their new products and design strategies for high-, medium- and low speed engines. In the high & medium speed engine session, MTU and GE discussed their locomotive engines. The new MTU Series 4000 R44 engine, meeting EU Stage IIIB emissions, will cover a power range from 1,000 to 3,000 kW for the line haul and switcher applications [I. Wintruff, Paper #211]. 12 and 16V engines will be available from 2012, to be followed by 8 and 20V versions. The Stage IIIB NOx limit (NOx+HC = 4 g/kWh) is achieved without aftertreatment, while a diesel particulate filter (DPF) will be used to meet the 0.025 g/kWh PM limit. The engine features cooled EGR, Miller valve timing, the MTU 2-stage turbocharger and the LEAD common rail injection system by L’Orange. The DPF system—which includes an upstream oxidation catalyst (DOC) and a catalyzed DPF—has been designed to rely on passive NO2 based regeneration starting from 260°C. At light loads, the exhaust temperature is increased through an active engine management strategy. The engine matches the fuel consumption of its R43 predecessor.

GE presented a Tier 3 version of their Evolution locomotive engine [N. Blythe, #43]. The Tier 3 (2012) PM standard of 0.10 g/bhp-hr requires a nearly 50% PM emission reduction from the Tier 2 levels. This has been achieved by reduced lube oil consumption (by 50%), the use of reduced ash lube oil and by replacing the legacy unit pump injection system by an 180 MPa Bosch common rail system with multiple injection capabilities. A moderate level of Miller valve timing was adopted to maintain the fuel consumption of Tier 2 engines.

Emission Characterization and Measurement. A study by Wärtsilä and VTT [J. Ristimaki, #73] characterized PM emissions from a medium speed diesel engine. Experiments were conducted with three fuels: one light fuel oil and two heavy fuels of about 1% and 2.8% sulfur content. One interesting result was that when the engine was operated at high load, elemental carbon emissions were lower with the heavy fuels and higher with the light fuel, suggesting that switching to light fuels may actually increase global warming emissions (black carbon) from ships. The observation was explained by the lower oxidation temperature of soot from heavy fuels and higher degree of in-cylinder soot oxidation due to the presence of metallic ashes. The authors also analyzed the effect of measuring parameters to conclude that the PM mass result of the ISO 8178 method may significantly depend on dilution ratio.

A portable dilution tunnel apparatus for PM measurements has been proposed [K. Maeda, Japan’s Fisheries University, #87] and tested onboard of an experimental ship. The study also looked into the make-up of PM emissions from ships using HFO fuel, without and with a DPF.

Other sessions during the Congress were devoted to such topics as engine and combustion modeling, tribology, users’ aspects and experience, and operating experience with diesel and natural gas engines. Updates were also presented on marine engine research conducted under the EU-funded Hercules project [N. Kyrtatos, #32][U. Waldenmaier, #34].

The 27th CIMAC Congress will be held on May 13-16, 2013 in Shanghai, China.

Conference website: cimac.com/congress_2010/congress_2010.htm