Wärtsilä and MAN Diesel & Turbo have agreed to partner for the new Hercules-2 project, which aims to develop a fuel-flexible marine engine that is optimally adaptive to its operating environment.
The approval for the project is pending under the Horizon 2020 EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.
The project is part of the HERCULES R&D programme to develop large engine technologies and was initiated as a joint vision by the companies in 2004. Hercules-2 aims to achieve significant reductions in fuel consumption and exhaust emissions.
Work under the project will concentrate on four integrated R&D work package groups (WPGs) that include WPG 1 for a fuel flexible engine and WPG II covering new materials for engine applications.
WPG III will focus on the development of an adaptive power plant for lifetime performance and WPG IV involves a near zero emissions engine.
The full-scale prototypes and shipboard demonstrators under this project will help accelerate the development of commercially available products, according to Wärtsilä.
The programme also receives co-operation from a consortium comprising 32 partners, of which 30% are European companies and 70% of universities and research institutions.
The budget for the project has been partitioned between industry and the universities on a 63% – 37% basis respectively.
In 2002, the first HERCULES programme was conceived to develop new technologies to increase marine engine efficiency. Since 2004, the three projects that were carried out under this programme include Hercules-A, Hercules-B and Hercules-C.