The Hercules-2 project, a cross-industry initiative led by Wärtsilä, MAN Diesel & Turbo and Winterthur Gas & Diesel to develop basic technologies for use in 2- and 4-stroke marine engines has been officially launched.
The Hercules-2 project is aimed at fostering environmentally sustainable and more efficient shipping. It is in line with general European Union policy and is partly funded by the EU, Wärtsilä informed in a statement.
Altogether, 32 marine industry partners from 11 different companies, 16 universities, and five research organisations are cooperating in this project, with NTU Athens as coordinator.
The R&D efforts focus on four main areas. These are; the application of alternative fuels and the optimisation of fuel flexibility to facilitate seamless switching between different fuels; the development of new materials to support high-temperature component applications; the development of adaptive control methodologies to significantly improve an engine’s performance throughout its life span; and to achieve near-zero emissions via combined, integrated, after-treatment of exhaust gases.
The Hercules-2 project is scheduled to run for three years. It represents the follow-up phase of the Hercules R&D programme for large engine technologies, which was originally conceived in 2004 by Wärtsilä and MAN Diesel & Turbo. The Hercules-2 technologies will eventually be employed aboard large ships.
Image: MAN Diesel & Turbo