Most Powerful Common- Rail Engine Passes Test

The first 12-cylinder Sulzer RTflex96C low-speed marine engine developed by Wartsila Corporation has successfully completed its official shop test.

With a maximum continuous power output of 68,640 kW (93,360 bhp) at 102 rpm, it is reported to be the most powerful engine so far to employ common-rail technology. The engine is one of four ordered in 2003 for the propulsion of four 7,700 TEU Post-Panamax container liners contracted by Blue Star Reederei, a subsidiary of P&O Nedlloyd BV, with the Japanese shipbuilding group IHI Marine United Inc.

After the initial adjustments and running- in, the engine has been subjected to an extensive series of tests.

Optimization of the Sulzer RT-fiex system with this size of engine was completed with an eight-cylinder Sulzer RTflex96C during March/April at another licensee HSD Engine Co. Ltd. in Korea.

Further tests, however, have been made with the 12-cylinder engine into the performance of the engine with its common- rail systems.

The improved quality of combustion achieved in RT-flex engines which allows such low, stable speeds, together with smokeless operation across the speed range, has proved in service to leave RT-fiex engines very clean with consequent benefits for maintenance.

To date, confirmed orders have been placed for a total of 110 RT-flex engines aggregating 4,633 MW (6.30 million bhp). In addition to the 64 Sulzer RTflex96C engines, the engines in service and on order include seven Sulzer RTflex84T- D engines for VLCCs, two Sulzer RT-flex68T-B engines for Aframax tankers, 17 Sulzer RT-tlex60C engines and 15 Sulzer RT-flex58T-B engines for various ship types, and five Sulzer RT-flex50 engines for bulk carriers.

The Sulzer RT-flex96C is adapted from the well-established Sulzer RTA96C engine, the most powerful Sulzer low-speed marine engine type.

This is a popular prime mover for the world's largest types of container liners.

There are 226 Sulzer RTA96C and RTflex96C engines in service or on order with an aggregate power output of 13,130 MW (17.86 million bhp).

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Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 54,  Sep 2004

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First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.