Higher-Efficiency Engine with Ultra - Low Emissions for Ships

The research objectives in HERCULES-B project focused 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%, 
 to reduce CO2 emissions substantially. 

An additional concurrent aim was 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 targeted 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 aftertreatment methods would be concurrently developed. To improve the whole powertrain, the interaction of engine with the ship, as well as the use of combined cycles in overall system optimization, would be considered. 

Some of the areas where innovations were considered in the HERCULES-B Project are:
 Power cylinder technology for "extreme" mechanical and thermal load in marine engines
 In-cylinder measurement, observation, visualization methods for large engines
 "New" combustion concepts
"Intelligent" variable geometry, multistage, power assisted turbochargers
 "Hot"-operating engine with combined steam cycle
 Exhaust gas recirculation, scrubbing and aftertreatment methods in heavy-fuel engines
 New sensors and emission measurement methods for large engines
 "Low-friction", low wear, piston ring and guide shoe materials for engines.
  "Adaptive" control of marine engines.

For more information: 

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