A part EU-funded research project to develop basic technologies for use in two- and four-stroke engines has been officially launched.
Led by Wärtsilä, MAN Diesel & Turbo and Winterthur Gas & Diesel, the Hercules-2 project is initially aimed at marine engines – though the outcomes will likely apply to stationary applications too.
Altogether, 32 marine industry partners from 11 different companies, 16 universities, and five research organisations are cooperating on the project, with NTU Athens acting as coordinator.
The R&D efforts of the three-year project will focus on four main areas: the application of alternative fuels and the optimisation of fuel flexibility; the development of new materials to support high-temperature component applications; the development of adaptive control methodologies to significantly improve lifetime engine performance; and, achieve near-zero emissions via combined, integrated, after-treatment of exhaust gases.
‘Hercules-2 is a strong platform that will create a basis for the development of technologies applicable to ship engines in four to five years’ time,’ said Søren H. Jensen, Vice President and Head of R&D at MAN Diesel & Turbo.
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.