[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]
Westport unveils next-generation High Pressure Direct Injection (HPDI 2.0) natural gas system for HD trucks
December 10, 2013
Westport Innovations Inc. unveiled its next generation of high pressure direct injection natural gas technology platform, Westport HPDI 2.0. Westport is now working with seven OEM applications with engine sizes ranging from trucks to trains at various stages of development with the goal of vertically integrated Westport HPDI 2.0 OEM product lines. Westport anticipates first availability of customer products in late 2014 and 2015.
Westport HPDI uses natural gas as the primary fuel in a Diesel (compression ignition) cycle along with a small amount of diesel fuel as an ignition source. Core to the approach is a patented injector with a dual-concentric needle design. This allows small quantities of diesel fuel and large quantities of natural gas to be delivered at high pressure to the combustion chamber. (Earlier post.)
Wärtsilä introduces new low pressure 2-stroke dual-fuel engine technology; economic and environmental benefits
November 13, 2013
Wärtsilä has successfully conducted full scale testing on gas of its low-speed 2-stroke dual-fuel engine and is now introducing a full new range of engines based on its established and well-proven low pressure technology. The first engine utilizing this technology, the Wärtsilä RT-flex50DF, will be available for delivery in the third quarter of 2014.
Other engines from the company’s new Generation X series will follow and will be available for delivery during 2015 and 2016. The entire portfolio of Wärtsilä 2-stroke engines will be available as low pressure dual-fuel (DF) versions. The economic and environmental benefits of this technology are significant, Wärtsilä notes.
Royal Academy of Engineering study examines future lower-carbon ship powering options
July 26, 2013
International shipping contributes an estimated 3% of global emissions of CO2. Although the industry has reduced its consumption of fossil fuels by a number of measures such as using increasingly thermally efficient diesel engines in recent decades, the current total fuel oil consumption is in excess of 350 million tonnes per year (about 98.5 billion gallons US).
A new study by an expert working group at the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering examines a wide range of possibilities for future, lower-emitting and cost-effective ship powering options. The report reviews a range of short-, medium- and long-term technologies and examines the advantages and limitations of systems from solar and wind power, through fuel cells to nuclear propulsion. One of the key takeaways is that an integrated systems engineering approach is required to achieve effective improvements in efficiency and reductions in emissions for ships. This integrated approach must embrace all of the elements of naval architecture, marine and control engineering alongside operation practices.
BASF and Samsung Heavy develop new anti-sloshing, anti-boil-off solution for LNG tankers
July 08, 2013
|The BASF/SHI anti-sloshing solution consists of a blanket of blocks of Basotect foam with buoys, which are stitched into Vectran textile covers and connected with Vectran belts. Click to enlarge.|
BASF and the South Korean company Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) have developed a new concept to prevent the sloshing of liquefied natural gas (LNG) during its transport in tankers. The anti-sloshing solution is a kind of blanket consisting of cubes with a volume of one cubic meter, made of the BASF foam Basotect. The open-cell foam made from melamine resin stays flexible even under cryogenic conditions; the ship’s steel tanks must remain cooled to -162 ° C to keep the gas liquid.
More than a quarter of the global production of natural gas in 2011—nearly 331 billion cubic meters—was liquefied and shipped throughout the world in ocean-going tankers. In preparation for transport, the gas is cleaned, liquefied at -162 °C, and then loaded onto tankers that carry liquid cargo. This process reduces 600 cubic meters of gas to one cubic meter of LNG (liquefied natural gas).
US Maritime Administration to fund projects on reducing emissions from marine vessels, study on LNG bunkering
June 15, 2013
The US Maritime Administration (MARAD) Office of the Environment has issued two funding opportunities; the first (DTMA-91-R-2013-0020) will award up to an estimated $900,000 for up to 2 projects that demonstrate criteria pollutant emissions of carbon emissions reductions from marine vessels through repowering, re-engining, or using alternative fuel/energy.
The second (DTMA-91-R-2013-0009) will award up to $500,000 for a comprehensive study on the issues associated with the bunkering (supplying a ship with fuel) of LNG for marine vessels. One of the largest obstacles to widespread take-up of LNG as ship fuel—and hence its viability as an option to meet ECA (Emission Control Areas) requirements—is the lack of a bunkering infrastructure, according to Lloyd’s Register. (Earlier post.)
Shell to build LNG units in Gulf Coast and Great Lakes regions; two additional LNG for transport corridors in North America
March 05, 2013
Shell and its affiliates will build two additional small-scale natural gas liquefaction units to provide liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel for marine and heavy-duty on-road customers in North America. Pending final regulatory permitting, these two new liquefaction units are expected to begin operations and production in about three years.
These two units will form the basis of two new LNG transport corridors in the Great Lakes and Gulf Coast regions. This decision follows an investment decision in 2011 on a similar corridor in Alberta, Canada. (Earlier post.) Shell is also working to use natural gas as a fuel in its own operations.