The Mk30 engine,
which MAN Energy Solutions wants to develop by 2030, has been conceived in such
a way that it can burn all current fuels using a single fuel system. It will
only be set up for the customer’s preferred fuel at the individual
configuration stage. “We want to simplify matters. The inside of the engine
will change with the configuration, depending on which fuel the customer
prefers. From the outside, however, the engine will remain the same, with the
same design, fuel system, pipes, valves, etc.,” says Peter Quaade. Injection
systems for each fuel type will gradually be integrated in one system, doing
away with the need for different hardware platforms.
There are a great many variables to be taken into account en route to
full fuel flexibility. “We’re creating solutions for fuels demanded by the
market. We’ll develop and optimize these systems in turn so that we can
integrate them with each other over time, like a zipper. But first these
systems have to be as well documented as our ME-GI system is now,” Quaade
explains. MAN Energy Solutions is not the only supplier focusing on full fuel
flexibility. How far have we got compared with our competitors? “The market
seems very close to outsiders, but I would say we’re at least a step or two
ahead of our nearest competitors,” says Quaade. “If we compare the dual-fuel
technologies that are available, our system is much more flexible than the
rest.” MAN Energy Solutions quite recently demonstrated that methane and
ethane, two very different gases, can be burned on the same system without
hardware modifications. “We’re also leading the way with the LGIP, which uses
the same technology as the LGIM. These technologies are similar, so sooner or
later we’ll be able to integrate them in a single system,” Quaade predicts.
We have to constantly
search the horizon for new fuels. No one knows what the future will bring, so flexibility is essential.
The market is
currently demanding solutions for methane gas, ethane gas and methanol. But it
would be a mistake to focus exclusively on today’s competitive fuels. “We’ve
carried out case studies for a potential fuel – ammonia. We’re also
investigating water in methanol and pilot oil as a way of reducing emissions.
We have to constantly search the horizon for new fuels. No one knows what the future
will bring, so flexibility is essential,” says Peter Quaade in conclusion.
Link to LNG – the future is now
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