A new family of natural gas engines and gensets is being developed by Dresser-Rand
Part of Siemens’ Power and Gas division, Dresser-Rand is among the largest global suppliers of custom-engineered rotating equipment solutions for long-life, critical applications in the oil, gas, chemical, petrochemical, process, power, military, and other industries worldwide, including energy infrastructure.
Now, however, Dresser-Rand is developing a new family of high speed Guascor natural gas engines and generator sets for propulsion, generation and auxiliary power for the marine market. This new family of engines is being built at the company’s research and development centre in Miñano, Spain. The first applications for these machines are planned in European seas.
Because of recent emissions legislation for diesel engines, liquefied natural gas (LNG) is rapidly emerging as an alternative fuel for the maritime sector. LNG offers a promising solution to bring users into compliance with IMO Tier III NOx emissions limits. These limits are being implemented within emission control areas (ECAs) that include the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the East and West coasts of the USA and Canada. The introduction of more ECAs around the world is expected to generate greater interest in LNG.
The European Union is actively promoting the development of marine engines that can use LNG and is investing in the necessary infrastructure to transport and distribute the fuel. The stringent emissions requirements, together with the high availability and reliability that gas engines offer, make these units an acceptable choice for equipment operators.
Throughout the years, Guascor diesel engines have been supplied to fleets with propulsion and auxiliary equipment. These engines are known to comply with the most demanding emissions standards for use on fishing vessels, tugboats, research vessels, tankers, barges, cargo vessels, ferries, and dredgers.
Unlike diesel engines, however, gas engines emit no soot particles or sulphur oxides (SOx). They produce 80 per cent less NOx and 10 per cent fewer greenhouse gases. This meets emissions legislation requirements without the need for exhaust gas after treatment. Furthermore, gas engines emit less noise and fewer vibrations.
Among the industry challenges the development faces, of course, are high equipment costs because of stringent safety requirements, a relatively small target market and high component prices. In addition, the lack of bunkering facilities and the fact that regulations for LNG bunkering are still in process are also problematic.
The new Guascor gas engine marine series will feature 6-cylinder and 8-cylinder inline configurations and 12 and 16 cylinders in V. The series is available at 1,500 and 1,800 rpm with a 275 to 935 kWb (320 to 1,110 kVA) power range. The series, like other Guascor gas engines, are designed for high reliability and availability.
The current scenario is looking for co-operation with markets such as the USA and China to make the investment attractive enough for manufacturers and suppliers.
To comply with safety regulations, the engines will incorporate a knocking detection system and blow-by gas recirculation. These features are regulated by the Guascor engine control system, or GCS-e.
The new natural gas engine series will meet IMO Tier III emissions standards for diesel engines and will be marine classified by Bureau Veritas (BV).
Guascor engines is manufacturing a containerised genset that will be part of the Core LNGas Hive project, an industry initiative that is co-funded by the European Commission.
The objective of the project is to develop an integrated, safe and efficient logistics and supply chain for LNG as fuel in the transport sector, particularly maritime transport in the Iberian Peninsula. This will promote the use of this alternative fuel not only for ships but also in port areas. The project, led by the state ports and co-ordinated by Enagas, has 42 partners from Spain and Portugal, comprising eight public institutions, 13 port authorities and 21 companies in the industry including LNG suppliers and providers of various services within the value chain.