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 organizations are co-operating on the project, with NTU Athens acting as co-ordinator.
The R&D efforts of the three-year project will focus on four main areas: the application of alternative fuels and the optimization 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 achieving 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.