Dual-fuel Engines for LNG carrier
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Dual-fuel Engines for LNG carrier


Wärtsilä Corporation has been awarded a contract by the French shipbuilder Chantiers de l'Atlantique to supply dual-fuel main engines for a new 153,000m3 LNG carrier. The vessel will have gas-electric propulsion, with four dual-fuel engines driving generators to supply electricity for the single propeller plant. The engines will burn boil-off cargo gas with a small quantity of liquid fuel for ignition. They will mainly run on gas with liquid fuel as back-up, and can be switched over automatically as the need arises.

There will be three 12V50DF engines and a single 6L50DF engine. Their combined output is 38.5 MW, with the 12-cylinder engines each developing 11400 kW at 500 rpm and the six-cylinder engine 5700 kW at the same speed. Whilst making maximum use of the gas fuel (boil-off from the cargo of liquefied natural gas) to develop useful power, 50DF engines have much lower fuel consumption overall and thus lower operating costs than the conventional steam turbine plant. The engines also have substantially lower stack emissions than a steam plant. Their NOx emissions are about one-tenth those of the equivalent diesel engines and CO2 emissions are also reduced.

Developed from Wärtsilä's type 46 diesel engines, the 50DF engines have cylinder dimensions of 500 mm bore by 580 mm piston stroke. Available in configurations with six, eight and nine cylinders in line, and 12, 16 and 18 cylinders Vee-form, the engines develop 950 kW per cylinder MCR at 500 rev/min. Gas fuel is supplied at a low pressure (less than five bar) to the engines. In gas mode, the engines operate according to the lean-burn Otto process. Gas is admitted into the air inlet channels of the individual cylinders during the intake stroke to give a lean, premixed air-gas mixture in the engine combustion chambers. Reliable ignition is obtained by injecting a small quantity of diesel oil directly into the combustion chambers as pilot fuel, which ignites by compression ignition as in a conventional diesel engine.


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