Collector time | Wärtsilä W34DF software upgrade reduces GHG emissions by up to 50% depending on engine load


Tech company Wärtsilä has developed a control software upgrade for its W34DFB engine variants that can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 50% depending on engine load, says she.

The engine features a dual fuel function that allows vessels to seamlessly switch between conventional liquid fuels and liquefied natural gas (LNG) without affecting horsepower or speed.

“Wärtsilä is constantly working on the development of new emission reduction technologies that can also be applied to our existing engine portfolio,” says Marko Huhmarsalo, Senior Product Manager, W32 / W34 Platform Engines, Wärtsilä Finland.

“The Wärtsilä 34DF is already a very fuel efficient engine and IMO Tier III compliant. For vessels operating at constant speeds, this upgrade not only reduces total hydrocarbon (THC) emissions, but also improves the efficiency of gas consumption, achieving efficiency gains of 2.5%. at 100% load.

The upgrade, which is based on Wärtsilä’s adaptive combustion phase control technology, works by slightly reducing the engine’s charge air pressure and lambda – the air-fuel ratio in the combustion chamber – in order to reduce emissions of unburned THC, often referred to as methane slip.

It is Engine International Air Pollution Prevention (EIAPP) certified and has been approved by major classification societies.

As an option, Wärtsilä can also provide emissions measurements before and after the upgrade to demonstrate the reductions achieved.

Implementing the upgrade involves having a Wärtsilä technician come aboard the ship for a day or two to install the new software module.

The engine should be taken offline only during the upgrade installation, after which the technician remains on board to monitor engine performance at different loads.

“Behind this upgrade are many years of software development, lab testing and field validation, so customers using the Wärtsilä 34DF can be assured that the benefits we promise will be delivered” , said Huhmarsalo.

“Each upgrade package is pre-configured by our technical experts according to the type of vessel’s engine and the vessel’s operational profile.

“While this upgrade of course involves an initial financial outlay for the customer, the return on investment comes in the form of an increased ability to secure new business for a vessel based on its environmental performance.

“For ships operating in areas subject to increasingly stringent environmental legislation, the challenge is now less to find ways to operate as economically as possible and more to reduce emissions to ensure sustainable operations. long term.”

Photo credit: Wärtsilä
Posted: January 4, 2021

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