MAN expands reach in marine dual-fuel and hybrid technologies

By Becky Schultz05 October 2022

MAN Energy Solutions announced it has reached agreements with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH) for a dual-fuel retrofit and with Wider Yachts for a serial hybrid propulsion system. It also announced the signing of an agreement with global technology company ABB for development of next-generation a dual-fuel electric propulsion concept for LNG carriers. The moves mark further steps in delivering and expanding availability of decarbonizing marine solutions.

Bernd Siebert (left), head of retrofit & upgrades, pictured signing the MoU on behalf of MAN Energy Solutions, with Giovanni Canu, vice president, Energy Assets and Fleet Decarbonization, NCLH. (Photo: MAN Energy Solutions)

MAN Energy Solutions noted the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NCLH related to a project to retrofit its medium-speed 48/60 engine to make it capable of dual-fuel diesel/methanol operation. Methanol is quickly becoming a fuel option within the machine industry, said Bernd Siebert, head of retrofit & upgrades, MAN PriveServ, providing a clean, efficient and safe “future-fuel” on the path to decarbonization.

“This memorandum underlines our mutual commitment to reducing shipping’s environmental footprint and has the potential to show the way to net zero for not just the cruise segment, but the maritime transport industry as a whole,” he added.

The MoU provides for a multi-stage project with the third and final stage involving completion of field testing and engine hand over to NCLH for commercial operation.

Gen-sets enable hybrid propulsion

The company was also selected by Wider in Italy to provide two MAN 12V175D-MEV marine variable-speed gen-set engines rated 1860 kW each as part of a serial hybrid propulsion system for the new Moonflower 72 project. The 72m custom steel and aluminum “super yacht” will be equipped with the latest generation of hybrid propulsion system comprised of the gen-sets and a roughly 1 MW sodium nickel battery bank from FZSoNick.

In combination with the permanent magnet alternators providing electric power for a DC grid, the MAN 175D engines enable low fuel consumption at variable speed. They come in 12-, 16 and 20-cylinder variants with an output ranging from 1,500 to 4,400 kW. The engines for the Moonflower 72 project will be supplied along with SCR exhaust gas aftertreatment system, enabling the vessel to meet IMO Tier III emission standards.

Wider Yachts Moonflower 72 project The Moonflower 72 project will include provide two MAN 12V175D-MEV marine variable-speed gen-set engines rated 1860 kW. (Rendering: Nauta Design)

“The choice to equip the project with only two diesel generators gave us the possibility to optimize the space and the layout of the engine room without compromising performance and safety,” said Marcello Maggi, who heads W-Fin Sarl, the holding company that owns 100% of Wider’s equity. “In fact, the focus was to increase the global efficiency of the complete propulsion system and we believe that – with the combination of the Wider Management System, batteries and especially the MAN 175D engine – we have found the right balance. As such, this set-up has a further 7% optimization on the already excellent performances of previous Wider projects.”

Luciano Cardini, head of Wider Engineering, also noted the double shock-absorbing installation that cuts structural vibrations completely, the compact SCR system integrated into the exhaust system and a TBO of an amazing 30,000 hours in commenting on the order.

MAN Energy Solutions production facility in Denmark will deliver the engines to Wider in April 2023.

Cooperation on dual-fuel concept

In further news, MAN Energy Solutions has signed a Decarbonization Cooperation agreement with ABB regarding development of a next-generation Dual-Fuel, Electric+ (DFE+) propulsion concept for LNG carriers. The concept features the MAN 49/60DF engine, which debuted at SMM Hamburg, coupled with ABB’s Dynamic AC (DAC) technology.

Pictured: Stig Leira, Transformation Program Manager, ABB Marine & Ports; Rune Lysebo, Global Head of Sales, ABB Marine & Ports; Marita Krems, Vice President, Head of Four-Stroke Marine & License, MAN Energy Solutions; and Elvis Ettenhofer, Head of Marine Four-Stroke – Region Asia Pacific, MAN Energy Solutions. (Photo: MAN Energy Solutions)

The concept comprises variable-speed operating engines (gen-sets) over the full engine load and better efficiency with significant reduction of methane slip over the entire engine map, MAN Energy Solutions explained. ABB’s Dynamic AC technology enables the operation of propulsion systems above 10 mWe at variable speed with all the accompanying benefits. In combination with the second-generation, high-efficiency MAN 49/60DF engine (with ALSi – Air Lubrication System interface, as an add-on), the DFE+ concept will provide customers with enhanced efficiency and flexibility.

“Progressive regulations on emissions have called for continuous innovation in marine propulsion. To be truly future-proof, ships that are being built today need to be able to rely on flexibility in energy sourcing,” Rune Lysebo, global head of sales, ABB Marine & Ports, said. “The new power and propulsion system will be optimized for efficiency and compliance, and have the flexibility needed to achieve best performance.”

“This cooperation with ABB will deliver the technology necessary to provide a new propulsion concept. In turn, this will help our customers to reduce their CO2 footprint and fuel costs, and will provide the flexibility, for example, in operation for different trades or retrofits from an LNG carrier to floating storage units or floating storage regasification units,” said Elvis Ettenhofer, head of Marine Four-Stroke – Region Asia Pacific, MAN Energy Solutions. “This concept can reduce methane slip and fuel costs compared to conventional diesel electric propulsion systems. ABB’s DAC and global presence are an ideal match for our new four-stroke engine.”

The scope of the collaboration includes a joint concept study between the partners sharing technical data and discussing interfaces and system integration. MAN Energy Solutions and ABB intend to jointly promote the DFE+ propulsion concept to customers.

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