MAN Diesel & Turbo, Wärtsilä and Winterthur Gas & Diesel will collaborate on a new major, EU-funded project to develop basic technologies for use in 2 and 4-stroke marine engines.

The three year Hercules-2 project is aimed at fostering environmentally sustainable and more efficient marine engines. It is in line with general European Union policy and is partly funded by the EU.

The R&D efforts will focus on four main areas including the application of alternative fuels and the optimisation of fuel flexibility to facilitate seamless switching between different fuels.

It will also focus on the development of new materials to support high-temperature component applications and adaptive control methodologies to significantly improve an engine’s performance and achieve near-zero emissions.

Altogether, 32 marine industry partners from 11 different companies, 16 universities, and five research organisations are cooperating in this project, with NTU Athens as coordinator.

The project represents the follow-up phase of the Hercules R&D programme for large engine technologies, which was originally conceived in 2004 by MAN Diesel & Turbo and Wärtsilä.

By Anne-Marie Causer