Marine diesel R&D delivers in Sweden
To many, the words 'marine diesel' are just a generic term for diesels engines for marine use, but MarineDiesel AB is a Swedish company that specialises in R&D for all manner of engineering requirements, writes Paul Lemmer.
From designing and manufacturing complete drive systems to converting 2-valve cylinder heads to more efficient 4-valve units, plus a number of marine conversions for automotive products, MarineDiesel is one of only a handful of companies worldwide that provide a complete service from the design stage, through rigorous dynamometer testing and finally to on-water proving trials.
MarineDiesel is based in Angleholm in southern Sweden, with a British division based in Southampton. Run by dedicated engineers with experience in big block petrol and diesel motors, the company's business portfolio is full of major car/marine engine manufacturers utilising their expertise. Since demand now exceeds 400 units per year, the company is expanding into new areas and anticipates doubling this number within the next 18 months.
There are two distinctly different ranges of motors currently available from MarineDiesel. The MD range are mechanically unmanaged 6.5 litre V8 diesels (as fitted in the Humvee truck) available in naturally aspirated or supercharged form, making them ideally suited to Africa and third world countries where they can run on poor quality fuel and be maintained by unskilled labour.
The newer VGT range is based upon the sophisticated compact GM Duramax 6.6 litre V8 turbodiesel engine, which is electronically managed to provide between 300 to 500 horsepower. Unlike many diesels, VGT (Variable Geometric Turbo) coupled to MD’s own management system, manifolds, intercoolers, etc, provides instant acceleration with class leading economy and power to weight ratio. With the combination of reliable American muscle and Swedish precision engineering, the MD range offers a new dimension in the established diesel engine market.
On a visit to Sweden last month, we were able to test a new VGT 450hp coupled to a Konrad duo-prop sterndrive fitted in a 9.5m Blue Spirit commercial RIB. We were not only impressed by the smooth,quiet running of the engine, we were seriously surprised at the instant acceleration and performance.
With the new directive in 2015 calling for all commercial/military craft to be free of petrol, MarineDiesel is also developing a 200hp a Kevlar belt driven diesel outboard motor that will perform, weigh and cost the same as a petrol equivalent, yet return outstanding economy and convenience due to the much easier availability of diesel fuel.
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