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Feature 2 | PASSENGER AND FREIGHT FERRIES MTU power in efficiency drive


Te power-to-weight ratio of propulsion machinery is a crucial consideration for high-speed ferries, of course, although users’ increasing sensitivity to fuel costs means that high performance, compact plant also has to demonstrate comparative efficiency, writes David Tinsley.


range, has found growing favour since the debut application in Lineas Fred Olsen’s 127m trimaran ferry Benchijigua Express. Te seminal vessel was built by Austal Ships and delivered into the Canary Islands traffic during 2005. Te accumulated running hours and


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service record from that and subsequent installations over the past five years has strengthened the hand of the MTU marketeers. Another factor influencing 20V8000 selection by operators, as in the case of Virtu Ferries’ new 107m catamaran, is fuel consumption. Te population of engines already in service has returned fuel consumption figures of under 190 grams per kilowatt-hour (g/kWh). Compared with the 8200kW obtained


from the engine in the M70L version of the original M70 series, the follow-on M71 generation of 20V8000 engine gives a maximum continuous output of 9100kW, at the same running speed of 1150rev/min. At the time, the all-diesel, four-engine


solution based on the Series 8000 enabled Fred Olsen to meet its higher power and all-weather scheduling dependability criteria without having to adopt gas turbine technology. Te engine design employs common-rail fuel injection, sequential turbo-charging and advanced electronics, all contributing to reduced unit fuel consumption, improved performance and lessened environmental impact in terms of both emissions and noise. With an average pressure of 27.3bar


at maximum power, the Series 8000 uses high-performance turbochargers and sequential turbo-charging, developed in-house by MTU and producing a broad power band and consequently enhanced acceleration properties. More turbocharger boost pressure and more air, combined with the common-rail system,


96 MTU’s top-of-the-range 20V8000 M71L engine, with a maximum output of 9100kW.


bear on improved fuel consumption and exhaust emission figures relative to conventional arrangements, especially at mid-range power outputs. As one of the largest catamarans ever


built for service in European waters, the recently-commissioned, twin aluminium- hulled Jean de la Valetta has provided a new showcase for the Series 8000. Virtu Ferries’ fleet addition has been phased in to replace another, earlier Austal- built catamaran, the 68m Maria Dolores, on the Malta/Sicily route. Designed to convey 800 passengers and 230 cars at a speed of approximately 39knots, the new Auto Express 107-type vessel ranks among the largest aluminium catamarans in the European market. In a bold move, Austal Ships initiated


construction of a 102m derivative of the 127m trimaran Benchijigua Express to its


own account. Tat vessel has completed sea trials, and is now available for sale, awaiting only final customisation to a buyer’s requirements. While the selection of 20V8000 primary power is a further endorsement of the design’s perceived benefits, the installation in the latest trimaran has added significance for being based on three engines, rather than four. A three-engine layout has been chosen


primarily so as to save weight compared to the four-engine concept, which will mean lower fuel and maintenance costs. With a power concentration of 27,300kW from the three 9100kW prime movers, and the potential to make 40knots, it is claimed that the 102m trimaran will achieve lower fuel consumption than other high-speed craft with similar installed power when operating at the same speeds. NA


The Naval Architect September 2010


TU’s 20-cylinder Series 8000 design, the most potent engine in the German producer’s


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