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Rolls-Royce Power Systems business unit to restructure its brands

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- current MTU companies will now include Rolls-Royce in their names
- MTU will remain brand name for products and solutions

Aug 7 | 5 min read

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The Rolls-Royce Power Systems business unit, with its core brand MTU, will present itself more clearly in future as an integral part of the British Rolls-Royce engineering group. A new brand architecture is currently evolving, which will be visibly implemented as of autumn with the launch of the new MTU website. The new, clear brand structure will support the PS 2030 strategy of the Power Systems business unit and the global growth path. Rolls-Royce will be the corporate brand and the employer brand. Consequently, the companies within the business unit that include MTU in their names will be given a new designation. MTU, as the brand name customers are familiar with, will continue to be used to identify the company’s products and solutions. The current MTU Onsite Energy brand for decentralised power supply systems will be integrated into MTU.

One of the first visible steps to be taken will be the renaming of four operating companies, which manufacture products and solutions: MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH will thus become Rolls-Royce Solutions GmbH in autumn 2019. This will be followed by MTU America Inc., which in future will operate as Rolls-Royce Solutions America Inc. Today’s MTU Onsite Energy GmbH in Augsburg will become Rolls-Royce Solutions Augsburg GmbH and MTU Onsite Energy Systems GmbH in Ruhstorf will be renamed Rolls-Royce Solutions Ruhstorf GmbH. The remaining subsidiaries will successively be given new designations based on the above examples. The products of Bergen Engines will also be part of the new brand architecture.

“The new brand architecture will provide clarity and improve the recognition of our company and its products,” said Andreas Schell, CEO Rolls-Royce Power Systems. “Our new profile is a clear commitment to Rolls-Royce, as its second largest business unit. By the same token, Rolls-Royce is committed to our MTU brand, which is something we are proud of,” Schell added.

The new brand profile will be visible with the launch of the MTU brand’s new website in autumn of this year. Additionally, company employees will be given e-mail addresses with the domain suffix @rolls-royce.com, plus new working clothes that will emphasise the affiliation of the MTU brand with Rolls-Royce.

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AUGUST 06, 20194 min reading

Almost ready to roll: 8-cylinder gas engine on the test stand

The new 8-cylinder MTU gas engine for marine applications has been humming away on Test Stand no. 146 in the new development test facility at MTU Plant 1 in Friedrichshafen since the beginning of June 2019

It is being put through its paces before the Constance Municipal Works (Stadtwerke Konstanz GmbH) will take delivery of it and a second example of these new engines at the end of the year. From 2020, the engines will be propelling a new ferry operated by Bodensee-Reederei which runs passenger services on Lake Constance. 

  • Engine technical characteristics

    The “little brother” of MTU’s already series production-ready 16V 4000 gas engine will be available with a power rating of between 750 and 1,000 kW. Starting in 2020, Rolls-Royce Power Systems and the Constance Municipal Works will be trialing two 746 kW engines in a new ferry set to ply the route between Constance and Meersburg. This will make it one of the first inland passenger vessels in Europe to be powered by high-speed pure gas engines. The fuel used is liquefied natural gas (LNG). 

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    From 2020, the engines will be propelling a new ferry operated by Bodensee-Reederei which runs passenger services on Lake Constance

    “We are very much looking forward to using the MTU gas engines from our long-standing partner Rolls-Royce Power Systems in this new addition to our fleet,” said Dr. Norbert Reuter, CEO of Stadtwerke Konstanz GmbH.

    Even without exhaust gas aftertreatment, the MTU mobile gas engine is already well below the thresholds stipulated by current emission guidelines (IMO III) – indeed, particulate mass is below the verification limit, and nitrogen oxide emissions are very low. 

  • Implementation experience

    MTU unveiled its mobile gas engines for marine propulsion back in September 2016, and meanwhile prototypes have successfully racked up well in excess of more than 8,000 hours on the test stand. 

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    The “little brother” of MTU’s already series production-ready 16V 4000 gas engine will be available with a power rating of between 750 and 1,000 kW.

    The first pre-production 16-cylinder engines were delivered at the end of 2017 to shipyard Strategic Marine in Vietnam which installed the engines in catamarans being built for Dutch shipping company Doeksen. 

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JULY 12, 201910 minutes reading

Rolls-Royce showcases forward-looking MTU Onsite Energy technologies for the reliable and sustainable power supply of the future

The future of a sustainable and reliable energy supply in times of climate change, decarbonisation and the energy transition was the main focus of the 3rd Power Generation Symposium, which has been arranged by the Rolls-Royce MTU Onsite Energy brand and will be held on 2 and 3 July in Friedrichshafen. 

Around 600 experts from the energy sector, including 400 MTU Onsite Energy customers, discussed strategies for handling growing energy demands in view of the urgent need for environmentally sound and climate-friendly solutions. Rolls-Royce is moving forward as a pioneer in sustainable power generation and, with its MTU Onsite Energy brand, offers forward-looking energy solutions, such as microgrids, CHP plants and emergency standby systems, that will safeguard the energy transition and secure an uninterruptible power supply. There were few live demonstrations of these solutions during the symposium.

  • Power generation sector

    The power generation sector is one of the most important markets for Rolls-Royce and in 2018 accounted for roughly 30 per cent of the total sales generated by the Power Systems business unit (Rolls-Royce Power Systems total revenue: 3,900 million euros). Under the MTU Onsite Energy brand, Rolls-Royce supplies cost-effective, reliable and environmentally friendly system solutions for the supply of energy covering a very wide range of applications. These include systems for emergency standby, baseload and peak load applications to high-performance cogeneration plants and microgrids.

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    Over past few years, symposium has become a key industry event and annually gathers recognized experts to discuss trends and challenges in global energy markets.

    The product portfolio also includes diesel gensets with outputs of up to 4,000 kVA, gas gensets delivering up to 2,500 kW of power and battery containers. This range of products is supplemented by medium-speed engines and generators for power generation to 11,600 kW. With gensets from MTU Onsite Energy, Rolls-Royce is one of the most important system partners for operators of data centres. The majority of the major Internet companies and collocation providers put their trust in MTU Online Energy emergency standby gensets to safeguard their data centres.

  • Main topics

    The main topics were environmentally sustainable, reliable and economical generator sets based on natural gas, biogas and diesel fuel with a unit capacity of more than 3 MW. High-capacity backup power systems that can cover the demand for industrial-scale loads, including data centers and microgrids, have become a separate important focus of Symposium.

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    Power Generation Symposiums have a long tradition at Rolls-Royce Power Systems: in the United States, the symposiums have been held every year since 2009, and in the course of the last 10 years around 4,000 energy experts have attended. In the Near East, similar events have already been held and an event is scheduled to take place in Asia in the year 2020. 

    MADEK specialists are always ready to advise how to provide installation and transfer of enterprise to energy sources running on natural gas or biogas, which will not only significantly save material resources, but also take care of the future environment.

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June 06, 20197 minutes reading

MTU Africa gives mining trucks a new lease on life

MTU Africa, a subsidiary of Rolls-Royce Power Systems, has already successfully retrofitted multiple mining trucks with MTU engines and has recently added another eight projects to the list, converting three Komatsu 960-2KT and five Hitachi EH3500-AC2 mining vehicles.

These were first-time retrofits on both types of vehicle. Last December and March of this year, staff from South Africa and Zambia worked on First Quantum Minerals’ Sentinel Mine in Zambia to repower the first of three 960-2KT Komatsu trucks. In the rebuild, a competitor engine that had reached the end of its service life was replaced by a new 20-cylinder Series 4000 engine. The third project is to follow in May. 

  • Results of pilot project

    The results of the first project once again confirm the classic virtues of MTU products: “all truck operators at the mine now prefer to drive the repowered truck”, which boasts outstandingly fast response characteristics at lower engine revolutions per minute. Other quintessential MTU strengths now gained by the repowering project are greater reliability and robustness, longer maintenance intervals and lower fuel consumption. The truck fleet used at the Sentinel mine includes not only the Komatsu trucks but eight Liebherr T284 mining trucks, also powered by MTU’s 20-cylinder Series 4000 units, and two LeTourneau front-end loaders. MTU Africa has excellent credentials in mine-truck repowering, especially on Komatsu vehicles, and has in the past retrofitted Komatsu 730E, 860E-1K and 930E-4 trucks with MTU Series 4000 engines. 

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    Repowering of a 960-2KT mining truck with a 20-cylinder Series 4000 engine. Each project confirms the outstanding strengths of this series, in particular in terms of excellent fuel consumption, performance, reliability and uptime, long maintenance cycles and customer service quality – all superb customer benefits.

    MTU Africa personnel were furthermore engaged by operator First Quantum in Zambia at its Kansanshi mine to replace the competitors engine of a Hitachi EH3500-AC2 mining truck with a MTU 12-cylinder Series 4000. The Kansanshi mine is the largest copper mine in Africa, and five trucks in total are to be repowered there over the next few months. The tried-and-trusted MTU 12-cylinder Series 4000 is already powering two of the Hitachi EH3500-AC3 trucks at the same mine

  • Over 800 Series 4000 retrofits worldwide

    It is always a compliment to MTU engines when they are retrofitted to mining trucks – especially when they replace other manufacturers' engines. Since the launch of the Series 2000 and Series 4000, they have been fitted to over 800 mine trucks as well as excavators, front-end loaders and surface blast hole drilling rigs worldwide, with the Series 4000 accounting for the lion's share. Each project confirms the outstanding strengths of this series, in particular in terms of excellent fuel consumption, performance, reliability and uptime, long maintenance cycles and customer service quality – all superb customer benefits. The engines used are always bang-up-to-date versions. One major driver of lower total cost of ownership is the excellent fuel consumption. “As consumption accounts for around 80 to 85% of TCO, this is a key purchasing criterion for many customers,” emphasized Robert Wagner, Senior Manager Mining /Oil & Gas in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Russia. 

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    Since the launch of the Series 2000 and Series 4000, they have been fitted to over 800 mine trucks as well as excavators, front-end loaders and surface blast hole drilling rigs worldwide, with the Series 4000 accounting for the lion's share. Last December and March of this year, MTU Africa staff repowered 960-2KT Komatsu trucks.

    Mine trucks usually need new engines after three to five years. Rolls-Royce Power Systems supplies what it calls Repower Kits for this purpose. These are pre-assembled drive modules consisting of an engine, a generator and a radiator all mounted on a base frame. They also come with an electronic engine management and monitoring system. MTU engineers are happy and skilled to the task to tailor-made technical adjustments where necessary.

    Across the world, the most potential for repowering with the Series 4000 can be found in Russia, the US, Australia, Chile, Peru, Africa and China. As one of the latest developments in Europe, the company is currently opening up markets in Bulgaria and Serbia.

    MTU’s extensive experience in equipping dump trucks and exceptionally high qualification of the company's engineers are trusted all over the world. The largest dump truck in the world with a carrying capacity of 450 tons - the BelAZ-75710 - is equipped with two 16-cylinder diesel generators MTU DD 16V4000. This engine model has proven itself so well that BelAZ plans expansion of foreign markets in this particular configuration. Also companies are negotiating the development and implementation of innovative solutions, for example, the use of gas piston engines on BelAZ dump trucks. These trucks will be very beneficial to use in areas rich in natural gas.

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Sustainable energy supply in the mining industry - Rolls-Royce Power Systems offers microgrid solutions from MTU Onsite Energy


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May 07, 2019

5 min read

Rolls-Royce Power Systems is expanding its portfolio of energy systems with the addition of microgrid solutions for mines from MTU Onsite Energy. This means that mine operators will now be offered a sustainable energy supply system that can be operated in remote regions independently of public power grids. The solutions combine renewable energy sources with a battery storage system and both diesel and gas generator sets, in addition to a central controller to ensure that the mine’s entire demand for electricity is made available in a reliable and efficient manner, and one that is friendly to the environment.
Besides diesel and gas generator sets from MTU Onsite Energy, the solutions offered by Rolls-Royce Power Systems also include battery containers combined with photovoltaic and wind power plants in microgrids. The modular designed 40-feet MTUEnergyPack is entirely new on the market. It stores electricity from any source – ready to deliver at the flick of a switch. Peak Power: 2,515 kW (DC)/ 2,475 kVA (AC); Nominal Capacity Range: 700 - 1,260 kWh 
SUSTAINABLE, EFFICIENT AND RELIABLE - ENERGY SUPPLY REQUIREMENTS IN MINES
“For mine operators, energy costs, which account on average for 15 % of the overall operating costs of mine, are a key factor,” Lars Kräft, Vice President Industrial Business at Rolls-Royce Power Systems, explains. “And with a demand for electric power of 50 to 100 MW per mine, sustainability, efficiency and the reliability of the energy supply are now becoming increasingly important in the industry. We have identified our customers’ needs and, with our microgrid systems, are now offering them a solution tailored to their specific requirements,” he adds.

RENEWABLE ENERGIES, BATTERY CONTAINERS, DIESEL AND GAS GENERATOR SETS COMBINED TO PERFECTION
Besides diesel and gas generator sets from MTU Onsite Energy, the solutions offered by Rolls-Royce Power Systems also include battery containers combined with photovoltaic and wind power plants in autonomous power grids. All the components are connected to each other via a smart energy management system, which optimises the way in which the energy is used both technically and commercially. Any excess renewable energy can be stored in the batteries and then made available whenever it is needed. At the same time, fluctuations in power generated from renewable energy sources due to weather conditions and the time of day are compensated for with reliable diesel and gas generator sets, in addition to battery storage systems. The system is thus designed to provide a stable power supply at all times – even when the demand for electric power is high and when systems are required to operate around the clock.

DECARBONISATION AND COST REDUCTION WITH RENEWABLES
Using renewable energies and the associated benefits of carbonisation means that mine operators can make considerable progress in achieving a significantly more sustainable energy supply, which also benefits their stakeholders, such as investors or communities located close to the mine. Due to the integration of renewable energies and the smart networking of all components, there is a significant cost benefit to mine operators. Fuel costs can be reduced for example, in addition to the saving of costs required for connecting mines to the power grids. 

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March 27, 201910 min reading

What will be in tomorrow’s tanks?

Hydrogen, methane, methanol, DME, OME, synthetic diesel – when it comes to combustible fuels we are spoilt for choice. But which of them offers the best prospects for the future? R&D specialists at MTU are currently working on a range of projects to establish which fuels are most economical and efficient and what the best engines for them will be.

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reads like a final warning: This late in the day, climate targets agreed upon internationally are going to prove very difficult to achieve and they will only be achievable at all if we act with unswerving determination. And those determined efforts must include the decision to say goodbye to fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas because burning these resources has been a major factor in the increase of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.

  • A future fueled by hydrogen and methane? 

    The future lies with synthetically produced fuels that offer clean and climate-neutral combustion overall. One such fuel is hydrogen that can be produced from renewable energy sources using electricity. It can either be used directly or synthesized into methane using carbon dioxide. The big advantage of hydrogen and of synthetic methane is that they produce no, or at least significantly less, polluting emissions during combustion. In addition, they can also be produced using electricity generated by wind power and photovoltaic installations. However, if not used immediately, this power has so far proved difficult to store. This explains why, on especially sunny or windy days, there is often more power available than consumers need. An alternative way of storing that energy is to use it to produce fuel – that means transforming electrical energy into energy for powering engines.

    How does electric power become fuel?
    Engine specialists have taken this line of thought a step further because methanol can be derived from methane and, as a liquid fuel, it is much easier to store. The benefits of methanol are especially obvious for marine applications. “Until now, LNG (liquefied natural gas) has been seen as a possible future fuel for ships. But LNG can only be transported and stored in high-pressure tanks or at temperatures of minus 164°. It is difficult to maintain such temperatures over longer periods of time,” explained Dr Peter Riegger, MTU Director Research & Technology. Methanol could provide an alternative because, unlike LNG, it does not require complex infrastructural storage facilities and can therefore be integrated much more easily in marine vessels.

    But methanol is not the ultimate step in the ongoing fuel development process. Methanol can be used to produce diesel alternatives such as DME and OME. These are synthetic fuels that could also be used in slightly modified diesel engines. In this context, Fischer-Tropsch synthesis processes can also be used to synthetically produce diesel fuel that fully conforms to standards.

    The main question currently facing MTU specialists is which fuel is most likely to prove most economic and most energy-efficient in the future. “If we use hydrogen to produce methane or methanol, then we lose energy in the process,” said Riegger. “Despite that, methanol could still prove to be the fuel of the future, particularly in marine applications because it is relatively simple to store and handle,” he added. However, the situation looks rather different when it comes to stationary engines for generating electricity. Here, infrastructure is by no means as important because existing natural gas grids can be extended. Consequently, for this scenario, hydrogen presents a more promising alternative.

    “I believe that we will rely on a range of different fuels in future. Sole reliance on a single fuel is not a likely option,” said Riegger. 

  • MTU projects to develop environmental friendly gas engines

    Headed jointly by MTU and the DVGW (German Technical and Scientific Association for Gas & Water) Research Unit at the Engler-Bunte Institute of the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology, the ‘MethQuest Project’ currently involves 27 partners who are working on methods of generating fuels from renewable energy sources for use in engines. One area of their activities involves MTU researchers looking at two new engine concepts for marine applications. “We are working on two different projects. One focuses on an Otto engine concept and the other involves a flexible-fuel engine concept with direct injection,” explained project leader, Dr Manuel Boog. 

    Fuel development chain
    Otto engines have been around for a long time because it is easy to burn gas in Otto engines. The problem with this concept is that the gas is never entirely combusted and uncombusted methane can escape. The phenomenon is called ‘methane slip’. “Methane is more damaging to the atmosphere than CO2. Consequently, the potential of gas engines to achieve substantial reductions in greenhouse gases is not exploited,” said Boog. One of the aims of the MethQuest Project is to develop a ‘methane oxicat’ (catalytic converter) to neutralize the negative effects of methane. The problem is that methane requires high temperatures for oxidation in the exhaust gas tract. In the engine, such temperatures are only present upstream of the turbocharger turbine. The catalytic converter therefore needs to be located here. However, this has a seriously negative influence on engine dynamics and MTU engineers are therefore working on an electrically assisted turbocharging concept that will counteract these disadvantages. 

    Gas engine with no methane slip
    The second gas-engine concept under investigation for marine applications, the flexible-fuel, direct-injection concept, involves the development of a completely new combustion process. “Here, just like in a diesel engine, the air is first compressed in the combustion chamber. The main source of energy, gas, is then introduced and a small quantity of diesel is injected at the same time to ignite the gas,” explained Boog. The advantage of this process is that the gas is almost entirely combusted and the unwanted occurrence of methane slip remains negligible. “We have already demonstrated that this combustion process works in a different, publicly sponsored project called ‘FlexDi’,” added Boog. The concept has the additional benefit that the combustion process involved also means that methanol can be used to power engines without complications. One of the challenges remaining to be solved here is the development of a suitable high-pressure gas system as the injection concept means the gas needs to be highly compressed and heated for injection.

    “We will run trials with both concepts and the pressurized gas supply system and will then decide which is the most promising for further development in the context of the drive system overall,” said Boog. Both concepts aim to produce engines that deliver comparable power and performance to diesels but with a significant reduction in environmentally negative emissions.

    Hydrogen and the combustion engine
    In the context of the ‘MethPower’ research project, MTU is also working on the development of engine concepts for stationary gas engines. “We want to establish which engine will allow us to generate electricity most efficiently,” said Project Leader Dr Michael Thoma. This project also involves the development of two engine concepts that will ultimately be compared with each other. One is a hydrogen-powered engine. “Hydrogen can be produced from superfluous electric power by electrolysis. It therefore makes sense to use it in our engines,” explained Thoma. Just as with the natural gas engine, the MethPower Project employs the combustion of hydrogen using the Otto process. A spark plug is used to ignite the hydrogen/air mixture. However, hydrogen burns much faster than natural gas. “That is a challenge we will deal with over the coming months,” declared Thoma.

    Power-to-gas
    Together with its other aims, the MethPower Project is working on the continued development of an engine that will run on natural gas and/or methane. “The MTU portfolio has included these engines for quite some time. What we are now seeking is to incorporate the engine in a system based on fuel generation and exhaust gas utilization,” said Thoma. The CO2 generated during combustion could be extracted directly from the engine exhaust and this CO2 could be used to produce new methane. “The idea is particularly interesting in the context of microgrids,” said Thoma. In this configuration, the gas engine is integrated in a network of power generators and storage devices. The network could be extended by including a ‘power-to-gas’ installation that would reduce the battery requirement. “The power-to-gas installation would work in conjunction with a gas storage vessel, like a large battery. It would use renewable electrical energy to produce methane that could be converted back to electricity if required whenever no sun or no wind is available,” explained Thoma.

    At the end of the process, R&D specialists will have to decide which concept will provide the best balance between energy generation and energy consumption and thus deliver the greatest efficiency.

    Solutions for the future
    Synthetic fuels and new engine concepts all have one thing in common – they all make a major contribution to minimizing CO2 emissions and promoting moves toward the more responsible use of energy. “That is our aim and our duty as a responsible company. We aim to develop drive solutions for the future and we commit to playing an active role in that process,” said Dr Peter Riegger in summary.

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How do gas engines differ from diesel engines?


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March 15, 2019

7 min reading

Gas engines are increasingly taking the place of diesels in a range of areas including off-highway applications. Both types of engine deliver similar performance but gas engines emit less CO2 during the combustion process. 
So, what precisely are the differences between the two?
TURBOCHARGERSThe turbochargers used on diesel engines and mobile gas engines are virtually identical. They both feed the engine with the air (and, therefore, oxygen) it needs for combustion. On stationary gas units, the turbocharger has to process both the air and the entire volume of the gas/air mixture and in stationary genset applications, turbochargers are optimized to match full-load conditions because these engines generally operate at full-load.
MIXTURE COOLINGDiesel engines have charge-air coolers that cool the air heated in the compressor before it enters the combustion chamber. On gas engines, this function is performed by the mixture cooler. Depending on the application in question, the gas/air mixture is cooled in two stages to around 50 to 60°С before passing on to the combustion chamber. The thermal energy extracted during the cooling process can be decoupled from the system and fed into a heating system, for example.
FUEL MIXTUREIn diesel engines, air is sucked into the combustion chamber where it is compressed to levels that raise its temperature as high as 700°С. Injectors then introduce diesel fuel that ignites in the hot air. In stationary gas engines, the air is mixed with fuel gas before it passes through the turbocharger and mixture cooler to the combustion chamber. Mobile gas engines utilize multi-point injection systems. Here, air is routed to the cylinder and gas is introduced just before it enters the combustion chamber. This means that the volume of gas can be flexibly regulated dependidng on the power required.
IGNITIONThe most obvious difference between diesel and gas engines can be found in the ignition systems. Diesels are self-igniting engines in which high levels of compression cause the diesel/air mixture to ignite spontaneously. Like gasoline-fueled engines, gas engines use a spark generated by a spark plug to ignite the gas/air mixture (the illustration shows the spark plug connectors and cables leading to the cylinder head cover). Diesel injection systems and extraneous ignition systems on gas engines both need suitable control concepts that determine factors such as, for example, injection timing and duration (diesels) or inginition point and energy (gas).
KNOCK CONTROLDiesel fuels adhere to precise specifications and deliver highly consistent levels of quality for efficient engine set-up. However, the constituents in gaseous fuels vary and this affects combustion. For example, different gases have different methane numbers (similar to octane ratings for gasoline) that indicate the proportional mixture of an equivalent fuel consisting of methane and hydrogen. If the methane number is too low, inefficient spark ignition and other uncontrolled combustion processes can occur in the combustion chamber. These generate `engine knock` and gas engines need to be controlled to deal with the phenomenon. Stationary gas engines use vibration sensors to identify knock whilst pressure sensors do the same on mobile gas engines. Consequently, ignition timing is adjusted as an initial reaction and engine power can be reduced as a second step. In extrem cases, the engine can be shut down to prevent damage.
TROTTLE FLAPSOn both diesels and mobile gas units the formation of the fuel mixture is controlled flexibly for each ignition sequence in order to influence engine power. Stationary gas engines use a premixed gas/air mixture that remains constant and engine power is influenced by using throttle flaps to regulate the flow of the mixture. Mobile gas engines also have throttle flaps but these regulate the pressure of the mixture entering the cylinder.