“We need to offer innovation that really responds to customers most pressing needs, which is why we’re stepping up our promotion of VCM. We’ve seen very exciting results for gas power plant engines, where VCM has been generating fuel savings and increasing operational flexibility. A technology like this speaks to the increasing trend to explore dual-fuel options and create solutions for gas,” said Christoph Rofka, Senior General Manager for New Business, “These engines are also very similar to what you find on many ships, and we believe that VCM will very soon be highly relevant for and effective in the marine industry.”
Suboptimal air-fuel flow results in greater risk of engine knock, more polluted exhaust, and lower efficiency. Valve train systems are designed to ensure that air flows into and out of an engine’s cylinders at a more or less constant rate, thus allowing the engine to burn the fuel and power an engine. Generally, most valve train systems must be set for a particular engine load; they must be matched to a particular operating condition. They cannot switch flexibly from one load to another and so compromise on fully leveraging the engine’s full potential. Running an engine with this type of valve train system at a load other than what it was originally set to results in lower efficiency, smoke, and greater thermal load on the engine.
Valve Control Management is an intelligent valve train system that responds adaptively to change the timing in an engine’s valves so that an engine always receives an ideal amount of air. This technology thus manages transient behavior – i.e. changes in engine speed, load or both – so that engines can accelerate more rapidly from one load point to another. VCM optimizes the configuration of the engine for every load, allowing the engine to work as efficiently as possible. A turbocharging solution equipped with VCM can take an engine that is idling to full load in half the time that it normally takes – in some cases even more quickly.
Since VCM manages the amount of air supplied to the engine, thermal load and exhaust gas temperature are also reduced, which in turn makes various mechanical components more reliable and durable. This technology thus makes the environment cleaner by reducing smoke and toxic emissions in exhaust gas. When combined with ABB Turbocharging’s two-stage turbocharging solution, Power2®, VCM considerably improves the trade-off between NOx emissions and fuel consumption.
“In the next few years, the market is going to revolve around the issue of fuel and fuel flexibility – the option for both gas and diesel. With lean burn combustion solutions, if you burn gas instead of diesel, you reduce NOx by 85%. For the same power output with gas, you have 18% less CO2. And gas is also cheaper for the same amount of energy – in the US, for example, about a third less. In Asia, prices are expected to drop as well,” said Oliver Riemenschneider, Head of ABB Turbocharging. “We now expect big ships to be converted by 2020, because sulfur in exhaust is going to be regulated more stringently on these types of vessels very soon as well. So it’s NOx, it’s CO2, and it’s sulfur. And it’s money. Fuel and fuel flexibility go to the very heart of all those things, and VCM – particularly in combination with Power2 – speaks to all of those issues.”
ABB Turbocharging is at the helm of the global industry in the manufacture and maintenance of turbochargers for 500 kW to 80+ MW diesel and gas engines. Our leading-edge technology and innovation enables our customers to perform better and produce fewer emissions, even in the toughest terrains. Approximately 200,000 ABB turbochargers are in operation across the globe on ships, power stations, gen-sets, diesel locomotives and large, off-highway vehicles. We have over 100 Service Stations in 50 countries worldwide and a wide service portfolio that guarantees Original Parts and Original Service anytime, anywhere.
ABB (www.abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 145,000 people.