The 8th CIMAC CASCADES seminar was an event for young engineers held in Helsinki between 4-5 May 2017. The main subject for the two-day event was “Smart, Clean and Efficient Energy Conversion Solutions”. The seminar program was divided in four technical sessions: (I) New Engine Concepts and Fuels, (II) Heat and Power Production, (III) Maintenance and (IV) Emissions.
On the opening day, CIMAC board member Ilari Kallio, Vice President of R&D - Wärtsilä, warmly welcomed the audience with a welcome address, where he talked about some of the current challenges faced by the industry today. Kallio mentioned to the audience about the negative image diesel technology has gained lately and explained how the energy markets are currently developing around them. Despite the downsides, Kallio underlined that new technologies such as renewable fuels, digitalisation and autonomous vehicle operation systems will overturn the negatives and advance the industry to a new and improved normal.
Jesper Enström, a young performance expert from Wärtsilä opened the first technical session with “The most efficient 4-stroke engine in the world - Wärtsilä 31”. Enström introduced the new technology used in the highly efficient marine application - a flexible and robust engine that meets the highest emission legislations norms as well as efficiency and performance expectations. According to Enström, the Wärtsilä 31 diesel version is equipped with a twin-needle injector, variable intake and exhaust valve closing, a 2-staged turbocharging and a modern in house developed common rail system. These properties have enabled the engine parameters to be optimizable for improving the NOx-BSFC trade off without having adverse effects on particulate formation. In session I, research manager Pekka Nousiainen from AGCO Power spoke about “Stage V requirements for off-road engines”, Neste Team Leader Teemu Sarjovaara about “Low-Sulphur Marine Fuel Oils” and Aalto University Assistant Professor Ville Vuorinen concerning “Computational research methods for increased fuel flexibility?”.
The second day was opened by Dr. Jan Zelenka from the Technical University Graz with a keynote speech titled “Meeting the challenges for Tomorrow’s Power Generation Using Variable Intake Valve Train for Gas Engines”. Zelenka introduced the benefits of Valve Control Management (VCM) for future gas powered applications. According to him, the central challenges in high efficient gas power plants are the large variety of natural gas quality and the increasing need of variable load transient operation conditions. The VCM system is a key feature for flexibly in controlling the gas exchange and pumping work. Zelenka explained that despite VCM-systems in multi-cylinder purposes being an expensive investment (one unit per cylinder), the increased efficiency through improved flexibility, broader knock margin and optimized valve controlling (optimized miller timing) pays back in the form of savings in fuel costs.
Session II started with “Waste heat recovery of combustion engines using ORC: potential and testing” by Dr. Antti Uusitalo from Lappeenranta University of Technology. Uusitalo explained their experiments concerning heat recovery using Organic Rankin Cycle (ORC) and that an engine efficiency increase up to 10% is achievable through applying ORC.
The second speaker of session II, Ville Kumlander, University of Vaasa, talked about “Decoupling of heat and power production in engine-driven CHP plants”. Kumlander introduced his thesis concerning different techniques to decouple energy capacitors with modern power plants. Decoupling of energy capacitors allows power plants to store energy in the form of heat or electricity, improving the profitability and flexibility of energy conversion.
Session III included “New and modified bearing surface layers incorporating interaction with lubricants for friction reduction in engine crank trains” by Johannes Reisenberg, Simulation engineer, Miba Gleitlager Austria GmbH and “Static gaskets in engine industry - sealing solutions” by Eselalo Ampofo, Sales Manager, TT Gaskets. Both speakers presented highly technical information concerning their research. Reisenberg referred that bearing sensors are currently under investigation and will most likely improve defining bearing wear and maintenance intervals. Esealalo on the other hand stated that gaskets would not need sensor technology and monitoring in the future. Esealalo commented additionally, that gasket production through 3D printing is a promising field and might be possible within a few years.
The presentations of session IV were related to exhaust after treatment and emission control. Päivi Aakko-Saksa, Principal Scientist from VTT - Technical Research Centre of Finland analyzed different methods for monitoring black carbon (BC) in marine applications. Johannes Konrad from Vienna University of Technology presented about “Decrease NOx-emissions and Increase Efficiency: Cylinder Cut-out in a Maritime Dual Fuel engine”, where an engine operation with deactivated cylinders in part and low load was analyzed. He showed an increase in brake efficiency of more than 4% and decrease of NO emissions by nearly 50% and stated that cylinder cut-out is a valuable method to reduce the fuel expenses and minimize the environmental impact.
Other presentations in session IV were: “Challenges of real emission measurements of non-road mobile machines” by Professor Seppo Tikkanen, Tampere University of technology, and “Marine emission control with UAV platforms” by Matti Irjala.
The CASCADES seminar was concluded with the CASCADES award to the best presentation and closing remarks by Robert Ollus from Wärtsilä. Ville Kumlander from University of Vaasa was awarded as the best young presenter of 8th CIMAC Cascades 2017. Ollus closed the seminar by reminding that the future of environmental sustainability depends on the current crop of young engineers and encouraged them to be adventurous and enterprising in their efforts towards this universal goal.