Air Pollution Control Equipment Services, Emissions

Rolls-Royce launches its most powerful gas engine

10 November 2003 – Rolls-Royce on Thursday officially launched its most powerful medium speed reciprocating gas engine, the B-gas, at a district heating power station at Torring in Denmark.

Designed and manufactured at the Rolls-Royce Bergen facility in Norway, the new engine is the world’s most powerful spark-ignited gas engine, with the 20-cylinder version producing 8500 kilowatts of electrical power.

It also marks a major move by the company into the heavyweight division of the reciprocating engine market. Weighing around 55 tons for the 12-cylinder engine, or 80 tons for the 20-cylinder version, the B-gas is also the largest engine, gas turbine or reciprocating, manufactured by Rolls-Royce.

With an efficiency of 46 per cent, the engine is also considerate to the environment; valuations showing that the spark-ignited, lean-burn, pre-chamber technology used by Rolls-Royce in the new engine provides the best overall combination of high efficiency and low emissions.

Steinar Hansen, VP Sales and Marketing in Bergen, said today: “For the operator, the new power plant will mean more power and greater cost effectiveness than anything else of its type on the market. It is set to exploit the growing demand from power station operators for larger output reciprocating power units that can operate profitably. It combines high-technology innovation with easily serviceable components.”

Design work began in Norway in Spring 2002 and just over 17 months later the engine was delivered to the power station in Denmark operated by Torring Kraftvarmeverk A.m.b.a, who had entered into discussions with Rolls-Royce to upgrade the power of their single Rolls-Royce K-gas engine power station at the same time as the Bergen engineers were starting to develop the new engine.

“We were fortunate to have a client like Torring who decided to come on board during the development phase by ordering the first of this new engine type while it was still on the drawing board,” said Steinar Hansen.

The gas engine is based on the company’s existing B-diesel engine, but with new design in areas such as the engine block, where integrated fluid channels have replaced pipes. The crankshaft, cylinder heads, charge-air module and exhaust system are all tailored specially for the new design.

Before installation at Torring, mechanical, thermal, emission and performance related validation programmes were run at the Rolls-Royce plant in Bergen with extremely good results. In particular, the engine was run at very high ratings with absolute ease. Also, emissions and efficiency data were better than expected.

Designed in Vee configuration the engine will be available in 12, 16 and 20 cylinder versions, with power ratings from 4500 to 8500 kilowatts.