New mtu Series 4000 for military ship propulsion: even more powerful and resilient to shocks

Posted on October 23, 2006

At the “Euronaval” in Paris (October 23-27, 2006), MTU Friedrichshafen is unveiling its new generation of diesel engines for ships: the successful Series 4000 for military ship propulsion.

Images [1 Files, 1005 KB]

  • Series 4000 ship engines with 12, 16 or 20 cylinders are even more powerful than predecessor models
  • The latest NATO standards for acoustical, shock and electromagnetic compatibility are fulfilled
  • mtu Executive Vice President Engineering and Operations Dr. Gerd-Michael Wolters: “Ten years’ experience with the successful Series 4000 resulted in the next-generation common-rail system”

Friedrichshafen/Paris. At the “Euronaval” in Paris (October 23-27, 2006), MTU Friedrichshafen is unveiling its new generation of diesel engines for ships: the successful Series 4000 for military ship propulsion. These new ship engines are even cleaner and more powerful than their predecessors.

The new Series 4000 is based on ten years’ experience with the prior generation, which has meanwhile clocked up several million operating hours at sea. The new Series 4000 engines comply with the stricter US emission limits of EPA Tier 2, which above all prescribe significant reductions in nitrogen-oxide levels. In addition, the properties of shock resistance, electromagnetic compatibility and low acoustic signatures have been improved to fulfill the utmost military requirements such as the latest NATO standards.

12, 16 & 20-cylinder Series 4000 marine engines even more powerful than their predecessors

The lower pollutant emissions from mtu’s Series 4000 units are not achieved at the expense of reduced power. Quite the opposite: Per cylinder performance has risen by more than 26 percent from 170 kW to 215 kW at a rated speed of 2,170 rpm. The total power of the 12-cylinder engine has thus increased from 2,040 kW to 2,580 kW whilst the 16-cylinder unit has risen from 2,720 to 3,440 kW. New in mtu’s marine applications range is a 20-cylinder version of the Series 4000; this engine generates up to 4,300 kW. And despite the reduction in emissions, fuel consumption has also been slightly reduced.

As replacements for the older and larger mtu 595 Series, the new Series 4000 engines represent a significant fuel reduction. Replacing a 12-cylinder Series 595 unit generating 3,240 kW with a new Series 4000 16-cylinder marine unit delivering 3,440 kW produces a fuel saving of around 10%. The same fuel reduction also results from replacing a Series 595,16-cylinder marine diesel (4,320 kW power) with a 20-cylinder Series 4000 marine diesel (4,300 kW).

Apart from fuel advantages, the decision to switch engines and engine series also means additional benefits such as space in the engine room. Whilst the two engines are otherwise comparable in size, the new Series 4000 unit is around half a meter lower and approximately one and a half tons lighter. Because compliance with exhaust emission specifications has been achieved without exhaust aftertreatment and the additional sub-assemblies that go with it, the new engine will fit the same footprint as its predecessor. Even the 595 interfaces remain similar, so that engine exchange is possible - whether the conversion is from Series 595 or an older Series 4000 unit to the new 4000 marine engine. Reduced dimensions together with increased performance mean the new mtu engines are extremely compact in relation to power.

The latest NATO standards for acoustic, shock and electromagnetic compatibility are fulfilled

The new series was specifically developed right from the start to fulfill the requirements for military ship propulsion. Various component calculations have shown that the Series 4000 complies with the latest NATO standards in terms of shock, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and low acoustical signatures. The modular design of the new Series 4000 allows flexible engine configuration depending on customer requirements. The range of application for the new Series 4000 engines thus spreads from simple patrol boats to sophisticated corvettes.

mtu Executive Vice President, Engineering & Operations, Dr Gerd-Michael Wolters: “We have consistently extended our technological supremacy”

These outstanding performance figures have been made possible by the consistent, ongoing in-house development of the key technologies injection, turbocharging and electronics which has always been part of mtu’s approach. “MTU Friedrichshafen was the first manufacturer of large diesel engines to use Common Rail injection technology”, explained Dr Gerd-Michael Wolters, mtu Executive Vice President, Engineering & Operations, who introduced the high-performance injection system on mtu’s Series 4000 engines ten years ago. “We are not resting on the laurels we have earned from our ten years of experience with Common Rail technology. Instead we have used our technological lead for consistent further development of the injection system”, said Dr Wolters. “The result is the Common Rail system of the next generation which utilizes a high-pressure in-line pump and LEAD injectors with individual fuel accumulators to achieve a virtually constant pressure of 1,800 bar across the entire engine operating range and sets new technological standards.”

mtu has also achieved technological progress on the tubocharging front: The new Series 4000 marine engines are fitted with 2 (12 and 16-cylinder versions) or 4 (20-cylinder version) of the turbochargers developed and manufactured by mtu in-house. The TCs can be switched in in line with engine speed and the single-stage sequential charging system ensures optimum performance across the whole engine performance map.

The latest generation of mtu’s own electronic management system, ADEC (Advanced Diesel Engine Control) represents a further significant advance incorporated in the new marine engines. Among other features, the ADEC unit has triple injection electronics (pilot, main and after-injection), which provide optimum control of the fuel injection process to ensure low-pollution, high-efficiency combustion. Additionally, the ADEC system allows remote scanning and Internet read-out of engine data such as the number of operating hours. For maintenance purposes the data can also be copied to another engine governor.

The new mtu Series 4000 diesel ship engines are certifiable according to military specifications.