New mtu Series 4000 Rail Diesel Engine: Cleaner and Even More Powerful

Posted on November 12, 2007

The Railtec railway show in Dortmund (12th - 14th November 2007) will see the unveiling of the new generation of the successful Series 4000 rail diesel engines from MTU Friedrichshafen.

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  • Reduced NOX-values for the new Series 4000 engines meet EU Stage IIIA emission regulations using purely internal technology.
  • 8, 12, 16 and 20-cylinder Series 4000 rail engines are even more powerful than their predecessors.
  • mtu Executive Vice President, Engineering & Operations, Dr Gerd-Michael Wolters: “Ten years of success with Series 4000 units have culminated in the Common Rail system of the next generation.”

Friedrichshafen/Dortmund, 12 November 2007. The Railtec railway show in Dortmund (12th - 14th November 2007) will see the unveiling of the new generation of the successful Series 4000 rail diesel engines from MTU Friedrichshafen. The new rail power units are both cleaner and more powerful than their predecessors.

The latest Series 4000 engines are the result of ten successful years of experience with the previous generation which has now clocked up several million hours of operation in rail applications. The new units meet the more stringent demands of EU Emissions Stage IIIA which, in particular, legally requires a significant reduction in nitrogen oxide from the current maximum of 9.5 g/kWh to a new limit of 6.0 g/ kWh from 2009. The mtu Series 4000 rail units more than satisfy the NOX specifications by employing purely internal engine technology, that is by using the “Miller” process without any exhaust aftertreatment. With this technique, the inlet valves close earlier than is otherwise normal during the combustion process. This leads to lower combustion temperatures and reduced nitrogen oxide emissions from the engine. The new combustion balance on Series 4000 rail units also achieves a significant decrease in particulate emissions.

8, 12, 16 & 20-cylinder Series 4000 rail engines even more powerful than their predecessors

The lower levels of pollutant emissions from mtu’s Series 4000 units are not achieved at the expense of either increased fuel consumption or reduced power. Quite the opposite: The engine still consumes less than 200 g/kWh whilst power has risen by around ten percent, as compared with the previous model, to reach 150 kW per cylinder. Depending on cylinder configuration (8 to 20 cylinders), at 1800 rpm the new engines produce between 1,200 and 3,000 kW. Each of the four V-engines is available in a reduced-power version - individually adapted to the customer’s specific requirements and operating profile. The 12-cylinder model also comes in EPA Tier 2-compliant designs which meet the emissions specifications of the US market.

Dispensing with exhaust aftertreatment and the additional sub-assemblies that go with it means that the new engine will fit the same footprint as its predecessor so that exchange within the available space in an existing locomotive is possible with only minor interface modifications. In combination with their increased performance, the compact power of the new mtu engines means an even better power-to-weight ratio with the result that 4-axle locomotives can still be used with certain cylinder configurations where the weight of some competitors’ units demands 6-axle locomotives with all the attendant operational disadvantages.

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 and 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 throughout the entire injection system. This sets new technological standards.”

mtu has also achieved technological progress on the turbocharging front: The 12, 16 and 20-cylinder versions of the new Series 4000 rail engines are each fitted with two turbochargers developed and manufactured in-house by mtu. They produce even higher charge-air pressures and ensure consistent engine performance from sea-level to mountain altitudes. In addition, the new turbochargers facilitate higher exhaust back-pressures which, in turn, make it possible to use smaller soot particulate filters.

The latest generation of mtu’s own electronic engine management system, ADEC (Advanced Diesel Engine Control), represents a further significant advance incorporated in the new rail 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.

Finally, mtu has also modified the engine-cooling concept. In the two-stage charge-air cooling system, the charge-air is pre-cooled by the engine cooler and in a second stage, the actual charge-air cooler further reduces the temperature of the combustion air. This means that more heat is dissipated at an earlier stage thus allowing installation of a smaller cooling system in the locomotive itself and saving weight.

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Together with Detroit Diesel, mtu is the core brand of Tognum.

MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH supplies diesel engines and complete drive systems for ships, heavy land and rail vehicles, industrial applications and decentralized power generation plants. Covering diesel engines from 20 kW to 9,100 kW and gas turbines, the range of products is one of the most modern and wide-ranging in the sector. And to control and monitor its engines and drive plants, the company develops and manufactures its own custom-tailored electronic systems.

Sales of the Tognum Group amounted to EUR 2.5 billion in 2006. Today, the Group employs more than 7,800 personnel worldwide. It maintains a global sales and distribution network including 16 subsidiaries, more than 130 distribution partners and 1,100 authorized dealers.