STORY Commercial Marine

mtu-gas engine forms electrical generator set

Posted on April 27, 2021 by Katrin Auernhammer, Images by Hochschule Flensburg; Rolls-Royce

The mobile mtu gas engine is proving popular in the field of research. At the University of Applied Sciences in Flensburg, an mtu 8-cylinder 4000 M55RN gas engine is being used in three very different areas of research
Flensburg, Germany

The mobile mtu gas engine is proving popular in the field of research. At the University of Applied Sciences in Flensburg, an mtu 8-cylinder 4000 M55RN gas engine is being used in three very different areas of research: In the research project 'Grenzland innovativ Schleswig-Holstein' ('Schleswig-Holstein – the Innovative Borderland'), the gas engine is deployed in the replication of a wind-turbine set-up in which it drives the electrical generator, thereby replacing the wind turbine that cannot be brought into the laboratory.   It is also being implemented to train upcoming maritime engineers, as well as to test synthetic fuels such as synthetic gas.

“We have to do more to protect the environment, which is why we're currently dealing with modern drive and energy concepts, emissions reduction, and alternative energy sources. We're also addressing issues from the field of automation technology and simulation because they're becoming ever more relevant,” said Prof. Michael Thiemke from the Flensburg University of Applied Sciences.

Wind turbines could play a valuable role in power grid stabilization, and this is what the university is seeking to find out. Since the scope for performing field tests is limited, Michael Thiemke and his colleague Prof. Clemens Jauch have developed a wind turbine emulator for examining the feed-in of power into the public power grid. What is special about the wind turbine emulator and sets it apart from other models is the fact that it is powered by an mtu gas engine. The aerodynamics and structural dynamics of the wind turbine are reproduced via the rpm speed of the generator, with no need to draw electrical power from the public grid. The electrical power feed-in to the grid and resulting energy balance therefore match that of a real wind turbine.  

The basic configuration engine was assembled in Friedrichshafen, supplemented with the generator set components at Rolls-Royce's Dutch subsidiary in Dordrecht, and the complete system shipped to Flensburg.

“Our mobile gas engine offers the perfect solution here, since it can be run with different load profiles at different speeds,” explained Christian Prinz from mtu marine sales.

In the maritime engineering field, the mtu gas engine is also used for researching into and testing regenerative fuels such as synthetic gas.

So the mtu gas engine, by playing a role in various training and research projects, simultaneously promotes technology transfer between academia, business, and interested third parties: “For us, our gas engine plant, which comprises gas supply system, engine, emissions measuring technology and electrical system is a platform that we'd also like to make available to third parties who are interested in acquiring and developing expertise,” explained Thiemke.  

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