The project HERCULES-B is the Phase II of the HERCULES programme, conceived in 2002 as a 7-year strategic R&D Plan, to develop the future generation of optimally efficient and clean marine diesel powerplants. The project is the outcome of a joint vision by the two major European engine manufacturer Groups, MAN Diesel and WARTSILA, which together hold 90% of the world's marine engine market. More details.
The research objectives in HERCULES-B focus on the drastic reduction of CO2 emissions from maritime transport, considering the existing and foreseen composition of the world fleet and fuel infrastructure.
The principal aim in HERCULES-B is to reduce fuel consumption of marine diesel engines by 10%, to improve efficiency of marine diesel propulsion systems to a level of more than 60%, and thus reduce CO2 emissions substantially. An additional concurrent aim is towards ultra low exhaust emissions (70% Reduction of NOx, 50% Reduction of Particulates) from marine engines by the year 2020. Today diesel propulsion systems power 99% of the world fleet. HERCULES-B targets the development of engines with extreme operational pressure and temperature parameters, considering the thermo-fluid-dynamic and structural design issues, including friction and wear as well as combustion, air charging, electronics and control, so as to achieve the efficiency / CO2 target. To achieve the emissions target, combustion and advanced aftertreatment methods will be concurrently developed. To improve the whole powertrain, the interaction of engine with the ship, as well as the use of combined cycles in overall system optimization, will be considered.
The project HERCULES-B structure of work comprises 54 subprojects, grouped into 13 Tasks and 7 Workpackages, spanning the complete spectrum of marine diesel engine technology. The project HERCULES-B has a total budget of 25M€, a duration of 36 months and a Consortium with 32 participants and is supported by the European Commission within Framework Programme 7 for R&D.