MAN Energy Solutions building second test facilities to increase research and development capacity into alternative fuels
MAN Energy Solutions is on track to double its testing capacity in Copenhagen as it ramps up research into new fuel types for shipping. Construction of a new hall is nearing completion, ahead of delivery of a test engine which is currently being built by an Asian licensee. That engine is expected to be shipped to Denmark and installed ready for an inauguration in the spring 2020.
MAN Energy Solutions, formerly MAN Diesel and Turbo, has refocused its product portfolio and strategy in recent months as it sees new fuels being developed and trialled for marine use. These include ethane, propane and even hydrogen, ammonia and various biofuels.
Head of two-stroke engine research at MAN Energy in Copenhagen Brian Østergaard Sorensen said the addition of a second engine would allow more continuous testing, especially as the engines would need to be stripped down and reconfigured between tests which leads to month-long downtime.
The configuration of this new engine is similar to the existing test engine in Copenhagen; namely a four-cylinder engine with a bore of 500mm.
This is not the only test facility development for MAN Energy Solutions. Last year, the company announced a joint venture testing with South-Korean engine maker Hyundai, a company making MAN engines under license. This facility is test and gas facility focusing on pump vaporizer unit development for gas injection.
Østergaard Sorensen said the company has to keep an open view over fuels for the future, which includes fuels that can be made through a power-to-X configuration. Power-to-X is where renewable energy provides the power for electrolysis and the creation of synthetic fuels, such as the SNG that will be used in a forthcoming demonstration run on a Baltic feeder container vessel Wes Amelie.