The Most Powerful Diesel Engine in the World (and efficient, too)

rta96c_crank.jpg 

     The Wartsila-Sulzer RTA96-C turbocharged two-stroke diesel engine is the most powerful and most efficient prime-mover in the world today.  The Aioi Works of Japan’s Diesel United, Ltd built the first engines and is where some of these pictures were taken.

     It is available in 6 through 14 cylinder versions, all are inline engines.  These engines were designed primarily for very large container ships.  Ship owners like a single engine/single propeller design and the new generation of larger container ships needed a bigger engine to propel them.

     The cylinder bore is just under 38″ and the stroke is just over 98″.  Each cylinder displaces 111,143 cubic inches (1820 liters) and produces 7780 horsepower.  Total displacement comes out to 1,556,002 cubic inches (25,480 liters) for the fourteen cylinder version.

     Some facts on the 14 cylinder version:
Total engine weight: 2300 tons  (The crankshaft alone weighs 300 tons.)
Length: 89 feet
Height: 44 feet
Maximum power: 108,920 hp at 102 rpm 
Maximum torque: 5,608,312 lb/ft at 102rpm 

     Fuel consumption at maximum power is 0.278 lbs per hp per hour (Brake Specific Fuel Consumption).  Fuel consumption at maximum economy is 0.260 lbs/hp/hour.  At maximum economy the engine exceeds 50% thermal efficiency.  That is, more than 50% of the energy in the fuel in converted to motion.
     For comparison, most automotive and small aircraft engines have BSFC figures in the 0.40-0.60 lbs/hp/hr range and 25-30% thermal
efficiency range.

     Even at its most efficient power setting, the big 14 consumes 1,660 gallons of heavy fuel oil per hour.

Much more here:   http://people.bath.ac.uk/ccsshb/12cyl/

In contrast, the 2000hp RIB drug-runner special set up with 8 outboards  has a specific fuel consumption of 0.0198 lb/hp*hr, or 14.5 times less efficient than this bad boy.  See, bigger IS better. 

Thanks to gCaptain for the find

2 Responses to “The Most Powerful Diesel Engine in the World (and efficient, too)”


  1. 1 Emma Maersk, A Look Under The Hood - World's Largest Ship and Engine
  2. 2 I am ready!

Leave a Reply