‘First of Its Kind’ Unit for Engines in Kiel, Germany
Caterpillar Marine is talking up a “First of Its Kind” testbed for liquefied natural gas-fueled engines, now in place at its facility in Kiel, Germany. The LNG preparation unit includes an LNG tank and a gas preparation unit, both in 40-foot container size. Both were developed and provided by Marine Service GmbH, of Hamburg, Cat says.
“The future holds great promise for LNG solutions, and Caterpillar is perfecting the technology at its new Kiel test bed,” states a release. Caterpillar says it is already a leader in LNG power with its respected and widely adopted MaK branded dual fuel engines, which are capable of running on MDO/marine diesel oil or natural gas).
“But there’s still a lot to learn about LNG and the engineering required to maximize its potential,” the company says. With the new Kiel installation, “Caterpillar will improve its understanding of the technology and enhance the service it provides to clients adopting LNG.”
“LNG offers obvious benefits to marine power and it’s considered a true future fuel,” said, Caterpillar Marine engineering supervisor Georg Gillert says in the Kiel testbed announcement. “When handled properly, LNG offers a clear path to regulation compliance with all current and future standards,” he said.
‘There’s Plenty of Room for Improvement’
“Caterpillar’s LNG test bed in Kiel is a milestone in LNG development,” Gillert said, citing challenges that are unique to the clean-burning fuel. “New engine and gas handling architecture is needed to take full advantage of LNG’s emissions benefits,” he said. “Customized monitoring and control processes will also be needed to optimize fuel/air composition and safe engine operation.”
At Kiel, Cat will focus on
- familiarizing personnel with LNG capabilities: “LNG is new for everyone in the industry, and the Kiel test bed will bring everyone at Caterpillar up to speed quickly,” the company says’
- demonstrating LNG benefits to Caterpillar’s clients: “Knowledge is power, and it’s no different with LNG power. The Kiel test bed will arm Caterpillar sales personnel and dealers with valuable information regarding the technology. This information will be passed on to clients to help them make informed decisions regarding their vessels;”
- testing and improving LNG components: “There’s plenty of room for improvement with LNG components, and Caterpillar will ensure its products, including its MaK engines, are the immediate beneficiaries of LNG advancements;”
- developing LNG plants for actual operations: “LNG handling is something that has only been made possible in recent years, so further optimization is needed to efficiently support refueling operations in the field. The Kiel test bed will assist with this optimization, and ready field personnel for the challenges LNG poses;” and
- facilitate customer training to not only become familiar with LNG, but also teach customers important safety information regarding LNG handling and operational procedures:
“LNG is exciting and challenging,” Cat says, “and with the Kiel location, Caterpillar will be ready for everything it has to offer.”
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Source: Caterpillar with Fleets & Fuels follow-up