Wartsila 31 Engine & ABB Power2 800-M Turbocharger: World’s Most Fuel Efficient Four Stroke Engine Marries a Top-End Turbocharger

By June 17, 2015 Article, Technology No Comments

Straight to the Top

How’s this for a start? Even before personnel pulled the wraps off the Wartsila 31 Engine on June 2 this year at the open air inauguration event at Aker Brygee in Oslo, Norway held with Nor-Shipping 2015 Exhibition, the Guinness Book of World Records pronounced it as the most fuel efficient four stroke diesel engine.

Noryards AS’ under-construction BOA Offshore will be the first application of the Wartsila 31 Engine. The engine is the first marine application of the ABB Power2 800-M Second Generation Two-Stage Turbocharger and the combination is simply fantastic.

While the engine offers best-in-class fuel-efficiency, power density, fuel-flexibility, and least-possible maintenance, the turbocharger curtails emissions, fuel-consumption, and occupied space while slashing the overhaul time to a bare minimum.

Wartsila 31 & ABB Power2 800-M Second Generation Two-Stage Turbocharger

A medium-speed engine incorporating state-of-the-art technology in engine control, fuel injection, and charge air methodologies, the Wartsila 31 is the most fuel-efficient, powerful, fuel-flexible, and environment-friendly marine engine of the day that requires minimum maintenance.

Technical Data

TableThis is Wartsila’s first engine designed in a completely digital environment. It complies with the upcoming IMO Tier 3 Regulations. Features:

  • Fuel Consumption: a paltry 165 grams per kWh for its diesel version
  • Highest-in-Class Cylinder Power at 610kW/cylinder
  • Modular Construction with common elements between its variants allows it to address very complex project requirements
  • Immensely Flexible:
  • Can propel any vessel requiring main engine power between 2MW and 9.8MW at 720-750rpm while maintaining excellent performance across this range

Compatible with offshore support vessels (OSVs), drilling crafts, anchor handling tug supply (AHTS) vessels, and semi-submersible crafts that require high levels of power density, safety, and durations between overhauls with operational flexibility

Ferry and cruise segments profit from the engine’s superlative environmental performance and paltry fuel expenses. And it drives bulk carriers, medium tankers, and container vessels as the main engine

  • Propels generators, mechanical-drive systems, heavy-duty installations, hybrid mechanisms, and auxiliary engines
  • Available Configurations: diesel, spark-ignited, and dual-fuel allowing operators to use diverse fuels very-light to very-heavy diesels and numerous gas-fuels
  • Cylinder Configurations: 8V, 10V, 12V, 14V, and 16V
  • Meager Maintenance Expenses: first service needed after 8,000 running hours vis-à-vis 2,000 running hours for equivalent engines

ABB Power2 800-M Second Generation Two-Stage Turbocharger is the most potent power-booster for four-stroke engines as also the most compact. The two-stage turbochargers combine to squeeze maximum-possible energy out of the exhaust gas.

Kemplon 2 MachineABB Power2 800-M Second Generation Two-Stage Turbocharger

(Source: http://new.abb.com/turbocharging/turbochargers/power2)

High pressure ratio and turbocharger efficiency boosts engine power density, saves 10 g/kWh fuel thereby enabling six-figure savings in annual fuel costs, and slashes NOX emissions by 60%.


  • Pressure Ratio: 12
  • Turbocharger Efficiency 75% vis-à-vis 65-70% for single-stage turbochargers. With ABB’s Valve Control Management (VCM), the turbocharger can provide up to 80% efficiency

VCM is a cam-supported, electro-hydraulic variable valve train system for four stroke engine that delivers optimum amount of air to the engine at diverse loads and/or speeds. Conventional mechanical valve train mechanisms do so for one particular load or speed only

VCM takes the turbocharged engine from idling to full-load in half the typical time. It is particularly suitable for tugboats that need fast-load response and operate-ability across a range of loads

  • Compact: 20% more compact than traditional two-stage turbochargers and saves space in an already cramped engine room
  • Extractable Cartridge Concept: allows a two-step overhaul without disturbing engine connections and cuts overhaul time by 30%

Turbochargers are turbines driven by engine’s exhaust. They hike the power output of the engine by pumping larger amount of air into the engine at higher-than-atmospheric-pressure. Turbochargers consist of two turbines, one each at the exhaust and intake ends of the engine. Both turbines are mounted on the same shaft.

Kemplon 3 MachineWartsila 31: A Win-Win Engine

(Source: http://www.twentyfour7magazine.com/en/)

Exhaust gases drive the exhaust turbine. The intake turbine rotates simultaneously and pumps in greater quantity of air into the engine at higher pressure. This allows the pumping of greater amount of fuel and boosts the power output of the engine.

Inherently, turbochargers operate only after exhaust pressure exceeds a certain value at which it can drive the two turbines. This level corresponds to engine speeds of 2000-3000rpm and the delay is called Turbo Lag.

Turbochargers usually work with intercoolers that cool the compressed air before pumping it into the engine’s intake manifold. Compressed air is warmer and less dense and marginally lowers the power output from a turbocharged engine.


Cutting emissions and saving fuel are two paramount considerations of the marine industry in the 21st century. The alliance between the best four-stroke engine and a top turbocharger is a giant leap in the precise direction.

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