Mar 21, 2023 | Marine propulsion & machinery news

Wärtsilä’s 31 diesel engine, which the company points out is already officially recognised as being the most efficient in its class, is being upgraded for higher power output.

The upgraded version delivers an increased power to size ratio within the same physical footprint. The Wärtsilä 31 is believed to have the highest power per cylinder for engines of this bore size; having fewer cylinders for the same power reduces the total cost of ownership, while maintenance costs are reduced.

The Wärtsilä 31 was originally introduced in 2015 and was recognised by Guinness World Records as being the world’s most efficient four-stroke diesel engine. This leads to lower fuel consumption and hence lower levels of exhaust gas emissions.

Lars Anderson, Director Product Management, Wärtsilä said: “With this power upgrade we are delivering significant added value to our customers. The Wärtsilä 31 is already the best engine in its class, and this development widens its market advantage even further. By extending its performance, we are making a real contribution to greater sustainability and supporting our commitment to a decarbonised future.”

The first deliveries of the upgraded engine are taking place during the first half of 2023. Already, seven higher power output Wärtsilä 31 engines have been contracted.

Ronald Ervik, MD of Herøyhav, a Norwegian fishing company and one of the first recipients of the upgraded engine, said: “For our new vessel we opted for the Wärtsilä 31 engine because it is the most modern and most efficient medium-speed marine diesel engine on the market. Not only will it give us the power we need and with dimensions that fit our engine room design, but it will also lower fuel consumption.”

The power upgrade will result in the current output range of 4.9 to 9.8MW being increased to a range of 5.2 to 10.4MW with 650kW per cylinder. The power increase gives customers the option to select fewer cylinders, thereby reducing the required engine room space, as well as lessening maintenance requirements. The Wärtsilä 31 has proven to be popular for installation on a range of vessel types, including fishing vessels, ice breakers, ferries, cruise vessels, cable layers and catamarans.

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