MTU takes to the rail with new diesels

  • 29-Nov-2010 07:36 EST

The new Series 4000 engine meets EU Stage III B emission standards from 2012 with two-stage charging system, exhaust gas recirculation system, and compact particulate filter. The engines for main line and shunting locomotives cover a power range from 1000 to 2700 kW (1340 to 3620 hp). Shown is the 12V 4000 RX4 rail engine.

Tognum subsidiary MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH recently announced what it describes as "forward-looking drive solutions" for the rail industry that will meet 2012 E.U. Stage III B emissions regulations. Compared with Stage III A regulations that have been active since 2009, NOx levels are reduced 39% and about 88% for particulate levels, according to the company.

To address the expected train of the future's need to meet increasingly tough regulations, MTU is offering newly developed Series 1600 diesel engines for locomotives and railcars, new-generation Series 4000 engines for locomotives, and underfloor Powerpack drive units for railcars. For the repowering of existing locomotive fleets, the drive and propulsion specialist MTU is introducing the PAU Traction automation system.

MTU's 12-cylinder Series 1600 rail engine will be launched on the market in 2013. The drive system has been designed for small shunting locomotives producing less than 690 kW (925 hp) and railcars from 565 to 660 kW (758 to 885 hp). MTU has thus rounded off its product range for the power range below the Series 4000 engine, while extending its range of underfloor railcar Powerpacks upward.

New-generation Series 4000 engines have been certified by the German Federal Motor Transport Authority for future Stage III B emissions standards. Series 4000 engines incorporate cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and diesel particulate filters, and they already meet the Stage III B emissions regulations that are due in 2012.

MTU says its core EGR technology reduced NOx levels without the need for exhaust gas aftertreatment. A two-stage turbocharging system is incorporated to make sure sufficient air is available for "all operating conditions," such as extreme temperatures or heights, or while encountering high exhaust gas back-pressure. The common-rail system has a maximum injection pressure of 2200 bar (32 ksi), allowing for the use of a  more compact particulate filter.

According to MTU, despite "significant reduction" in emissions levels, fuel consumption of the newest 4000 engines will be improved compared to current-generation engines. The engines range from 1000 to 2700 kW (1340 to 3620 hp) and will be launched on the market in stages, first with the 12- and 16-cylinder versions, following up with the 8- and 20-cylinder versions. Siemens' recently launched Vectron diesel locomotive will incorporate the new 16-cylinder Series 4000 engine.

MTU is collaborating with Deutsche Bahn and other development partners to test new concept technologies to meet future emission levels based on the Stage III B engine in the project known as the EU CleanER-D (Clean European Rail-Diesel). The engine will to be installed in a Class 225 diesel freight locomotive in spring 2011.

As a systems provider, MTU will also supply the Powerline automation system for drive systems based on the Series 4000 locomotive engine. Powerline monitors and controls all the functions of the drive system and now includes a new module to provide simple repowering of locomotives.

For underfloor Powerpack drive units, MTU will also be offering a solution that meets 2012 emissions standards. The traditional Powerpack with the 6H 1800 engine complies with these emissions levels by incorporating an SCR catalytic converter and covers a power range from 315 to 390 kW (422 to 523 hp).

A Powerpack will be launched with the future Series 1600 MTU rail engine. Starting in 2013, it will be available with power outputs of 565, 625, and 660 kW (758, 838, and 885 hp). In the summer of 2011, MTU will be performing trials with a hybrid Powerpack in collaboration with Westfrankenbahn (Western Franconia Railway) that will incorporate regenerative braking. The drive system is expected to deliver fuel savings of up to 25%.

Following extensive field trials, at the end of 2011 MTU rail customers will be able to order a module for remote data transfer that will enable operational data to be monitored and downloaded worldwide from the company’s website. This will make it possible for the operator to optimize the scheduling of maintenance work and to respond faster in the event of a fault. MTU will be offering Remote Services for new engines and for retrofits.

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