Friday, May 04, 2007

Worlds biggest piston engine

Were you looking for the world's largest car engine?

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 feetHeight: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.
Want to see just how big the crank must be?