Research and development, product launches
In 2011, Wärtsilä’s research and development expenses totalled EUR 162 million (141), or 3.8% of net sales and the following major accomplishments were achieved:
During the third quarter, Wärtsilä’s dual-fuel engines exceeded three million running hours in both land-based and marine applications. This milestone represents a dual-fuel track record that cannot be matched by any other engine manufacturer. Today, the total number of Wärtsilä dual-fuel engines delivered to both marine and land-based applications is 470. The fuel flexibility of these engines offers numerous tangible benefits, both economic and environmental.
Wärtsilä has successfully tested its new low-speed gas engine technology in trials conducted at the company’s facilities in Trieste, Italy. The tests have demonstrated that the engine performance fully complies with the upcoming IMO Tier III nitrogen oxide limits, thereby setting a new benchmark for low-speed engines running on gas. The new test engine is part of Wärtsilä’s 2-stroke dual-fuel gas engine technology development programme.
Wärtsilä has strengthened its offering in the mid-size, low-speed engine sector by adding new X62 and X72 engines to its portfolio. The first X62 engine will be available for delivery in September 2013 and the first X72 engine approximately one year later. Wärtsilä successfully started up its new 6-cylinder RT-flex48T engine as well as the first of the new electronically controlled Wärtsilä X35 low-speed engines.
Wärtsilä and Aker Solutions have signed an agreement to jointly develop a new and environmentally sound concept for offshore wind farm installation vessels. Wärtsilä will provide the ship design, electrical power generation, propulsion machinery and high-end automation, whilst Aker Solutions will supply the jacking system. Wärtsilä, together with Aker Solutions, will also offer a 24/7 global support service for maintenance, repairs, and component supply to the vessels. The Wärtsilä engines to be used will be dual-fuel engines capable of operating on liquefied natural gas (LNG).
At the end of 2011, Wärtsilä, together with six partners in Maritime Clean Tech West, a Norwegian industrial network, were awarded approximately EUR 2.4 million from Innovation Norway for a pioneering project where the goal is to test new solutions for energy storage and electrical operation of propulsion systems.