A consortium of Finnish research organizations along with
companies in the maritime, motor and battery sectors, are working together
researching new solutions for clean and efficient marine and off-road
transport. Responding to the tightening of emissions regulations and efforts to
achieve decarbonization, the project is focusing on researching and developing
products from the most promising and innovative power technologies, including
motors, hydrogen, exhaust after treatment, and the application of smart technology.
Led by the University of Vaasa, the Clean Propulsion
Technologies project is expected to run until the spring of 2023 and includes
participation by two of Finland’s leading motor manufacturers, Wartsila and
AGCO Power, along with shipbuilder Meyer Turku. According to Vaasa, this
cooperation creates a solid foundation, strengthened by the expertise of the
project partners, which will help to succeed in the growing global competition
in the industry.
“Our common goal is to secure the position of a global technology
leader for the Finnish power equipment industry by creating a common vision and
sustainable business solutions,” says Assistant Professor Maciej Mikulski from
the University of Vaasa. Mikulski is the director of the Clean Propulsion
The most significant expected technical results of the
project are a ground-breaking medium-speed engine working in fuel-flexible
Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition (RCCI) mode and a high-speed
hydrogen engine solution. Designing and implementing an optimal predictive
powertrain control architecture for hybrid propulsion is also on the agenda.
The research will also focus on the further development of
dual-fuel engine technology to enable a drastic reduction in methane emissions
at low and partial load, selective catalytic reduction (SCR) control technology
improvements, and the development of machine learning control technology for
greater accuracy in engine automation and control. They will also further focus on developments
in advanced after-treatment measures aimed at lowering greenhouse gas emissions
by at least 20 percent.
"Developing solutions together with the Engine Research
Initiative ecosystem and other technology leaders is the most efficient way to
produce internal combustion engine solutions for a sustainable and low-carbon
future," said Christer Wik, Wärtsilä's Laboratory Manager, and Lauri
Pessinen, Project Controller.
The efforts of the project are aimed at ensuring compliance
with emission and greenhouse gas regulations in the marine and off-road
transport segments by 2035. In the longer term, the goal is to develop a
technological roadmap for compliance with the IMO’s greenhouse gas emissions
reduction target by 2050.
A total of nine Finnish companies are participating in the
research, including Wärtsilä Finland, AGCO Power, Meyer Turku, Napa, Dinex
Finland, Proventia, Geyser Batteries, Bosch Rexroth, and APUGenius. The six
research organizations include the University of Vaasa, Aalto University,
University of Tampere, Åbo Akademi University, VTT, and LUT University.
Business Finland, the Finnish Government’s organization for
innovation funding and trade, travel, and investment promotion, has granted
nearly $10 million, which is just over half the total funding, with the companies
and universities funding the remainder of the $18 million budget.