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Thread: So, you think your SUV motor is big

  1. #1
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    So, you think your SUV motor is big

    Take a look at this internal combustion engine. Scroll to the bottom for some cool pics.

    http://people.bath.ac.uk/ccsshb/12cyl/

    Note that it can only spin at 102 RPM.

    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 feet
    Height: 44 feet
    Maximum power: 108,920 hp at 102 rpm
    Maximum torque: 5,608,312 lb/ft at 102 rpm

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tucson_Tim View Post
    Note that it can only spin at 102 RPM.
    At that size, one rotation is such a long trip that it better pack some snacks.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  3. #3
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    They featured these (or similar) on "How It's Made" the other week. Amazing. The irony is thinking about how many engines it would take to move the engine to the shipyard.

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    Since it's a two-stroke, I wonder if it makes that "ra-na-na-na-na-na" noise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tucson_Tim View Post
    Since it's a two-stroke, I wonder if it makes that "ra-na-na-na-na-na" noise.
    Just very slowly...

    Years ago I got a tour of a natural gas pipeline pumping station which had engines (powered by the product, of course) which much have approached that size. I was standing next to a cylindrical object the size of a garbage can when the guide pointed out that it was a piston which had been removed in a previous overhaul. I hadn't recognized it because of the size.

    I suppose the owners like single engine/single propeller designs for cost but if I was the captain I think I'd vote for some redundancy.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    I suppose the owners like single engine/single propeller designs for cost but if I was the captain I think I'd vote for some redundancy.
    Yes. I didn't agree with that statement either.

  7. #7
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    Wow. How long do you think it'll be before somebody puts one in a car?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachary View Post
    Wow. How long do you think it'll be before somebody puts one in a car?
    More like build a car aound one!
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  9. #9
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    Thats the kind of thing my Dad used to look after for a living. Until he retired he was a Marine Cgief Engineer. He started on Steam in the 50s and finshed his days on big Diesel plant. He was the comissioning Engineer on a couple of big Tankers built in Japanese yards for British clients in the early 70s.
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    Quote Originally Posted by captain swoop View Post
    Thats the kind of thing my Dad used to look after for a living. Until he retired he was a Marine Cgief Engineer. He started on Steam in the 50s and finshed his days on big Diesel plant. He was the comissioning Engineer on a couple of big Tankers built in Japanese yards for British clients in the early 70s.
    That must have been interesting work.

    Being around LARGE machinery is sort of exciting. I worked in a steel mill for a while when I was younger and being next to and watching 50,000 HP electric motors "roll" the steel ingots was cool. The BOF was also "thrilling" to watch. Hard to explain.

  11. #11
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    I suppose the owners like single engine/single propeller designs for cost but if I was the captain I think I'd vote for some redundancy.

    So would I but apparently the engines have proven so reliable that redundancy isn't required. There are a lot of those container ships out there. I don't recall many of them having problems with engine failures. If container ships were being endangered or lost due to engine failures then they'd be building them with more than one engine.

    As Bill Lear used to say, the more stuff you have, the more things there are to break.

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    Also, having one good engine out of two might not help anyway because then all of your thrust would be on one side of the hull...

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    Which is what the rudder's for. It'd just be hard to make a turn to the side that the working prop's on.

    With an unfortunate name, Shafting a Ship is a good article about how many shafts a ship should have.

    The first consideration is weight economy. The propeller, shaft and gearing all represent dead weight that is duplicated with multi-shaft arrangements. In addition, the curve of engine output power as compared to size and weight is not linear; two smaller engines together weigh substantially more than a single larger unit of the same output. It may, therefore, seem that an ideal arrangement will involve keeping such duplication, that is the number of shafts, down to a bare minimum. Provided the total power in question is below the maximum that can be absorbed by a single propeller, then a single shaft arrangement would seem to be the most efficient. If the installed power is greater than the maximum that can be absorbed by a propeller, then the most efficient arrangement would be that involving the fewest number of shafts; in most cases two. Another way of saying this is that the most efficient design for shafting is to load the propellers as highly (that is, to put as much power through) as possible.

    For merchant ships this is indeed the case. Merchant ships are designed for economy of construction and use, not for the most efficient use of high power settings. In their case, the economic advantages of a single shaft outweigh any disadvantages from the layout.
    The article then goes on to show that that's not the case for warships due to needing redundant propulsion providers, the ability to provide steering via the props, etc.

  14. #14
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    Some cruise ships have the diesel engines turn generators that in turn power electric motors mounted in steerable pods. The arrangement allows some very large ships to cruise efficiently and then dock without need for tugs.

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    Most Tugs use directed thrust now.They have an Azimuth Propulsor' and don't have rudders at all.
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    why must everyone always compare a big engine to an SUV engine?
    most light duty trucks don't even have "big" engines any more. the biggest common gasoline engines i can think of are right at 6.2 liters- about 370 or so cubic inches.
    the light truck diesels are i think at around 6.5 liters.
    not exactly "big", when you can get a 7 liter (427) in a Corvette (one that makes over 500hp, gets 26 mpg, and weighs around 400 pounds. gotta love technology). go back 30 years ago, and you could get 500" torque monsters in mid sized Cadillacs, and 440"-460" engines in pretty much everything else.

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    I just realized my car engine and my skull both have the same capacity.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by novaderrik View Post
    why must everyone always compare a big engine to an SUV engine?.
    Ah jeez. Lighten up.

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    The last SUV I had had a smaller engine than my last project car....

    The pickup I have now has an engine nearly twice the size of what my sons car has. I don't currently have a project car for comparison

  20. #20
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    "We threw a rod!"
    "How high did it go?"
    "This particular rod was in compression Sir. She went up about 10 feet. Four people injured, luckily there was no one next to it..."
    "And?"
    "Well, you might want to alert the deck crew. The upper deck is covered white from bird, umm, perturbation."
    Probably not technically accurate, but I've had this hilarious image in my head after first reading this thread and the scale involved. Particularly the "how high?".
    I thought the compression and consequent pressure might shoot that sucker straight up one or two hundred feet, but then I thought of the massiveness of the rod-piston system, and decided that that was a huge overestimation.
    Last edited by SMEaton; 2007-Oct-28 at 09:18 AM. Reason: the killer of humor: explanation

  21. #21
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    I want to assemble one in space with Sea Dragon launches.

    Imagine that used to power a drill thru the moon.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    Imagine that used to power a drill thru the moon.
    It breathes air though.

  23. #23
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    Another payload! LOX on the way by the ton.

    Joking of course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tofu View Post
    It breathes air though.
    And lots of it!
    At max. power, it burns 15 tons of fuel/hr.
    At a typical diesel air/fuel ratio of >20:1, thats >300 tons of air/hr!

  25. #25
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    1600gallons per hour??? If my head is right that should be about.... 100 GALLONS PER MILE??

    Where's the EPA? Where's Al Gore? Where's the tree-hanging hippies???

    They must stop this evil machine!!!!

    ;-)

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustAFriend View Post
    Where's the tree-hanging hippies???
    Dead, I presume.

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