Rolls-Royce is launching a range of sustainable mtu propulsion solutions for yachts. The first large yachts are already running with mtu systems based on the mtu Series 4000, which are certified for IMO III emissions regulations.
Brand new on the market from April 2022 will be mtu Series 2000 propulsion systems with exhaust gas aftertreatment for production yachts. “More new technologies will follow to help yacht manufacturers and operators achieve their sustainability goals and those of the Paris Climate Agreement,” explained Nicola Camuffo, who heads the Yacht Competence Centre of Rolls-Royce’s Power Systems business unit in La Spezia, Italy. Rolls-Royce will present its new mtu solutions at the yacht shows in Cannes and Monaco.
A new generation of mtu Series 16V2000M97L engines will be available with an integrated exhaust aftertreatment system from April 2022. This will enable production yachts to sail in particularly protected areas, for example in ECA zones such as the North American coast, the Caribbean and the North and Baltic Seas. The systems with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) units significantly reduce particulate and nitrogen oxide emissions. The IMO III propulsion system will be delivered for the first time this autumn and tested in a production yacht from the beginning of 2022. Further engine variants of the mtu Series 2000 will gradually become available for IMO III operation.
By 2023, the company will initially offer hybrid solutions for production yachts with mtu Series 2000 engines and variable electric power, which will cover a power range of approximately 1,000 to 1,939kW powertrains. In addition to the engines, the system also includes electric motors, gearboxes, batteries, control and monitoring systems and other electronic components. Rolls-Royce’s concept for an mtu series hybrid system comprises a modular building kit with standardized components and concepts for different vessel types and sizes. For yachts, a hybrid system brings high performance and significant gains in terms of comfort – with quiet, low-vibration and low-emission cruising. In purely electric operation, neither sulphur nor nitrogen oxide or particles are emitted.
The yacht engines of the mtu 2000 and 4000 Series will be approved for sustainable EN 15940 fuels such as e-diesel and second-generation biofuels from 2023, enabling climate-neutral cruising. HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil), for example, is a biofuel that can be produced from waste in a CO2-neutral way, with low emissions and clean and efficient combustion.
Rolls-Royce Power Systems engineers are working on other new technologies such as fuel cell systems and methanol engines. At its Yacht Competence Centre in La Spezia, the company offers shipyards technical support in the development and integration of new propulsion systems. “There will be different propulsion concepts in the future, depending on the specific needs of yacht owners, shipyards and infrastructure. We are happy to exchange ideas with customers and other experts in order to jointly drive innovations forward, for example by means of pilot installations,” explained Camuffo.