Cummins launches QSK50 optimized for variable-speed diesel electric applications

(CHARLESTON, S.C.) — Cummins Inc., a leading manufacturer of diesel engines for the commercial marine industry, is pleased to announce the availability of the QSK50 marine engine for variable speed diesel electric (VSDE) applications. The 50-liter platform has been used in traditional fixed speed diesel electric applications, as well as traditional propulsion and power generation, since its launch in 2006.

“Cummins will play a critical role in the advancement of this more efficient technology, supplying engines to system integrators for packaging into complete variable speed diesel electric packages,” according to Waldemar Marchetti, director of Strategic Growth-Offshore. “We will continue to expand our product line, skills and capabilities, working with partner suppliers to design customized packages utilizing the latest technology.”

Cummins entered the diesel electric market in 2004. A decade later, there are more than 900 Cummins-powered diesel electric gensets in operation globally. Cummins is applying this experience to take diesel electric technology to the next level with the introduction of optimized ratings for variable speed diesel electric (VSDE). VSDE technology is ideal for low load applications, such as offshore support vessels, ferry boats, passenger vessels and fishing vessels.

As with a traditional fixed speed diesel electric gensets, a variable speed diesel electric genset features an engine, base rails, system controls and alternator. But unlike traditional diesel electric, VSDE utilizes the DC component to allow the engines to operate at variable speed, eliminating the need for paralleling gensets. Early reports published by system integrators show significantly reduced fuel consumption, reduced CO2 emissions and lower system weight for the complete VSDE package compared to fixed speed diesel electric applications; operators should also expect reduced maintenance costs and increased engine durability.

While Cummins’ existing ratings can be utilized in VSDE applications, the new 2183 hp at 1800 RPM QSK50 rating was optimized specifically for variable speed applications, by providing maximum fuel efficiency at all operating points. Further efficiency gains can be achieved via the power management system. Over the coming months, the company will offer additional ratings optimized for VSDE. At launch, all ratings will meet IMO Tier II emissions at the ISO E2 and E3 test cycles.

The QSK50 features Cummins MCRS electronic fuel system and a redesigned exhaust system for increased reliability and durability. The redesigned air handling system delivers better transient response while improving fuel consumption for many ratings compared with the first generation product. The full line of Cummins Quantum Series engines from 19 to 60 liters are compatible with C Command, a selection of monitoring and display options that help operators protect and enhance engine operations and manage operating costs by logging critical operating parameters while providing diagnostic and prognostic capabilities.

Additionally, Cummins offers many options to help reduce maintenance and downtime. The Centinel Oil Management System can increase time between, or even eliminate, oil changes, while the Eliminator filter replaces disposable spin-on lube oil filters. Working either together or individually, these systems offer cost-effective vessel maintenance solutions and reduce the potential for lube oil contamination during oil-related service events.

Cummins’ distinguished record of supporting diesel electric vessels once in-service, in combination with a comprehensive one-year warranty and a global service network supported by more than 600 distributors and 6,500 dealer locations, plays a vital role in the company’s success with variable speed diesel electric.

“The global support of offshore diesel electric vessels is uniquely challenging as a result of complex integrated systems, remote operating locations and availability of qualified, trained engineers,” according to Scott Rath, North America sales manager for Cummins Marine. “Cummins works with customers to create a comprehensive customer support plan that details global support, spare engine and alternator programs, and global parts availability as required by the customer. We’ve developed a network of diesel electric service specialists with the ability to be dispatched 24/7/365 worldwide.”

By Professional Mariner Staff