Emma Maersk received much fanfare in 2006 when the ship became the largest container ship ever built at that time. What is generally neglected by the mainstream media is that it also harbours the world’s largest and most powerful engine. This is the story of Wärtsilä RT-flex96C.
The engine of a ship is often termed as the ‘heart of the ship’ and rightly so. Without it, the ship is literally ‘dead’.
Be it the two world wars and the Cold War that followed, achieving supremacy in building the world’s most powerful engines has been going on for quite some time now.
After the Cold War, the competition has been taken up by private entities, building the most powerful engines for merchant vessels and aircrafts alike.
The Finnish engine maker Wärtsilä has emerged as the unprecedented winner in the race. They built the world’s largest, as well as the most powerful diesel engine mankind has ever seen- the Wärtsilä RT-flex96C.
The enormous engine can generate so much power than an entire suburban town can be powered by it alone.
A whopping 107,389 HP can be generated by the RT-flex96C, which is assisted by its fourteen cylinders. Additionally, more than 7,000,000Nm torque can be produced by the engine.
Having a length of 27 metres and a height of 13.5metres, the engine has been built in Japanese Diesel United’s Aioi Work factory.
From an engineers point of view, the engine has a number of features that had not been seen in large scale production of engines up until 2006. The engine design resembles somewhat to that of the Wärtsilä RTA96C engine, but, with some exceptions. The engine uses common rail technology, replacing the widespread systems of the camshaft, chain gear, fuel pump and hydraulic actuators.
Therefore, the engine provides the Emma Maersk with reduced fuel consumption, as well as lower emissions of harmful gases.
In 2008, the engine achieved 84.42 Megawatts or 114,800 bhp, which consequently earned it the title of being the world’s most powerful, as well as the largest engine by Guinness Book of World Records.
Video Credits: Wartsila | Andre Steinum- YouTube
Marine Insight does not own the rights of the video.