about Hercules
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About Hercules


The I.P. HERCULES aims to push the limits of marine engine know-how. The focus of the HERCULES I.P. will be on the development of future generation of optimally efficient, clean and reliable marine powerplants.
The I.P. HERCULES specific objectives are provided below in terms of percentage changes related to current Best-Available-Technology in-service (BAT-IS), for shipboard prime movers, with at least one marine engine installation reference worldwide in 2003. The HERCULES vision is to obtain or surpass the following:

Table 1 I.P. HERCULES VISION Year 2010 Year 2020
Reduction of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions -3% -5%
Reduction of NOx (Relative to IMO 2000 standard) -30% -60%
Reduction of other emission components (PM, HC) -20% -40%
Improvement in engine reliability +20% +40%
Reduction of time to market -15% -25%
Reduction in lifecycle cost -10% -20%

A table presenting the current BAT-IS and the targets of the I.P. HERCULES for the years 2007 and 2010, follows:

Table 2 I.P. HERCULES OBJECTIVE BAT-IS (2003) Year 2007 Targets Year 2010 Targets
Reduction of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions 2-stroke: 170 g/kWh
4-stroke: 175 g/kWh
-1% -3%
Reduction of NOx (Relative to IMO 2000 standard) IMO 2000 limits (g/kWh)
17N<130 rpm
45 x (rpm)-0.2130<N<2000 rpm
9.8?N>2000 rpm
-20% -30%
Reduction of other emission components (PM, HC) < No limits for marine engines >
Visible smoke limit FSN 1.1
Opacity 20%
-5% -20%
Improvement in engine reliability 18,000 hours to overhaul of major components +10% +20%
Reduction of time to market 5 Years -10% -15%
Reduction in lifecycle cost
- Initial cost
- Fuel/lub-oil cost
- Maintenance
< Costs depend on engine size >



  • Advanced process models and engineering software will be developed
  • Prototype components will be manufactured and rig-tested
  • Engine experimental designs will be assessed on testbeds
  • Full-scale shipboard testing will demonstrate the benefits

To achieve the above objectives, the scope of the project includes all the technology interrelations needed for a holistic approach to marine engine efficiency improvement and emissions reduction. Integrated work will be performed in the following areas:

  • Thermo-fluid dynamics of combustion engine processes.
  • Internal (in-engine) measures for emissions reduction as well as external measures (after-treatment of exhaust gases).
  • New methods for high pressure air charging with multistage intelligent units, allowing engines with extreme values of operating parameters, to increase engine efficiency.
  • Use of microelectronics and advanced control for engines, optimally adaptive to different conditions, including adverse operation and failure compensation and accommodating ageing of components, over the lifetime of the powerplant.
  • New primary sensors and signal analysis software, allowing much more detailed research investigations in engine processes, as well as increased precision and fidelity for continuous real-time monitoring in service.
  • Powerplants for extremely emissions-sensitive shipboard applications (ports with minimum NOx and smoke requirements).
The integrated RTD work in these areas will allow the above HERCULES "vision" objectives to be achieved concurrently i.e. to be obtained simultaneously.


Some of the areas where innovations are considered in the I.P. HERCULES are:
  • Engines with “extreme” boost, m.e.p. design parameters
  • “New” combustion concepts
  • “Intelligent” variable flow area, multistage turbochargers
  • “Hot”-operating engine with combined steam cycle
  • Marine engines with water injection
  • Exhaust gas recirculation in heavy-fuel engines
  • New aftertreatment methods for heavy fuels (plasma, scrubbers)
  • New sensors and emission measurement methods
  • “Low-friction” engines
  • “Adaptive” control of engines

Potential Exploitation items

WP1: Extreme design parameters
Engine components for extreme output operation (pistons, rings, bearings) M
Extreme value engine L

WP 2: Advanced Combustion Concepts

Combustion models S
Chemical kinetics models S

Full cycle simulation tools


WP 3: Multistage/Intelligent turbocharging

Variable geometry turbocharger


Power take-in, take-out systems
(Integration motor/generator/turbocharger)


Multistage intercooled turbocharger M
WP4: Turbo-compound / hot engine
Composite structures for hot-engine L
Engine compounding systems and components (boilers, TG, TCS) S
WP6: Emission reduction methods (internal-water)
Direct water injection system M
Inlet air humidification system S
Control systems for above S
WP7: Emission reduction methods (internal-Exh. Gas)
Exhaust gas recirculation system M
PM measuring techniques S
WP8: Emissions after treatment
In-service emissions monitoring system S
Non-Thermal Plasma Technology L
Wet Scrubber Technology M
Select-cylinder emission measurement technology M
WP9: Reduced friction engine
Low friction engine components (liner, pistons, rings, bearings, injection) M
In-service monitoring system for cylinder and lub feed rate adjustment S
Low friction engine M
WP11 Adaptive engine Onboard engine electronics S-M

Timespan: Short=S, Medium=M, Long=L
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