Bio Power – Cat® C18 Marine Engines running on B30 Biodiesel
For worldwide release: August 9, 2007
Release Number: M06PR07
Bio Power – Cat® C18 Marine Engines running on B30 Biodiesel
Hamburg, Germany – Preserving the environment while also saving money – wouldn’t every leisure boat owner in the world want to subscribe to this approach? In the past this was only a concept, but with the possibility of utilising biodiesel in pleasure craft, in the UK this may now become reality. Horizon Motor Yachts UK Ltd., together with MDL Marinas and Motor Boat & Yachting magazine, recently completed a state-of-the-art technology demonstration tour along the southern coast of England using a “Horizon 20M” motor yacht, equipped with twin Cat® C18 engines running on B30 blend biodiesel.
Fuel prices have increased dramatically in recent years. In Europe, marine diesel doubled in price between 2003 and 2005, and this trend is forecast to continue. In the UK, for example, the current price for marine diesel is around € 0.75 per litre and is set to double again by the end of 2008 because of tax increases. Being a boat owner and taking this into consideration, how would you deal with the situation? Sell your boat and look for a better hobby ashore? Truly not an option. Look for a more fuel-efficient engine? Hard to find if you already own a Caterpillar® C series marine engine. Burn alternative fuels? This might help!
Horizon Motor Yachts UK set out to leverage biodiesel in a production boat design. Consequently, neither the boat nor the engine received any modifications. The boat, simply called “Horizon”, is a fibreglass motor yacht with a length of 20.2 metre, a beam of 5.3 metre and a displacement of 34 tons. Propulsion is provided by 2x Cat C18 in-line, six-cylinder marine engines rated 747 kW at 2,300 rpm. This electronically controlled engine with a displacement of 18.1 litre combines high horsepower and proven durability with low emissions in a compact design.
Apart from running on regular diesel the Cat C18 engine is also specified to burn B30 biodiesel, consisting of 30 % biodiesel and 70 % regular mineral diesel. To comply with Caterpillar’s fuel specifications the biodiesel and mineral components of the fuel have to meet EU EN14214 and EN590, respectively (ASTM D6751 and ASTM D975 for the US). In case of “Horizon” the fuel is blended prior to fuelling, as opposed to 100 % biodiesel which is subsequently added to regular mineral diesel already in the tank. This pre-blending ensures that the fuel being fed into the engines is B30 at all times.
According to Horizon Motor Yachts UK, B30 biodiesel and C18 engines form a perfect team. The vessel ran flawlessly throughout the tour. The engines provide the same performance as with regular mineral diesel and the yacht matches its previous best top speed of 24.4 knots. And, there was virtually no visible smoke even when starting the engines from cold. All visitors to the tour appreciated the prospects of reducing fuel costs and helping the environment.
Biodiesel is better for the environment: Produced out of renewable vegetable raw materials, the amount of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from combustion inside the engine is partly compensated by the amount of greenhouse gas absorbed from the air when the vegetables were growing. In addition, biodiesel contains fewer aromatic hydrocarbons, can reduce emission of particulates and provides a higher cetane rating than mineral diesel. Horizon Motor Yachts UK expects both growing demand in biodiesel and growing demand in motor yachts capable of burning biodiesel like the Horizon 20M with Cat C18 marine engines.
Gary Burns, Managing Director, Horizon Yachts Motor Yachts UK Ltd comments: “The motor yacht market is a hugely competitive business environment, with customer's ever increasing demands for luxury, size and speed being met with ever larger and more powerful yachts. Our challenge was to find a way to marry these demands with rapidly rising fuel prices and an ever growing sense of environmental responsibility. After the 2008 tax increases on regular diesel in the UK, biodiesel is expected to be available at the price of regular diesel or even below it. The Horizon BioDiesel Tour demonstrates how even the most opulent and luxurious of motor yachts can beat the coming rise in marine diesel prices, while reducing the impact boating has on the seas and wider environment.”
Eddie Smith, Marine Manager with Caterpillar dealer Finning UK, underlines: “We are pleased to provide Horizon Yachts Motor Yachts UK with our unique expertise in servicing Caterpillar marine engines. Experience to date on this vessel has shown no significant changes to standard Cat C18s maintenance intervals versus engines running on regular marine diesel. Basically, a set of standard maintenance procedures is required once per year, every 250 service hours or every 14,400 litres of fuel burnt, which ever occurs first. In view of more than 1,400 Cat engines successfully operating in pleasure craft and commercial marine functions in the UK, we are very confident that Horizon’s C18 will perform as expected; reliably, fuel efficiently and virtually smokeless.”
According to Cassia Pole, EAME Sales Manager Pleasure Craft, Caterpillar Marine Power Systems, this initiative has strategic importance. She says: “Sustainable development is among the top goals of Caterpillar’s Vision 2020 enterprise strategy. In addition, operating Cat engines with renewable fuels has been a trend for quite a while. In fact, most of our marine engine models today are capable of burning up to 30 % of biodiesel as a standard. For blends above 30 % our dealers offer special guidance. And since Caterpillar is expecting renewable fuels to further increase their market share, every new marine engine model introduced will also be compatible with biodiesel blends. We are especially proud to be at the forefront of burning biodiesel in pleasure craft.”
Note: Caterpillar engines are EPA and EU certified running on commercially available fuels, which covers a range of properties including biodiesel. Detailed information about approved and recommended fuels can be found in Caterpillar publication “Commercial Diesel Engine Fluids Recommendations SEBU 6251-10”. However, vessel owners may want to consult local emission legislation to verify if a specific biodiesel blend is still appropriate. Depending on the biodiesel blend vessel owners may experience shorter oil change intervals and shorter fuel filter change intervals. Especially for older engines the condition of seals and hoses made of elastomers should be monitored regularly.
About Caterpillar Marine Power Systems
Caterpillar Marine Power Systems, with headquarters in Hamburg, Germany, brings together all the sales and service activities for Cat and MaK branded marine products within Caterpillar Inc. This organization provides premier marine power solutions (high and medium speed with outputs from 11 kW to 16,000 kW) and customer service from a single source for the global ocean-going, commercial and pleasure craft markets. The Caterpillar Marine Power Systems sales and service network includes more than 2,100 dealer locations world-wide and is well positioned to support customers wherever they are.
More information is available at www.cat-marine.com or www.mak-global.com.
For more than 80 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been making progress possible and driving positive and sustainable change on every continent. With 2006 sales and revenues of $41.517 billion, Caterpillar is a technology leader and the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, clean diesel and natural gas engines and industrial gas turbines.
More information is available at www.cat.com.
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