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Combustion Control and

Monitoring of two-stroke engines
A U T H O R S : S e b a s t i a n R o l l e , E n g i n e Pe r f o r m a n c e E x p e r t , E x p e r t S e r v i c e s , W r t s i l S w i t z e r l a n d L t d .
A n d r e a s W i e s m a n n , G e n e r a l M a n a g e r, I n n o v a t i o n & B u s i n e s s D e v e l o p m e n t , W r t s i l S w i t z e r l a n d L t d .

Intelligent Combustion Monitoring Engine control parameters, such as start This package oers a broad range
(ICM) is an established means of of injection or exhaust valve timing, are of data processing tools for evaluating
measuring and evaluating cylinder currently optimized manually within their performance and for helping to determine
pressure data. Intelligent Combustion
allowed range, depending on the measured engine malfunctions (extensive blow by,
peak ring and compression pressures. exhaust valve operation, fuel injection).
Control (ICC) now ensures that the
Lately, many vessels powered by Wrtsil The ICM system represents a signicant
engine is operated as intended, and
main engines have been equipped with improvement compared to having just
with maximum safety and efficiency.
Intelligent Combustion Monitoring (ICM), one pressure sensor available on board
which measures the real time in-cylinder a vessel. Nevertheless, the potential of
pressure in all engine cylinders. this system for achieving more ecient
engine operation is often not utilized. For
example, in practice, the Fuel Quality
Setting (FQS) is often found to be zero.
So the manual readjustment procedure
is not carried out regularly, and thus
there remains further optimization
potential. This can be exploited by
use of a permanently working closed
loop control system in other words,
Intelligent Combustion Control (ICC).
The ICC system is optionally integrated
into the latest Wrtsil Engine Control
System (WECS-9520) version for the
electronically controlled RT-ex engine
series. The system is also available as a
retrot for existing vessels. Adjustments to
the engine ring pressure are made in
reference to set-point values derived from
the engine shop test, which are then site
corrected taking ambient variations into
For such a control system it is important
to have very reliable and highly accurate
pressure sensors with a long lifetime,
especially when using heavy fuel oil (HFO).
The ICC system balances the compression
and ring pressures of all cylinders. This
results in an equal exploitation of each unit,
and thus reduces torsional vibrations of
the complete engine. Additionally, the
system protects the engine against
potential manual operating errors, for
example by limiting the maximum cylinder
pressure rise.
Fig. 1 Intelligent Combustion Monitoring and Intelligent Due to this functionality, the engine
Combustion Control are available options for two-stroke engines. operation is always optimized. This is of

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even greater signicance if the fuel has to and tuned manually by the crew in order TERMINOLOGY
be changed when entering SOX Emission to improve running performance. Intelligent Combustion
Control Areas, or when fuels of dierent ICC
qualities are used. ICM Key components Intelligent Combustion
Compared to an engine operated with The ICM system consists of a pressure Monitoring
a Fuel Quality Setting (FQS) of zero, transducer on each cylinder unit and an HFO Heavy Fuel Oil
activated ICC onboard a vessel achieved angle transducer at the engine ywheel,
measured reductions in fuel oil which are all connected to the transducer FQS Fuel Quality Setting
consumption of approximately 2.5g/kWh bus. The controller collects all the Wrtsil Engine
across the entire engine load range. measured data within each engines WECS-9520
Control System
Consequently, overall CO2 emissions working cycle. The data can be evaluated T/C Turbocharger
were also notably reduced. with the help of a built-in computed
mathematical engine model. SSUK Slow Steaming Upgrade Kits
ICM Introduction The ICM system has a comprehensive
Almost all two-stroke diesel engines in on-screen presentation (Figure 2) of all the SFOC Specic Fuel Oil Consumption
service are operated in an open loop collected data, both current and historical. CA Degree crank angle
control mode. Manual adjustments to Alarm, event and trend pages, as well as
the injection timing and exhaust valve graphic and tabular forms of the engine TDC Top Dead Center
operation, for example after engine parameters, are available. These include,
BDC Bottom Dead Center
overhaul or the use of a dierent fuel, for example, Pcomp, Pmax, Pmax, MIP,
are based on the actual in-cylinder Indicated Power, engine speed, SFOC, ISO
International Organization
pressure and engine performance data. and more. for Standardization
Often, the vessel has only a single
portable cylinder pressure measurement
Fig.2 ICM screen examples.
device and simultaneous measurements of
all cylinders are, therefore, not possible.
It is unlikely, during a certain measurement
time of multiple cylinder engines that no
engine speed or torque variations will
Wrtsil Intelligent Combustion
Monitoring for two-stroke diesel engines
is based on the sophisticated technology
of the well-known ABB Cylmate
system, and is a comprehensive method
for continuous engine performance
measurement and monitoring. A unique
combination of cylinder pressure
measurements and crankshaft position
detection, together with advanced
mathematical modeling of dynamic engine
operation (crankshaft deection model),
provides highly accurate, real-time data
for monitoring and diagnostic analysis.
The quality of the data provided ensures
signicant benets for the operators. These
include improved reliability, reductions
in operating costs, and the minimizing of
o-hire costs.
The cylinder pressure vs. crank angle is
measured in each cylinder, continuously
and in parallel, under all operating
conditions. The risk of mechanical or
thermal overload of individual cylinders,
or of the engine itself, can be avoided
thanks to the Cylmate analysis and
monitoring functions. Furthermore, the
cylinder conditions can be optimized,
and the engine can easily be balanced

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Fig. 3 ICM pressure transducer. Deviations are continuously alarm The trends are also evaluated by engine
monitored against performance references. performance and component experts,
The ICM Viewer is the rst commercial who will summarize the key ndings in
tool on the market that provides all a monthly report and highlight areas for
information regarding the combustion improvements or required counter-actions.
process, stroke-by-stroke, before the
alarm, at the alarm, and after the alarm. ICC Introduction
In this way it is possible to see the The main concern for todays vessel owners
development of a fault, and to understand and operators is to nd ways for reducing
the mechanism that led to the fault. fuel oil consumption and maintenance
The ICM system is available for all costs, as well as to comply with current
two-stroke engines, both mechanical and pending emissions legislation.
and electronically controlled. The Wrtsil Intelligent Combustion
Control system ensures that the engine
Pressure transducers in service operates according to its
The ICM pressure transducers original shop test performance. This is
(Pressductor technology) chosen for done automatically, in real time, and
two-stroke engine applications are based independent of the fuel used at any time,
on a magneto-elastic measuring principle, be it HFO or MDO. As mentioned earlier,
and are mounted on the cylinder cover this is of particular importance when
just below the indicator cocks (one on fuel of dierent quality is bunkered, or
each cylinder). when the fuel has to be changed in certain
The ICM transducers have a unique exhaust gas emissions control areas.
blow through design, as illustrated in The system optimizes the engines
Figure 3. Usually, before starting the main operational performance over the entire
engine, the indicator cocks are opened engine load range, and not only
while slowly turning the engine. During on one single operating point as is
that time, all potential combustion the case with manual adjustments,
residuals (especially from HFO usage) which are only seldom made.
are blown out.
This cleaning function guarantees ICC Key components
precise measurement data over a long The precise and continuously measured
operational period (mean time between in-cylinder pressure of all units forms
failure exceeds 10 years with roughly the basis of the ICC system.
6500 yearly operating hours for the main The raw data relating to the cylinder
engine), and reduced maintenance eort. pressure of each unit is taken as an
Another benet of this type of analogue input signal from the ICM
transducer is the independence of pressure transducer into Wrtsils
temperature (heat ash). As a result, no Engine Control System (WECS-9520),
compensation or re-calibration is required as illustrated in Figure 4.
in service. The engine speed signal, as well as
the crank angle position with 0.1 CA
Option for ICM resolution, already exists in the WECS-9520.
ICM is one of Wrtsils performance The ICC temperature and pressure
and condition monitoring solutions, sensors are installed at the T/C compressor
supporting the operators directly onboard inlet and in the scavenge air receiver, and
the vessel. The ICM solution can also are directly connected to the WECS-9520.
be integrated into a complete condition
monitoring system and connected ICC Functionality
services. Use of this integrated solution The ICC function is an integrated
enables automated data to be transferred optional part of the latest version of
to Wrtsil, as periodically summarized WECS-9520, which adjusts the peak
data sets in XML format (if no broad ring pressure of the engine according to
band internet connection is available), the engine design criteria. Furthermore,
or on a continuous basis. The transferred the ring and the compression pressure
data from this integrated monitoring of all cylinders are balanced by modifying
solution are pre-processed and compared the injection timing and exhaust valve
to dynamic reference performance values, closing timing within their allowed
which will detect deteriorating trends. operation range. All modications

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of the engine control parameters

by an activated ICC, are compliant
with the vessels IMO certicate. E332 E330 Pt 100 sensors

In-cylinder pressure evaluation Barometric


Can M bus
In order to get the cylinder pressure
trace vs. crank angle, the raw signal for T/C compressor inlet temperatures
Scavenge air temperatures
the in-cylinder pressure is evaluated
and processed by the ICC part of the CANopen system bus
WECS-9520. From this data, the

online spare



compression and ring pressures are







determined with polynomical formulas
in the software, as illustrated in Figure 5.
When the ICC system is switched
on, it also limits the pressure rise
(dierence between ring pressure and
4 -20 mA

compression pressure) with a built-in


safety functionality. This also reduces

excessive wear to the engine components,
lowers the risk of overloads, and avoids
potentially incorrect manual adjustments

PT 10

PT 12

PT 13

PT 14
PT 11
PT 4

PT 6

PT 9
PT 8
PT 3
PT 2

PT 5

PT 7
PT 1

in the case of open loop control.

Pressure set-point site correction

The desired ring pressure, derived from
shop tests, is converted back (by a reverse
ISO correction) to site conditions at each Fig. 4 ICC installation overview (example for 14-cylinder engine).
actual operating point of the engine. This
ensures that the engines ring pressure is
adjusted according to its design criteria,
and that the engine is not overloaded
while the full potential is exploited.
This real time continuous ambient
condition adaptation takes care of the bar
regional climate, diurnal variations, and 150.0
the engines current overall performance. 140.0

130.0 Firing pressure

ICC - Installation and control
The analogue input signal itself is drift 120.0

compensated (certain logic of the ICM 110.0

transducer) and equal to the separate bus 100.0
Pressure at 0 CA
communication based signal processed 90.0
in the ICM system. 80.0
The signal is initially ltered in the
WECS-9520 and further routed into
a controller. Adjustments of this actual
measured pressure value to its corrected 50.0

set-point value at a certain engine load, 40.0

are made accordingly. This real time site 30.0
correction and comparison, shown in 20.0
Figure 6, is performed for each individual
engine cycle.
The ICC system was initially installed -180 -160 -140 -120 -100 -80 -60 -40 -20 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 deg
on the 4RT-ex60C laboratory engine in
Winterthur, Switzerland, where it was
extensively tested. After completion of all
necessary tests, the ICC system was installed
on two vessels (one with a 7RT-ex96C
and the other with a 12RT-ex96C Fig. 5 Cylinder pressure graph for a two-stroke engine.

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Intelligent Combustion Control Closed loop control

Automatic adjustment of fuel injection timing and exhaust valve closing
INPUT: in-cylinder pressure measurement vs. crank angle
ambient pressure, temperature and scavenging temperature


Combustion Cylinder Pressure evaluation Injection Begin offset
T/C compressor inlet air temperature Setpoint
Scavenge air temperature correction
T/C compressor inlet Pressure

Engine Load Firing pressure Setpoint

Fig. 6 Firing pressure control strategy.

engine). The complete installation took

place during the vessels port stays, and
the ICC system was commissioned during
a short voyage between European ports
without interfering with the sailing
schedules. The commissioning included
functionality checks and performance
testing. The FQS was in use on just one
of the vessels before the Wrtsil engineers
installed the ICC.
An increase in ring pressure, which
depends heavily on the ignition delay
(mainly fuel inuenced), is equivalent to
the Specic Fuel Oil Consumption (SFOC)
reduction. Thus, it is most important that
the ring pressure is correctly adjusted by
means of FQS during engine operation.

WECS-9520 display
Balanced compression and ring pressures
are achieved by individually adjusting the
exhaust valve timing and injection timing
of each unit. The resulting dierences Fig. 7 WECS-9520 ICC adjustment card.
between the mean exhaust valve and
the injection timings of each unit, and their
respective mean values, are also shown in
Figure 7. as a retrot solution on RT-ex engines ICM provides an extended data viewing,
Signicant dierences in the single unit in service. trending and downloading functionality
values for the exhaust valve operation and Some engines in service were previously for more detailed condition monitoring
injection timing, as compared to other installed with the ICM system (or former of combustion chamber components.
units, are clear hints of hardware-related Cylmate system). Such engines can Furthermore, it enables the earlier
issues within certain cylinder units, and continue to use the already installed mentioned integration into the Wrtsil
should be further investigated. pressure transducers and easily upgrade condition monitoring system and services.
the ICM system to a combined ICC/
ICC installation options ICM system. The combined ICC/ICM Results
ICC can be installed as an option on all system can also be installed from the Figure 8 outlines the changes in
Wrtsil RT-ex newbuild engines, as well beginning. The combination of ICC with compression and ring pressures while

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activating ICC at a constant engine

speed / load operating point. It is Compression pressure
evident that the deviations between ICC OFF ICC ON
cylinders are reduced. An activated
ICC also raises the mean value of the
ring pressure to the set-point value.
In Figure 9, the deviation trend 64
is illustrated for the twelve cylinder 63,5
engine (cylinder vs. cylinder), whereas 63
in open loop control at 82% load, 62,5
Average of Pcomp
one cylinder is already at a pronounced
high ring pressure. This balancing of Firing pressure
the ring pressure results in an equal ICC OFF ICC ON
exploitation of each cylinder unit.
Figure 10 shows the measured fuel
oil consumption with an activated ICC
compared to the original setting with zero
FQS of the standard open loop control. 98

The main reason for the reduced SFOC 96

with activated ICC is the increased peak 94 Setpoint

ring pressure (according to the set-point 92
Cyl. average PMax
curve from the engines shop test) at each
speed / load point, expressed in Figure 11.
Fig. 8 Activation of ICC (7RT-ex96C).
The equal exploitation of each cylinder
unit of the engine by balancing the
compression and ring pressures, reduces
the potential overload and abnormal
wear rates of the engine components.
ICC ensures that the engine is always
operated according to its design criteria, max. deviation ICC ON = 2.6 bar max. deviation ICC ON = 1.4 bar
and as safely and eciently as possible. ICC OFF = 3.7 bar ICC OFF = 4.7 bar
The ICC system helps not only to reduce
the workload of the crew on board, but
also the data evaluation work in the oces
of vessel owners, since all adaptations
are done automatically and with all
ambient corrections. The installation of
ICC is not only benecial as a retrot max. deviation ICC ON = 1.7 bar max. deviation ICC ON = 1.3 bar
ICC OFF = 4.1 bar ICC OFF = 6.0 bar
on engines already installed in vessels
or power plants. Already during engine Fig. 9 Firing pressure deviation over 25 cycles (12RT-ex96C).
commissioning before the shop test,
it reduces the engines running time
(with diesel fuel) needed to balance the ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
compression and ring pressures. The authors would like to thank all involved colleagues within Wrtsil Switzerland
and ABB Sweden for their valued support, contribution and cooperation.

Fig. 10 SFOC measurement on board. Fig. 11 ISO corrected ring pressure.


SFOC [g/kWh]

P_MAX [bar]

ICC ON 120

100 ICC ON


30% 35% 40% 45% 50% 55% 60% 65% 70% 75% 80% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50% 55% 60% 65% 70% 75% 80%
LOAD [%] LOAD [%]

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