Marine Diesel Engine Control to meet Emission Requirements and Maintain Maneuverability

Kræn Vodder Nielsen*, Mogens Blanke, Lars Eriksson, Morten Vejlgaard-Laursen

*Corresponding author for this work

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International shipping has been reported to account for 13% of global NOx emissions and 2.1% of global green house gas emissions. Recent restrictions of NOx emissions from marine vessels have led to the development of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) for large two-stroke diesel engines. Meanwhile, the same engines have been downsized and derated to optimize fuel efficiency. The smaller engines reduce the possible vessel acceleration, and to counteract this, the engine controller must be improved to fully utilize the physical potential of the engine. A fuel index limiter based on air/fuel ratio was recently developed [1], but as it does not account for EGR, accelerations lead to excessive exhaust smoke formation which could damage the engine when recirculated. This paper presents two methods for extending a fuel index limiter function to EGR engines. The methods are validated through simulations with a mean-value engine model and on a vessel operating at sea. Validation tests compare combinations of the two index limiter methods, using either traditional PI control for the EGR loop or the recently developed fast adaptive feedforward EGR control [2]. The experiments show that the extended limiters reduce exhaust smoke formation during acceleration to a minimum, and that the suggested limiter, combined with adaptive feedforward EGR control, is able to maintain full engine acceleration capability. Sea tests with engine speed steps from 35 to 50 RPM, made peak exhaust opacity increase by only 5 percentage points when using the proposed limiter, whereas it increased 70 percentage points without the limiter.
Original languageEnglish
JournalControl Engineering Practice
Pages (from-to)12-21
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Exhaust gas recirculation
  • Marine diesel engine
  • Vessel maneuverability
  • Emissions reduction
  • Engine control

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