GEC Alsthom Paxman Diesels has launched the second engine in its VP185 range. The 18 cylinder 18VP185 complements the existing 12 cylinder version, and with a maximum power of 4000 kWb in a 10.2 t package, offers new opportunities for genset packagers.

The existing 12VP185 engine has proved successful in a range of applications, with some installations having exceeded 15 000 hours of operation. The new engine continues the design theme of the 12 cylinder version but is a more compact and lower weight package. Particular attention has been paid to maintainability.

It has a high torque capability in the mid to lower speed ranges without the need for the complication of sequential turbocharging. In power generation applications, the VP185 range has established a sound reputation and according to Paxman, is particularly suitable where a compact engine with good load acceptance characteristics is required.

In power generation applications, the 18VP185 can produce a maximum of 3580 kWb at 1800 r/min (limited time power), and 3250 kWb at 1800 r/min (continuous power). It is available in 1200, 1500 and 1800 r/min versions. Like the 12VP185, the functional simplicity of the engine has been important in its design. The 18VP185 for power generation duties will be available from November.

Nigel Ramsden, Paxman’s technical director, said, “We have paid particular attention to maintainability with the triplex lube oil filters easily accessible at waist height, similarly the duplex fuel oil filters are also above the deck plates for good access. Access into the crankcase is via uncluttered crankcase doors.” The two-stage, high performance turbocharger system is based on small automotive type turbocharger cartridges which are plugged into gas tight water cooled casings. In addition, the on-engine exhaust pipe and inter-stage lagging has been eliminated to make the engine cool and free from exhaust gas leaks.

Reliability is addressed by reducing the moving part count to a minimum, going for the simplest design solution wherever possible and keeping working stress and pressure within good design limits. Even at the highest rated power, the turbochargers are well within their maximum permitted continuous speeds and with very modest boost pressure ratios per stage. High air-fuel ratios from the turbocharger system also ensure that maximum turbine inlet temperatures barely exceed 600°C and exhaust smoke is largely invisible.

There are currently over 30 VP185 engines in service in power generation applications. Recently two 12VP185 powered gensets rated at 1875 kWb at 1500 r/min were installed for standby duties in the Royal Brisbane Hospital in Queens- land, Australia. Three 12VP185 standby units developing 2 MW each have been ordered by the Lucky Goldstar Group in South Wales, UK.