MTU 2000 Series Common Rail Marine Diesel

An Overview of MTU's 2000 Series of Common Rail Marine Diesel Motors

It's almost scary the way marine diesels keep getting smarter, and not just the electronic controls, but also the mechanicals.

MTU Series 2000 V-16

A good example is MTU's 2000 Series of Common Rail marine diesel motors. If the nomenclature sounds like deja vu all over again, you're right. There was a previous generation known as the 2000 series.

The biggest difference between the old and the new is common rail fuel injection With common rail fuel injection the fuel line holds a reserve of diesel near the injectors. So when the engine management system triggers higher rpm, there's no delay because a large volume is ready to be fired into the combustion chamber. The biggest benefit derived from diesel fuel waiting in the wings is razor sharp acceleration.

But the Germans went one better by incorporating a reservoir right into the injector, one giant step closer to the combustion chamber. This advancement in technology ramps up acceleration even higher on the Richter scale. Currently available in two different configurations (a V-8 rated 1200 horsepower and a V-10 rated 1500 hp) the born again 2000 common rail series draws its breath through twin turbochargers. One turbine flows air at low rpm. Its partner wakes up at high rpm. This sequential turbo-charging heightens acceleration from idle through wide-open throttle. Another key variable in the speed equation is the aluminum compressor wheel. When exhaust gas begins to flow fast and furiously, the bantam weight turbine screams up to speed like a jet engine. Once again, acceleration goes ballistic.

For durability sake, both of the turbine housings are watercooled. Otherwise high temperature might fry the 30 weight oil, converting liquid lube into abrasive carbon which would ruin the bearings. For peace of mind fuel lines are triple wall. These next-gen engines are smaller and weigh significantly less (600+ pounds)than the motors they replace. How engineers shrank the V- block, cylinder heads and manifolds is one for the history books. Without needlessly bogging down in the details, suffice it to say components and functions were integrated, synergistically eliminating component parts, nuts and bolts. Bigger may be better, but smaller is smarter.

MTU recently re-powered a Mangusta 80 motoryacht, replacing an old school 10V 2000s with state of the art 10V 2000 Common Rail. The new twins were more powerful (1500 hp each versus 1350 hp), albeit of smaller displacement (27.0 L versus 22.0 L). Updated with common rail technology maximum speed rocketed from 30 to 39 knots. Acceleration from dead in the water to 30 knots was cut in half. An elapsed time of 80 seconds was slashed to 40 seconds.

Crunch the numbers. Ten percent more horsepower brought some 25 percent higher performance. Even better, when cruising at 30 knots the Mangusta's range improved by more than ten percent, bumped up from 300 to 348 miles. Besides raw performance, other common rail benefits included a quieter voiceprint. Measured at the Mangusta's helm, sound levels dropped from 83.9 dB to 73 dB. Translated into real world meaning, that's better than half the noise. Smoke and smell disappeared too.

Finally, the new MTU series 2000 common rail series features what's called Advanced Diesel Engine Control, or ADEC. As simple as the sea is salt, ADEC allows remote troubleshooting via Internet. Like I said in the beginning, today's marine engines are too smart for their own britches.