World’s Biggest Engine

Ken showed me a magazine the other day that showed the world’s biggest engine. Being the engine geek I am, I did some googling and found out that the world’s biggest engine is a Wartsila-Sulzer two-stroke turbo diesel RT-flex96C. It is available in an inline-6 (RB26000?) to an inline-14 cylinder configuration in 1 cylinder increments. Here’s some stats on the 14 banger version:

Bore: 960mm or 37.8 inches
Stroke: 2500mm or 98.43 inches
Speed: 92-102rpm
Peak cylinder pressure: 19.6 bar or 284psi
Piston speed: 8.5 m/sec or 1673.22 ft/minute
Fuel: Fuel Oil 7200sR1/100°F
Peak power: 114,800bhp@102rpm
Peak torque: 5,911,074.51 lb-ft@102rpm
Weight: 2300 metric tonnes or 5,070,632 pounds

Now that is definitely a stroker engine: the stroke is 2.55 times larger than the bore. I guess it has to be since this engine is what moves your Hyundais and Toyotas to North America. This engine’s primary use is in container ships. Wartsila is a Finnish company, but the engine is built by various factories under license. Hyundai builds a version and Aioi Works of Japan’s Diesel United, Ltd. also builds one. Is this thing HUGE or what?


Here’s a 10 cylinder crankcase, liners, and head studs. It looks like there’s 8 studs per cylinder. No chance of a blown head gasket here!


It looks like a giant billet RB26 crankshaft.


Seriously, it just looks like a gigantic billet RB26 crankshaft. Oh wait, this must be the Eagle version since #1 this is somewhere in Asia, and #2 it looks like the crank is finished a 30 grit disc and a right angle grinder. Yep, this definitely came from the Eagle factory too.


The bearings look lika a giant car engine bearing too.


Here’s a closer look at what appears to be a giant bronze bush and the hand finished Eagle crank. No difference between Eagle car rods/cranks and their Boat rods/cranks apparently.


This is the bottom of the piston. The holes in the center are for piston cooler squirters (see below).


Each one of these spiked jets sit inside the piston and spray oil under the deck of the piston to keep it cool. Remember its a 2-stroke (one combustion event per revolution) so you can bet the piston gets way hotter than a 4-stroke (one combustions even per two revolutions). After all it’s making 8200bhp per cylinder.


Here’s a piston and rod assembly. The beam looks like a machined finish covered in grease so it’s probably not a piece of shit Eagle rod.


Here’s a piston after a 110% load test. The piston has chromium rings that are ceramic coated. The two bronze ribs on the skirt (lower) act as rubbing bands to reduce friction. Those ring end gaps must be freaking HUGE.


This isn’t the turbo the Wartsila engine uses, but its some kind of huge ass boat turbo. I imagine the Wartsila is way bigger.


Like the old school V8 guys always say: there really is no replacement for displacement. I guess they’re only right when you have to move several thousand containers of cargo across an ocean…

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