Waste heat recovery of superheated steam improves fuel consumption by 4-12% for rail, marine and other large engine applications

Founded in 1867, Voith employs almost 40 000 people, generates €5.2 billion in sales, operates in about 50 countries around the world and is today one of the biggest family-owned companies in Europe.

According to Voith calculations, the SteamTrac, which is connected to one of the two engines, generates an additional input power of 24 kW. Initial measuring trips already came up with an additional power of 19 kW. The extra output has a positive impact on fuel consumption and therefore CO2 emissions. On average, reductions of at least 4 up to a maximum of 12% can be achieved – depending on the driving profile.

Superheated steam from the waste heat of combustion engines is forwarded to the SteamTrac via a heat exchanger. The SteamTrac converts this steam into additional mechanical energy, which is then redirected straight to the driveline.

Since March, a SteamTrac has been operating in a rail test vehicle of SWEG. It is fitted with two 250-kW diesel-hydraulic drive systems with Voith turbo transmissions.

A modular expander concept will enable nominal outputs of 15 kW to 160 kw with other expander sizes.

The same technology allows significant fuel reductions also in off-road vehicles, marine applications and stationary drives with combustion engines.

Voith Turbo has developed a technology, based on a thermodynamic cycle which can be used for all drives with combustion engines. The major difference between the SteamTrac and other thermodynamic systems is that the SteamTrac has been developed especially for cyclical operation in vehicles. It therefore meets the weight and installation space requirements of mobile applications. Such an intelligent heat management and exhaust heat recovery system is an important milestone on the way to meet future environmental requirements using as little fuel as possible.

Apart from its ecological advantages and thanks to lower fuel consumption the SteamTrac system also significantly enhances the economy of the drives

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