German diesel genset engine manufacturer MTU has begun construction work on a €60m ($79m) R&D test facility at its Friedrichshafen headquarters.
The first phase of the project foresees construction of the main building and three test stands designed for engines producing up to 2,500 kW each. In addition, there will be a storage facility for various gases used to test newly developed gas engines which are rapidly gaining popularity as alternatives to diesels.
The first phase is expected to cost around €40 million and is scheduled for completion at the end of 2014. The second phase will see the construction of four more test stands for engines generating up to 4,500 kW, along with a swiveling test stand.
This phase will be finished by the end of 2015 at a cost of about €22 million. The seven test stands planned will facilitate tests on gas and diesel engines in the MTU 1600, 2000 and 4000 series.
“These test stands will be used to develop new series and in particular they will play an important role in the development of the gas engine as the engine of the future for ships and rail vehicles,” said Dr Ulrich Dohle, CTO at MTU’s parent Tognum AG.
In future, all the new test stands will be capable of accommodating units from all engine series. The setup area in front of the test stands will be used to prepare and retrofit engines for test runs while another engine is still running on the stand.