Behind the Scenes of Volvo Penta’s D8 Genset Engine Development

SOURCE: Volvo Penta | July 3, 2020

Volvo Penta engineers spent three years developing, testing and optimizing the new D8 Stage II and Stage IIIA/Tier 3 genset engine to ensure it delivered industry-leading power density, low fuel consumption and low noise levels. But what exactly goes into building a new engine? And how do you ensure it meets customer requirements? Anders Wernersson, Engineering Project Manager for Medium Duty Engines at Volvo Penta, explains…

Developing a new genset engine is both a big investment and challenge. At Volvo Penta, we focus on what brings value to our customers and put their needs at the heart of our design process. That’s why we started our new 8-litre power generation engine project by speaking to our customers and finding out what they wanted to see in a new industrial generator engine. Based on their input, our top priorities were high power density, a compact size, low fuel consumption, low noise levels, ease of installation and reliability. They told us that they would mainly use the new engine as a reliable source of back-up power, as well as cost-effective primary power generation in areas where energy is scarce. And there was a demand for the engine to be used in both mobile and stationary power generation applications. This gave us some very clear goals and made sure everyone involved in the project was pulling in the same direction and knew exactly what we needed to accomplish.

The power of the Volvo Group

As Volvo Penta is part of the Volvo Group, we are in the privileged position to have the strength of the Group behind us and all the benefits this brings for sharing technologies. This meant that we didn’t need to reinvent the wheel, as we could start our development work with the proven D8 base engine. The D8 has already been used globally for a wide variety of applications across the Volvo Group. The proven design is based on mature technology concepts that have undergone hundreds of thousands of testing hours and real-world use, so our customers will benefit from proven, reliable components. By combining the product experience from Volvo Trucks with the customer, market and application knowledge of Volvo Penta, we have perfected and optimized the design for the power generation segment and created the optimal solution for all the applications, climates and environments our customers operate in.

Tested and verified

Testing is a key part of the development process and we’ve tested this engine to the maximum – at temperatures of -25ºC through to 60ºC of sweltering heat. We’ve tested everything possible, down to the last screw, in the most demanding conditions to verify performance, reliability and durability. This involved engine calibration testing to ensure power and emission targets were met, functional testing, specific component testing, complete genset endurance testing, stress tests, customer installation tests and real-world field testing.

We currently have around 20 prototype D8 engines undergoing real-world field testing with customers in different applications and environments. This has provided us with invaluable feedback from customers who appreciate the engine’s compact design for its power class – which has been achieved without compromising on cooling performance. Other feedback has centered around the high power to weight ratio which contributes to industry-leading power density, low fuel consumption, low noise levels, quick and easy installation as well as ease of operation and maintenance.

Delivering on customer needs

The D8 is a modern, straightforward engine that will not only deliver power when you need it but also an extremely attractive total cost of ownership throughout its service life. Looking at the new D8 and based on the test results and customer feedback we’ve received so far, I think it’s clear that that we’ve focused on what brings the most value to our customers and delivered on their requirements. For me, that means this project has been a success.

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About Volvo Penta
Volvo Penta, with approximately 3,500 dealers in over 130 countries, is a world-leading and global manufacturer of engines and complete power systems for leisure boats, commercial vessels and industrial applications. Product offerings encompass diesel and gasoline engines with power outputs of between 10 and 1,000 hp. Volvo Penta is part of the Volvo Group, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of heavy trucks, buses and construction equipment.

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