Real Big High Speed Engines Introduced

Posted on February 1, 2006

An 85L high-speed diesel? Caterpillar has introduced a new line of diesel engines, the C175 series. When full production is reached, the 175 mm bore engines, 5.3 L/cyl. engines will be available in 12-, 16- and 20-cylinder configurations. As such the line will include 64L, 85L and 106L diesels. The engines will develop its power at speeds between 1500 and 1800 rpm, making them high-speed diesels, in what is typically a medium-speed engine range.

Electrical power generation, marine, petroleum and rail applications, as well as in Caterpillar mining trucks and possibly mining shovels are the expected applications, Cat said. Built at Cat’s Lafayette (Ind.) Engine Center, the new engines were introduced first as part of new Caterpillar 2 to 4 MW generator set engines.

As the first of the engines, the 16-cylinder diesel, does not begin production until early 2007, Cat has not yet released official output ratings on any of the expected 30 configurations. The 20-cylinder engine is expected to begin production in 2008, with 12-cylinder due around 2009. All will be diesel engines, with possible natural gas versions “a number of years” away, Cat said.

These are also the first large Cat engines to use a common rail fuel system. The fuel system, controlled by Cat’s ADEM A4 electronic control module, utilizes a high-pressure fuel pump and control valve to maintain the desired fuel rail pressure. The C175 diesels are also using Cat’s ACERT technology as well.

In the generator set market, the C175 powered sets are designed for standby, prime, continuous and load management applications. Development engines will be placed in marine, rail and petroleum applications some time during 2006.

Full details on the new engines, and gen-sets will be published in a future issue.