The picture above is an example of a triple engine installation MarineDiesel completed. Though the vast majority of our marine projects involve single or twin engine installations, we occasionally receive requests to power triple or even quadruple engine projects.
Indeed, as is evident in the photo above, engine compartments are often very limited in the amount of available space, and the compact size of the MarineDiesel V-8 engines means that our engines are often the only engine that will fit in some engine compartments.
Triple installations are usually more expensive than twin installations of higher horsepower engines, and there are other challenges as well, particularly on vessels that use propellers for propulsion. On these vessels, the nature of propellers means that vessels will have a tendency to “pull” in one direction of the other, due to the torsion of the propellers themselves.
However, a triple installation also offers additional redundancy, and normally lower weight than twin installations with larger engines.
So, which is preferable?
Normally the decision comes down to cost, though weight and space constraints also have an impact.
Nonetheless, the compact power of MarineDiesel engines means that multi-engine installations are far less uncertain regarding performance and are a cost effective alternative to providing high power in a limited space.