Heavy-Duty Dual Fuel Technology Progresses in Australia
New propane-diesel dual-fuel technology for heavy vehicles is on the cards in Australia after trials conducted by Unigas, Prins Autogassystemen and CMV Truck & Bus showed positive operational and environmental results over a two-year period.
Special to Fleets & Fuels by Unigas,
the propane autogas division of Elgas,
Australia’s largest marketer of propane,
aka LPG/liquefied petroleum gas.
Working closely with NHVR, Australia’s National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, Unigas and its partners are now discussing steps for developing an Australian compliance model that will allow the industry to adopt the solution that involves installing an engine system that runs on both diesel and LPG/propane.
As part of the trial, CMV Truck & Bus installed the Prins Diesel Blend 2.1 technology in two trucks operated by LPG distributor Rivet Energy – a Kenworth T403 with a 500-horsepower Cummins ISX15 diesel engine and a Volvo FH with a 540-horsepower Volvo D13C engine.
Power and Torque Maintained
During diesel blend operation, LPG substitutes diesel on an energy basis; however, unlike other proposed diesel substitutes, the system has the advantage of maintaining engine power and torque, while remaining within the engine’s designed operating performance.
However, the reduction in total operating costs is the big winner for the truck operator. Rigorous in-use testing of substitute rates and emissions were carried out by ABMARC, an independent engineering company, who used the first PEMs (Portable Emission Measurement System) in Australia to test both engine platforms.
Sampling of emissions, engine torque and fuel data was monitored and tested to validate the blend outcomes. NHVR played a significant role in enabling this trial program to progress and has continued to provide advice and permits for trial vehicles.
Money Saved, Emissions Reduced
Trial results consistently showed 18% to 20% energy equivalent savings – an estimated saving of more than $8,000AUD in fuel per 200,000 kilometers – nearly 5¢ per mile U.S. From an environmental standpoint, the dual fuel system showed a 60% reduction in particulate matter and a 2% carbon dioxide reduction.
Both trucks are currently in service without any issue. In March this year, a third installation was carried out on CMV’s test fleet vehicle, which has been met with considerable interest from a number of its customers.
While still in the early stages, results show this technology has the potential to help the Australian heavy vehicle industry reduce emissions and operational costs, without compromising safety.
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Source: Australia’s Unigas with Fleets & Fuels follow-up