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Clean Air Technology to Power Volvo Truck Engines
Clean Air Power Limited (CAP) has signed a Letter of Intent with Volvo Powertrain (Volvo) to incorporate Clean Air Power's Dual-Fuel technology into Volvo Truck engines.Incorporating Clean Air Power’s Dual-Fuel technology into these trucks will deliver significant greenhouse gas emissions reductions and fuel cost savings compared with standard diesel engines. Additionally these Dual-Fuel trucks are expected to be around 20% more efficient than equivalent spark ignited natural gas engines.
The products will have the Clean Air Power technology fully interfaced with the Volvo engine management system and will be applied to Volvo’s D13 engine. This will provide the opportunity for greater levels of gas substitution than Clean Air Power’s existing Genesis system, with corresponding improved emissions and fuel cost reductions.
The Letter of Intent, to be superseded by a formal contract by the middle of 2009, provides for certain milestones relating to gas substitution levels, emissions compliance, performance and durability testing. Work on the product development has already been underway for some time.
Clean Air Power and Volvo engineers will work together to develop the products and the agreement provides for Clean Air Power to receive revenue from Volvo during the project. The first commercial products are anticipated to be available in late 2009 or early 2010.
Clean Air Power will supply its systems to Volvo, which will arrange installation and will take the lead in marketing the product on new vehicles while Clean Air Power will support Volvo’s activity and may carry out some conversions on customers' existing Volvo vehicles according to demand.
In addition and under Clean Air Power’s own responsibility, the agreement provides that Clean Air Power will market its Genesis solution on Volvo FM D13 Euro 5 vehicles from early 2009 which will provide a revenue opportunity for Clean Air Power in the period prior to the launch of the final interfaced Volvo Powertrain product.
Clean Air Power said that it has been in discussions with Volvo for some time. In 2007, Clean Air Power developed a Dual-Fuel exhibition FM9 9-liter truck in conjunction with Volvo Trucks. In February 2008, Volvo Powertrain and Clean Air Power cooperated to produce a second exhibition vehicle, a Mack Pinnacle 13 liter truck which was exhibited at WIREC (Washington International Renewable Energy Conference) in the USA.
HOW DUAL-FUEL TECHNOLOGY WORK
Dual-Fuel technology enables a heavy-duty diesel engine to operate on a high proportion of natural gas. Firstly, a Dual-Fuel engine is a diesel engine, unchanged in its basic thermodynamic operation. However, with Dual-Fuel, diesel combustion is used only to ignite a metered charge of natural gas and air. A small injection of diesel is made to ignite the gas and air. This is called a pilot injection. The pilot injection is delivered by the standard, un-modified diesel injection system fitted to the engine. Once ignited, the gas and air charge burns rapidly and cleanly. By using diesel pilot ignition and retaining the diesel’s high compression ratio, the gas combustion can be achieved at very lean air-fuel mixture ratios. Known as “lean-burn”, this delivers high efficiency and low NOx emissions. The high compression ratio of the diesel engine can be retained due to the high auto-ignition temperature of methane, the main constituent of natural gas. A diesel engine is the most efficient engine for road-transport. It is significantly more efficient than a spark-ignited engine due to:
- Higher compression ratio (higher compression pressure in the cylinder)
- Very lean-burn combustion (excess air combustion)
- No throttle to cause additional pumping work on the engine
The Dual-Fuel engine retains all of these attributes and achieves similar efficiency to the diesel engine – after all, it is still a diesel engine.
Methane, either as natural gas, or bio-gas (from waste or biomass decomposition) is an extremely clean and low-carbon fuel. Burning it in Dual-Fuel engine substitutes 50% to 80% of the diesel fuel. The result is lower emissions of NOx and diesel particulates with lower emissions of CO2.
Due to the high level of engine efficiency and high methane substitution, a Dual-Fuel engine can save over 20% CO2 from the base diesel engine. This equates to over 25 tons of CO2 saved per truck, per year. If bio-methane is used, the carbon-footprint is even further dramatically reduced.
Dual-Fuel technology has been focused on heavy-duty commercial transportation as it delivers a significant economic benefit in fuel-cost reduction in addition to its environmental benefits. Theoretically, Dual-Fuel™ technology can be applied to any size of diesel-cycle engine.
Dual-Fuel technology delivers the capability to utilize a widely available, low carbon, low emission alternative fuel – methane. The technology reduces the reliance on imported diesel fuel and increases the ability to efficiently and cleanly use liquid and gaseous bio-fuels. Dual-Fuel technology is available today.
[source: Clean Air Power]
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