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Hy-Drive Technologies Closes Mining, Trucking Orders for On-Board Hydrogen Units

3 October 2006

Hy-Drive Technologies has closed its first sales order from Mining Technologies International (MTI) for a version of the Hydrogen Generation System (HGS) designed for mining equipment. The Hy-Drive system generates and injects hydrogen gas into a regular internal combustion engine, enhancing the combustion process by allowing fuel to burn more efficiently and completely. (Earlier post.)

The C$444,000 (US$393,000) order is the first under the exclusive North American marketing and distribution agreement between MTI and Hy-Drive. (Earlier post.)

Earlier this year MTI purchased 36 HGS units. Testing of those systems on mining equipment showed fuel savings of 27%, in addition to a 99% and 95% reduction in toxic carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions respectively.

With the increasing demands and emphasis for health and safety among the various mining unions, this product is the key to the improved air quality that our customers have been seeking. The fuel savings are just icing on the cake.

—Robert Lipic, MTI President and CEO

The purchase order represents the first for product utilizing Hy-Drive’s Clean Burn Technology adapted specifically for the mining industry. The unit design will feature a sleeker profile for simplified installation on underground vehicles which are limited by the confined space in a mine. In addition, the mining product will include a steel re-enforced casing which protects the unit from damage caused by falling ore.

In September, Hy-Drive announced that two trucking firms were installing HGS systems on their vehicles.

Langford, Inc., a St. Cloud, Minnesota-based trucking firm, is installing the HGS systems throughout its entire fleet (Earlier post.) Pollywog Transport of Palmetto, Florida is installing the system on 36 refrigerated trucks within its fleet.

The Pollywog trucks use the Detroit Diesel Series 60 engine with 430-470 hp ratings. In side-by-side operations, HGS-equipped units have achieved up to a minimum of 0.81 mpg improvement and the average has gone from 5.35 mpg to 6.7 mpg—a 25% improvement—which translates into $300 per week per unit.

October 3, 2006 in Engines, Fuels, Hydrogen, Vehicle Systems | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

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With a 25% savings, I would think long-haul trucking would be all over this. An owner-operator who's getting 7mpg today and driving for 12 hours a day averaging 60mph would burn 103 gallons a day. If he works 250 days a year that's 25,715 gallons or so, which would be $64,285 in fuel per year at $2.50/gal.

Now if a hydrogen reformer increases it from 7mpg to 8.75mpg (25%) then he's only burning 82.3 gallons per day, or 20,571 a year for a cost of $51,429. That's a savings of almost $13,000 a year. Unfortunately I can't find any pricing information on their website, nor can I determine if the $393k order was for the 36 units, or if those are separate, thus I can't figure the whole cost equasion.

Sid, I imagine it will only be a matter of time before the long-haul trucking industry is all over this. Hy-drive seems to have developed an excellent technology.

And a 25% fuel economy boost for the entire trucking fleet is huge! That would translate into considerable savings. According to the Transportation Energy Databook, heavy trucks (single unit and combination trucks) consumed just over 36,750 million gallons of diesel in 2002 (a number which has surely grown since then). A 25% increase in fuel economy across the heavy truck fleet would thus translate to almost 9.2 billion gallons of diesel saved, or the energy equivalent of over 220 million barrels of oil (603,340 barrels per day), 3% of total U.S. petroleum consumption in 2002.

That's nothing to scoff at, and represents the potential benefit of just one available technology offering incremental fuel economy benefits. In contrast, the recently proposed nationwide renewable fuels standard is designed to cut petroleum use by just 1-1.6% (about 3.9 billion gallons) by 2012. A fuel savings of 603,000 barrels per day is also almost as much as the the estimated peak production that could be achieved if we were to drill in ANWR (870,000 barrels per day).

And again, this is just one technology offering incremental fuel economy improvements to one sector of U.S. transportation energy consumption. We too often focus on the supply side of the issue - folks variously propose that we'll meet our energy needs in the future by drilling for more oil, ramping up ethanol production, switching to hydrogen, etc. etc. - and neglect the demand side of the equation, which is where our attention should focus first. Let's not forget the incredible potential of fuel economy improvements, which should be the first issue on the table if our country was really serious about domestic energy security.

In the transition to a sustainable energy future, we've got to do four things: 1) conserve; 2) conserve; 3) conserve; and 4) switch remaining energy consumption to clean, renewable energy sources.

Sid Hoffman, JesseJenkins,
The reduction in Pollution may be another hidden competitive advantage. With lower NOX, CO, and VOC emissions, the companies can easily reach Tier2Bin5 or better. This may result in savings in th future, as they do not have to contort themselves financially to buy new engines, or complete tractors. Additionally, they can advertise that they are more environmentally friendly, and may charge relatively lower freight rates due to lower fuel costs. Down the road, when they decide to get new trucks/engines, they can may reap further advantages in fuel efficiency and lower emissions.
_If hybrid cars sometimes can not use the energy produced via regenerative braking if either: a)the current is too high due to hard braking from highway speeds (50-65 mph) down to a stop b) battery is full or near full, and can not take anymore due to battery longevity protection. Equipment that runs during such instances, and produces H2 and O2 to be used like the Hy-Drive H2 system would boost fuel efficiency and lower emissions for all. Even a micro-hybrid can benefit; they would convert a larger portion of the energy captured as H2 and O2, to be used later. Diesel micro hybrid cars/light trucks would be the optimum combination of tech. They could have thermal efficiencies of 40-50%+, and Tier2Bin4 or better. Of course, the tanks would be of low-medium pressure, be the size of fire extinguishers (H2) and Mapp gas canisters (O2), and not like the large expensive ones in H2 cars.

I've asked around some engineers in the truck engine manufacturing business and no one is talking about using this technology. If Cat, Cummins or DDC could get even a 5% improvement they would be all over this. I think it is great, but I also think they are overstating its usefulness and not mentioning the fact that it only improves older less efficient engines. Here is a quote from Hypower's website

"Increased sophistication of engine computerization, exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), and ever-changing diesel fuel formulations can override the positive effects of hydrogen injection. The company has undertaken extensive research into the development of an interface control module (ICM) to work in either a stand-alone application with an engine's fuel delivery system or in conjunction with the HPP. The ICM prototype is currently being programmed and tested. This product has significant market potential in the trucking industry."

It is still great to improve older vehicles so they burn less fuel and polute less, but I hate exagerated inovations. I'm going to keep my eye on it and if anybody has some relevent test info on newer engines please let everybody here know.


Props to HyDrive. Just what we need. A simple cost effective retrofit product that provides a substantial fuel consumption reduction. Perfect. I would really like to see the NOx reduction numbers that these systems are capable of.

I've been thinking about importing a diesel BMW from europe. The problem is, U.S. Customs won't allow it in if it doesn't meet current EPA emissions regs (which are absolutely insane for NOx). I was thinking about a retrofit urea scr system, but that route appears to be very costly.

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