California Energy Commission to award up to $3M for advanced natural gas engine R&D for Class 3–7 vehicles
The California Energy Commission (CEC) has issued a funding notice (PON-12-504) for advanced natural gas engine research and development concepts for light heavy-duty vehicles (LHDV) and medium heavy-duty vehicles (MHDV) (Classes 3–7) operated in fleets throughout California.
There is $3 million available from this PON, with the possibility of additional funding from related program sources. The Energy Commission anticipates selecting at least three projects for funding.
This solicitation is open to public and private entities. Eligible projects are to demonstrate promising technologies that advance the performance, fuel efficiency, and competitiveness of natural gas engines, based on existing gasoline and diesel engines of approximately 6 – 8 liters displacement suited to power Class 3–7 vehicles.
Class 3 (light heavy-duty trucks) is defined as Gross Vehicle Weight Rating from 10,001 to 14,000 lbs, and Class 4 through Class 7 (medium heavy-duty trucks) is defined as Gross Vehicle Weight Rating from 14,001 to 33,000 lbs.
The CEC is seeking advancements to address improving power density and engine control technologies as well as overall engine efficiency. Technologies include but are not limited to: dual fuel; bi-fuel; multi-port injection (MPI); enhanced exhaust gas recirculation (EGR); and new fuel injection technologies.
The Energy Commission is encouraging adaptation and optimization of advanced gasoline and diesel engine technologies; it is also encouraging proposals that demonstrate an opportunity to lower production cost of natural gas engines and vehicles.
Broadly, the CEC is seeking projects that will targeting high fuel use Class 3–7 fleet applications in both on-road and off-road market sectors and propose concepts that offer significant reduction in fuel consumption relative to existing natural gas engines.
The commission is also encouraging the development of an “intelligent” engine that operates with maximum efficiency under a wide variety of conditions. This can provide two-fold benefits: efficient part-load operation; and control systems with the capability to adjust to a range of fuel properties, enabling penetration into wider markets. Penetration into wider markets can bring production scale economies to improve competitive pricing.
Engines should exceed applicable California Air Resources Board (CARB) heavy-duty on-road emission certification requirements for 2010 and later, including meeting a prospective nitrogen oxides (NOx) emission regulation of 0.05 grams/brake horsepower-hour (g/bhp-hr) or lower.
Proposed research projects must include the development and prototype testing of advanced concepts for later product development; and/or development of engine components and systems for near-term market introduction.
Proposals submitted under this solicitation must include a 20% non-state match share relative to the Energy Commission’s award.