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Westport Heavy-Duty LNG Highway Trucks Start Fleet Operations In Australia

Westport Innovations announced the start of fleet operations of four Westport heavy-duty liquefied natural gas (LNG) trucks as part of the previously-announced Australian LNG truck demonstration program. Additionally, Westport has received the first Australian pre-orders for its 2008-model year LNG truck systems.

With the assistance of the AUD$1.4 million award from the Australian government’s Alternative Fuels Conversion Programme (AFCP), Westport has been working to develop and test its HPDI (high pressure direct injection, earlier post) system for heavy-duty highway trucks in Australia’s demanding operating conditions. Australian truck fleets operate the highest mileage, highest load trucks in the world.

The Westport HPDI system directly injects a small quantity of pilot diesel fuel into the engine cylinder to provide diesel-like compression ignition for natural gas. This gives the engine the efficiency and low-speed torque advantages of compression ignition while using natural gas as the primary fuel and significantly reducing emissions.

Three fleet operators of long-distance truck routes have begun operating four new prototype Kenworth T404/408 SAR trucks powered by 2008 Cummins 15-liter ISX engines featuring Westport’s direct injection LNG fuel system. Because LNG is simply natural gas that has been cooled to the point where it changes state from gas to liquid, it is an excellent choice for highway trucks because of their range and weight restrictions. LNG is beginning to be widely produced in Australia, where its relatively low cost compared to diesel fuel can deliver significant cost savings for fleets.

The testing results conducted to date have validated:

  • Matching the Australian diesel power and torque ratings up to 580 hp and 1850 lb-ft.

  • Matching the efficiency and fuel consumption of the base diesel engine on the transient and composite test cycles.

  • Greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions of more than 20% relative to the base diesel on the transient and composite test cycles.

  • Particulate matter reductions of approximately 50% relative to base diesel and meeting all other limits for certification to the Australian 2008 standards.

Westport’s four demonstration vehicles will use LNG supplied by Wesfarmers Kleenheat Gas.

Westport is planning to offer three LNG power ratings for the Australia Cummins ISX engine (ISX 485, ISX 525, and ISX 550) beginning in mid-2008, with peak power ranging from 500 hp to 580 hp, and torque of 1,650 to 1,850 lb-ft, in selected 2008 model-year truck chassis. Testing has been completed and a submission to the Australian Department of Transport and Regional Services (DoTARS) is being prepared for certification of the Westport LNG engine to the 2008 Australian standards (ADR 80/02).



Only 20% reduction in CO2 emissions
Only 50% reduction in particulate emission

As long as it's fossil gas, this is only a very small step, and only another reason to keep driving fossil, even when we run out of crude.
The only long-term advantage I see is that it's probably easier to produce bio-methane than bio-diesel.


Congratulations are sincerely in order
This reminds me of the Orbital combustion process stratifed charge technology born of the Sarich orbital engine technology cica late 60's and now being implemented globally. Should read only now being implemented. Or the liquid injection of lpg to the domestic fleet, recently after many years of dogged research (by start up research co.s)
I am sure that this will trigger the engine desighners to optimize their designs for LNG. Along with some other overdue changes ie offsetting the crank to match the crank area of maximum deflection to the actual piont of max combustion pressure ie hondas(?) Assymetric wrist pin.
All these concepts being promoted through technology transfer. Even (especially) the powerfull USA wont afford the best technology ahead of cost in the current patent climate.

Maybe the carbon credit schemes will see to that.

I am seriously concerned that the present buisness as usual approach of Aus a US administrations will turn our efforts to a negative no matter how good. Does anyone seriosly think that bringing on a new fuel source Uranium, bio, lng lpg, hydrogen etc wont be seen as an opportunity to increase the growth and expand the economy etc .
Show me some evidence and I'll show you ten.

Our current goverments (and big to small buisness and individuals) seem determined to see the "end of days." Dont want to be negative but lets get real.
Those of us who have the misfortune to observe the Hydrogen\nuclear propogandist La Rouche inst , the Pope etc Populate the planet like this and it will only be us humans who will suffer the browning as there wont be any other life forms remaining anyway.

The informed among us understand the time frames required to implement any new technology, and which as in the sarich orbital case, nearly 40 years must be concerned to see 0 fossil fuel alternatives. What part dont we understand here the 0 or fossil?.

I'd love to see some of our ailing and (publicly subsidised ) car manufactures do something usefull like convert some plants to manufacture of wind turbines small ones around the size of a car engine to the limit of thier current (weight) limits. Provide those jobs the pollies keep ranting about to scare the populous, You know the machines the are impossibe ones make enough of to make a difference.
This will provide jobs, training regional employment, boost our economies and make someone happy, none of whch we are acheiving presently.
But it seems pollies are too busy fighting wars and opening new fonts to cover up their mess to give a rats A about you or me.
With an election coming here in 14 days time, Our present government is running hard trying to scare the pants off the uninformed and the unsure but the bullshits so thick on he ground, its getting hard to walk. Smells of either absolute stupidity or corruption. But they go together like p's in pod.
:Quote of the week . We wont solve a mess we created with the same thinking we used to create it. : Albert Einstein.

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