Volvo Powertrain to Incorporate Clean Air Power Natural Gas Dual-Fuel Technology into Volvo Truck Engines
|The Dual-Fuel diesel-gas cycle. Click to enlarge.|
Volvo Powertrain has signed a Letter of Intent with Clean Air Power Ltd. to incorporate UK-based Clean Air Power’s Dual-Fuel natural gas technology (earlier post) into Volvo Truck engines. Clean Air Power’s Dual-Fuel application enables diesel engines to operate primarily on up to 85-90% natural gas with diesel pilot ignition.
The letter of intent covers the development and commercialization of products which will include Clean Air Power’s technology and the intention is that they will be marketed and supported by Volvo Trucks.
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The Letter of Intent, to be superseded by a formal contract by the middle of 2009, provides for certain milestones relating to gas substitution levels, emissions compliance, performance and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 litre truck which was exhibited at WIREC (Washington International Renewable Energy Conference) in the USA.
The Volvo Group is the largest truck engine manufacturer in the world and its truck brands include, Renault, Mack, Nissan Diesel and Volvo.
Dual-Fuel. Dual-Fuel technology currently is available in two main product variants:
A system interfaced directly with the vehicle manufacturer’s ECU (the Hawk). Communication between ECUs is managed by Clean Air Power’s controller area network (CAN) interface. Interfaced control delivers the best from the Dual-Fuel system—optimized criteria pollutants; 90% fuel substitution (natural gas for diesel); and a greenhouse gas emissions. Interfaced Dual-Fuel can be offered as a production-fit or a retro-fit solution.
A less complex after-market retro-fit solution delivering the capability to exploit the commercial and environmental benefits of Dual-Fuel today, ahead of full-scale manufacture product offering (Genesis). Genesis requires no manufacturer ECU access. On-road, Genesis delivers 50% to 60% gas substitution. Genesis is available on Euro III DAF CF85 and Mercedes Axor vehicles, in addition to the work with Volvo.
Dual-Fuel systems have three main components: the electronic control unit (ECU); turbocharger air bypass (TAB); and gas injection system (electronically controlled gas injectors installed in a modified air inlet manifold.)
In addition to the current Dual-Fuel technology, Clean Air Power is developing MicroPilot, which will use smaller diesel pilot injections comprising 1-2% of the total fuel to reduce NOx emissions by more than 80%. Clean Air Power intends MicroPilot engines to be compliant with Euro V and beyond.