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Westport Joint Venture Juniper Introduces LPG Engines; Initial Focus on Industrial Markets with Hyundai Engine Platforms

Juniper LPG engines. Click to enlarge.

Juniper Engines Inc., a joint venture between Westport Innovations Inc. and SIT’s subsidiary OMVL SpA (OMVL) of Italy, presented its new 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter alternative fuel engines at the ProMAT Exposition in Chicago, Illinois.

Juniper’s engines, initially targeting the OEM liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) forklift market, will be fully integrated, high-performance, low-emission solutions. The Juniper products are based on the Hyundai Motor Company’s 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter industrial engine platforms, and OMVL’s LPG multipoint injection technology.

Illustration of the Juniper MPI system. Click to enlarge.

The Juniper advanced sequential multipoint system (MPI) injects gaseous LPG into the intake port. The fuel injectors are microprocessor controlled and the injector pulse-width is based on a speed/density algorithm.

(For dual-fuel products, the gasoline fuel system is similar, using a distinct set of injectors and receiving fuel from a tank with integral pump, pressure regulator and filter. The gasoline engine also includes an evaporative emissions control system in the form of a charcoal absorbent can and purge valve, controlled by ECU.)

Closed loop fuel control uses a standard switching type oxygen sensor to maintain a stoichiometric fuel mixture and adjust adaptive learning parameters as the system ages. Regulatory exhaust emissions are obtained by use of a three-way catalyst (TWC). Juniper will be the manufacturer of record and the products are designed to meet EPA and CARB standards for 2010.

The open loop engine calibration has been mapped through development on a motoring engine dynamometer and field testing. This gives the control system tight control of the engine about the stoichiometric point with more rapid toggling of the fuel/air ratio. The faster fuel control system minimizes the required catalyst size and required precious metal loading and provides additional benefits for long-term catalyst life.

The products are expected to be available in the second half of 2009.

According to the Industrial Truck Association, approximately 76,000 industrial forklift trucks (Class 4 and Class 5 combined), primarily LPG-fuelled, were sold in North America in 2007.

Juniper says that its integrated engine and fuel system solution offers advantages over incumbent products, including:

  • A more compact fuel system and engine package;
  • Higher torque and power;
  • Enhanced acceleration and transient response;
  • Precise air-fuel ratio control resulting in optimized catalyst cost; and
  • Quick starting.

Juniper has established a comprehensive logistics and after-sales support network through SIT Group, OMVL’s parent company. Juniper’s network will service and supply its customers and the markets they service with original parts, service tools and technical support. Juniper’s distribution network will also provide OEM engine parts for the Hyundai base engines.

Juniper Engines Inc. is a joint venture between wholly owned subsidiaries of Westport Innovations Inc. (49%) and SIT (51%). OMVL is based in Pernumia, Italy and is a leading global player in the alternative fuel vehicles sector. OMVL designs, manufactures and markets complete fuelling systems for new vehicles and for the aftermarket conversion of engines from gasoline to CNG and LPG.

OMVL currently collaborates with the global manufacturers of motor vehicles, including Volkswagen, Peugeot, Citroën and Ford, with sales in Europe, the Americas and Australasia.


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