Heavy Duty Trucking

NOV 2014

The Fleet Business Authority

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FuelSmarts 40 HDT • NOVEMBER 2014 www.truckinginfo.com New Westport system promises better natural gas power for medium-duty W estport Innovations introduced the first generation of enhanced spark-ignited natural gas systems, a new approach to natural gas combustion technology designed provide a "downsized" natural gas solution that is cost competitive while providing similar levels of power, torque, and fuel economy to a larger diesel engine. According to the company, the system uses 100% dedicated natural gas as fuel, with the new technology optimizing the combustion and thermal efficiencies of the engine by taking advantage of the positive properties of natural gas. The Westport ESI combustion system is targeted at sub-9-liter engines for Class 6 and 7 applications. The new technology was designed to provide up to 10% improvement in power and torque over base diesel engines. One of the benefits, accord- ing to Westport, comes in the form of overall ve- hicle weight, since the higher performance from the spark-ignited natural gas engine potentially allows a 4-liter natural gas engine to replace a 6-liter diesel engine. Volvo modifies LNG/DME plans V olvo has decided to put a hold on plans to launch its own compression ignition lique- fied natural gas engine for North America. The company's needs are being met with the current natural gas lineup, says Volvo. The manufacturer will continue to field test its DME- powered vehicles but has decided not to set a date for commercialization as it monitors market and stakeholder interest in the fuel. Volvo is currently working in a partnership with Oberon Fuels and Martin Energy Services to test DME as a viable, sustainable alternative to diesel fuel in heavy-duty applications. Oberon con- firmed that it is continuing to work with Volvo on DME development. DOE grant could reduce biofuel cost T he U.S. Department of Energy recently an- nounced a $13.4 million grant which will be used to fund five projects to develop advanced biofuels and bioproducts with the goal of reduc- ing the cost of biofuel to $3 per gallon by 2022. The grants have been awarded to the University of Wisconsin, American Process Inc. of Atlanta, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory of Golden, Colo., Natureworks of Minnetonka, Minn., and Vertimass of Irvine, Calif., for such projects as developing a process to produce high-value chemicals from biomass and com- mercializing technology to convert ethanol into diesel fuel, gasoline, and jet fuel blend stocks compatible with the current transportation fuel infrastructure. New hydrogen fuel cell technology unveiled H ydrogenics Corp. recently unveiled Celerity, a new hydrogen fuel cell system the company developed for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. The company says Celerity will help accelerate the commercialization of zero-emission vehicles by reducing the time and cost needed to integrate fuel cells into a ve- hicle's drivetrain. According to Hy- drogenics, Celerity offers new installation options that reduce the overall cost of vehicle ownership and provide the level of reliabil- ity and maintainabil- ity that bus and truck operations demand. The company hopes to accelerate the commer- cialization of fuel cell buses and trucks with this new technology. 2015 could see historic diesel price decline D iesel fuel prices will continue falling in 2015, according to a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The EIA projects a price of $3.80 for the beginning of 2015, falling from its current average of $3.85. In 2013, prices were as high as $3.92 per gallon, but falling crude oil prices and weakening demand have kept the price of a gallon falling. ■ FUEL in the News

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