Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Road Haulage and Logistics Group Trials New Dual Fuel Technology

System Minimises the Use of LPG to Enhance Diesel Engine Performance
Shipping News Feature

UK – French headquartered road haulage and logistics group Norbert Dentressangle is one of six companies taking part in a field trial of a pioneering LPG combustion enhancement system which could see the company improve its fuel efficiency by more than 15%. The EASI-LPG system is being fitted to one of Norbert Dentressangle’s 18 tonne Renault Premium rigids with automatic transmission, and is one of six vehicles taking part in a six month ‘in-service’ trial which will test the system under real operational conditions.

Developed by vehicle monitoring equipment supplier Btrack, the EASI-LPG has attracted £92,000 ‘proof of concept’ co-funding from the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, in order to evaluate the potential for a highly cost-effective control system to manage the amount of a second fuel added to the air intake of a diesel engine.

Unlike typical ‘dual fuel’ diesel/LPG systems, EASI-LPG uses only small amounts of LPG to enhance the combustion of the diesel and increase energy release and is being referred to as an ‘LPG enhancement’ system. According to leading fuel efficiency consultant Dr Michael Coyle, who has invested in the development of the system, a single tank containing 45kg of LPG is sufficient for a week’s operation of a typical truck and is expected to deliver a 20% increase in torque, translating into an overall fuel economy improvement of at least 15.5%. CO2 savings are expected to be in line with the fuel savings, with even greater reductions in particulates and NOx.

Norbert Dentressangle says that 95% of its trucks meet Euro IV and V standards and was the first company to take delivery of a Euro VI vehicle. The company already operates a number of diesel-electric hybrid vehicles, both in the UK and in mainland Europe and continues to invest in technical and operational solutions which optimise vehicle capacity and utilisation, e.g., double-deck trailers, longer semi-trailers, composite tankers and aluminium semi-trailers.