Natural gas engines manufacturer Westport Innovations Inc. has developed an on-board storage solution that provides “best in class” performance for vehicles using liquefied natural gas (LNG). The new Westport LNG Tank System, will be available in 120 and 150 gallon capacities, is optimized for spark ignited (SI) engines and begins shipping by mid-2013. The Westport LNG Tank System features proprietary Westport technology and is expected to provide customers with the ability to fuel even the largest SI engines on a single tank and deliver extended range.
Key characteristics of the new Westport LNG Tank System:
- Current industry standard systems require two LNG tanks to operate effectively with larger SI engines and require warm (saturated) LNG. The Westport LNG Tank System is optimized for trucks running even the largest SI engines, reducing the overall fuel system costs and weight dramatically with the single-tank option.
- The 120 gallon or 150 gallon single-tank systems can run for approximately 350 to 450 miles, respectively, on cold (unsaturated) LNG fuel. Those ranges double for dual-tank configurations.
- Fuel-flexibility with the ability to carry both cold and warm LNG.
- By carrying fuel as cold LNG, the Westport LNG Tank System can increase fuel storage times and improve vehicle range by up to 10 percent.
- Universal system design allows for any original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to integrate.
- Compared to existing compressed natural gas (CNG) options, a single 150 gallon Westport LNG Tank System takes the place of three standard CNG tanks, lowering fuel storage costs and reducing overall vehicle weight by approximately 600 lbs. Additionally, LNG has shorter refuelling times compared to CNG.
- Customers receive a two year / 250,000 mile warranty along with access to field service from Westport-trained personnel.
- Westport Active System Management features proprietary control algorithms and connects with standard engine controllers to allow fuel delivery to match driving patterns.
- An advanced driver display that indicates not only the LNG fuel levels, but also status and diagnostic information about the tank and integrated pumps.
- Fleets with a combination of SI and Westport™ HPDI trucks can now rely on the same LNG refuelling infrastructure due to the system’s fuel-flexible capabilities.
“Our early production systems tested with the Cummins Westport ISX12 G in a Peterbilt 384 truck have proven to have excellent performance characteristics and superior operating results on a single tank,” said Steve Anderson, Westport HD Vice President of Business Development. “We believe this is the only on-board fuel system for LNG-fueled engines that can operate on a single tank using range-extending cold LNG.”
“Thanks to the flexibility and range of the Westport LNG Tank System, fleet operators can now use the same cold LNG and technology across their fleet in a range of vehicle and engine sizes,” said Anderson.
(This article compiled using information from a Westport Innovations, Inc. press release)