Cummins Westport Inc., a joint venture of Cummins Inc. (of Columbus, Indiana, and Westport Innovations Inc. of Vancouver, British Columbia, announced today that it won $760,000 (US$477,000) in funding to improve heavy-duty vehicle fuel pump and storage technology for liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The financial assistance award was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy's Chicago Operations Office in cooperation with DOE's Office of Transportation Technology and Brookhaven National Laboratory. The funding is intended to support the expanded use of LNG for heavy-duty trucks and buses and lessen U.S. dependency on imported oil.
A goal of the one-year program is to develop and demonstrate an advanced- design integrated fuel tank and pump system for vehicles fueled with LNG, which must be maintained at temperatures as low as -160 Celsius (-260 degrees Fahrenheit). As part of the program, Cummins Westport will develop technology to enable refueling with LNG at its maximum-density state, to provide the longest possible vehicle range and hold time for a given fuel tank size
. In addition, the technology developed by Cummins Westport for on-board storage will eliminate the need for pressure-increasing equipment at LNG refueling stations, improving their reliability and decreasing their cost.
"The advances from this program will further enhance the attractiveness of heavy-duty trucks and buses incorporating our low-emissions Cummins Westport ISXG and ISMG engines," said Hugh Foden, President of Cummins Westport. "We are grateful for the funding from the U.S. Department of Energy because it ensures the best LNG storage technology will be ready in time for commercial launch of these engines in 2004."
The ISXG and ISMG engines incorporate proprietary direct injection and fuel management technologies. In road trials, mainly in California, ISXG engines in 17 trucks recently passed combined service of 2.2 million kilometers (1.4 million miles). Compared with their diesel counterparts, the Cummins Westport ISXG and ISMG will have the same performance but substantially lower emissions of oxides of nitrogen, particulate matter and carbon dioxide.