This article is reproduced with kind permission of Transport Operator
Technology provider addvantage Global says its retrofit solution can reduce CO2 emissions and deliver fuel savings
With liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) costing significantly less than diesel and resulting in fewer emissions, many have tried to find commercially viable solutions to use the two fuels in tandem to deliver reduced emissions and fuel-cost savings.
Previous approaches used have been plagued with issues, both in terms of their success and the impact on heavy-duty truck engines, and have failed to achieve commercial success.
However, with successful trials and more than ten million miles clocked up in real-world use, addvantage Global has perfected LPG substitution technology with a simple retrofit solution that delivers significant emission and fuel-cost reductions with no detrimental impact on engines.
addvantage is an aftermarket fuel-cost saving and emissions control system. The addvantage system injects LPG into heavy-duty diesel engines at conservative percentages to combine with the primary diesel fuel to lower cost of operation due to the typically lower cost of LPG.
The key to the success of the addvantage dual-fuel technology, and what makes it unique, is they have taken a simple approach to what has previously been a complex task.
As Kevin Campbell, Technical Director of addvantage Global explains: “Our solution is based on a ‘less is more’ philosophy. By limiting our target fuel substitution to 25 per cent, we have eliminated a number of barriers that have beset other systems.”
This conservative target has reduced the requirements for on-board fuel storage, as well as making the hardware and software tasks reasonable in scope. The approach reduces installation times, costs and risks, delivering a system that can be shared across multiple engine platforms and user applications.
Critically, addvantage also results in increased driver satisfaction by maintaining power and drivability at original standards.
The addvantage Control Unit (ACU) acts passively from the CAN bus, relying on receiving data across the J1939 protocol. The ACU assesses various vehicle data points and applies a 1D fuel map to adjust the injection rate of the secondary fuel (LPG) by adjusting the duty cycle of the LPG injectors.
The ACU is designed to ensure no LPG injection valves are open during power failure, stalling of the vehicle or in the case of a detected system leak. This is done by the dual-power supply architecture, allowing the power outputs to be disabled either in a fail condition or intentionally. The ACU relies on R67 certified LPG pressure sensors to provide feedback on leaks.
The ACU system has been designed to be plug-and-play. The CAN signals required are those used by the FMS Gateway. No connection to powertrain or braking CAN systems are required.
The LPG is injected into the air intake system as close to the combustion chamber as possible at an Air Fuel Ratio (AFR) of approximately 400:1. As a result, there is no risk of detonation. The addvantage system is easily retrofitted in about four hours and no internal modifications to the engine are required.
Kevin goes on to say: “After years of development, addvantage is now proven in real-world use. addvantage has been in service with a variety of heavy-goods vehicles and a range of customers in the haulage industry for several years.
“Trucks fitted with the addvantage system have covered more than ten million miles. No damage at all has been incurred as a result of the addvantage system on any of the vehicles it has been installed on.”
Years of dual-fuel engine experience with multiple strategies has shown no adverse wear on properly maintained engines. The primary risk with traditional dual-fuel systems is detonation. The conservative approach addvantage has taken has eliminated this risk. This also results in the system being relatively low pressure and low heat. The engine wear found in dual-fuel systems that results from higher temperature due to high proportions of secondary fuel does not apply to addvantage.
To date, a wide variety of truck and engine combinations have been fitted successfully with no adverse wear, including DAF CF and LF, Volvo, Mercedes, Iveco, International LT, Cummins, Paccar. Euro 4, 5 and 6 have all been fitted successfully.
While all fleets will see significant cuts in emissions and fuel costs, higher fuel use applications will see the optimum reductions. The ideal fleet profile will use heavy-duty, articulated trucks that have an average mileage of 75,000 miles/annum/truck or above and operate a Return to Base model. Fleets fitting this profile will achieve a reduction in CO2 emissions of 23 per cent and fuel-cost reductions of up to 13 per cent.
The addvantage Control Unit and wiring loom is produced by TT Electronics Plc, a Tier 1 electronics manufacturer who produce electronic systems for vehicle OEMs, aerospace, space and military.
The addvantage system has been manufactured to OEM standards and the system and the supporting gas components are built and produced to conform with key industry standards, including UN ECE R67 LPG Type Approval and UN ECE R10 Electromagnetic Compliance.
During the design stage, TTE successfully conducted extensive tests including Highly Accelerated Life Testing (HALT), Thermal Cycling, Vibration & Shock, Chemical Resistance, Salt/Spray and Ingress Protection.
Equal care is taken during the manufacturing process, with the addvantage system being in a TTE IMS facility conforming to ISO 9001, IATF16949 and VCA Conformity for production.
A recent enhancement to the addvantage system is the dashboard monitoring system. It monitors the diesel and LPG consumption from the engine management system and the addvantage ACU. It also calculates both the monetary benefits based on fuel costs and operator efficiency and the CO2 reduction.
In addition to showing the driver the LPG levels and warning when levels are low, the dashboard monitoring systems also sends data back to head office in real time. Web browser and mobile based dashboards give simple views of the current and historic consumption figures for both fuels along with the actual saving over the selected period of time. Reporting is available across the entire fleet, by truck or by driver.
As one user, Lee Finch of G&B Finch explains: “The fuel and carbon savings from the addvantage system are impressive, but the dashboard is a game changer for us. We can see when LPG is running out; we can easily see if this happens regularly for certain drivers; we can see both cost and CO2 savings in real time. The dashboard is a fantastic aid to running our fleet efficiently.”
Trials are available for qualifying fleets and installations of addvantage take about four hours. However, the success of the systems means that trials and installations are now being made available on a first-come, first-served basis. Interested parties can contact addvantage Global for further information, or to arrange a trial.
For further information, contact:
Daniel Mitchell, CEO
addvantage Global Ltd
+44 (0) 7831 858624