Even though new oil deposits are being discovered and new methods, such as fracking or bituminous sands, are providing ways to extract oil, it is still a dirty source of energy. Greenhouse gases are responsible for climate change (according to 97 percent of scientists) and air pollution contributes to more than 3.2 million premature deaths around the world each year. While oil-based fuels will continue to be the most economical source of energy for the foreseeable future, a solution to clean the environment has to include these types of fuels in order to gain acceptance.
The agreement between Ricardo, a global multi-industry engineering provider of technology, product innovation and strategic consulting, and Clean Air Power (CAP), a pioneer of natural-gas powered trucks and dual-fuel technology, will give the transportation industry a proven solution that provides fuel efficiency and protects the environment without compromising on performance.
The benefit of this technology by CAP is it doesn't change the basic design of the diesel engine or the diesel combustion. The engine is not modified except for the addition of a gas injection system and an externally-fitted Electronic Control Unit (ECU). Using a mixture comprised of 90 percent natural gas of the overall mixture the vehicle is able to function in the same way without losing performance. When the natural gas runs out the system relies back to 100 percent diesel and continues to operate seamlessly.
The flexibility of this solution also allows for Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) or Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), giving drivers multiple options. If the owner of the vehicle decides to sell it, the conversion can be reversed to pure diesel.
The role of Ricardo will be to ensure the CAP system adapts to the vehicle with the right fit, form and functional requirements. As an experienced company in engine design, controls, systems modeling and vehicle knowledge, Ricardo has been providing total vehicle fuel efficiency for marine, clean energy and power generation, rail, defense, agricultural and industrial vehicles, commercial vehicles, motorcycle and personal transportation, high-performance vehicle and motorsports, passenger cars and government.
"Natural gas in a dual fuel application offers both fuel economy and cost savings to the large and heavy duty engine industry. This agreement will help our global clients to achieve those savings more quickly, with reduced development time and robust system integration. We are pleased to be working with CAP as a system integrator for their patented dual-fuel technology," said Tom Apostolos, president of Ricardo’s U.S business.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey