Periodic Reporting for period 1 - E6 Evolution (Dual Fuel Euro6 Engine Conversion Feasibility Study)
Reporting period: 2015-07-01 to 2015-12-31
Dual fuel is almost universally recognised to be the best and simplest way of both adapting existing engines and providing design architecture for new ones.
The Overall objective of the complete Work Programme is to investigate the opportunity to develop the first commercially available Euro 6 emissions compliant, novel, robust & low cost dual fuel (gas/diesel) conversion for HGV engines.
G-volution Dual Fuel Technology is an existing and proven and patented technology platform at Euro 5, which enables conventional diesel engines to run on a high percentage of Methane gas (Natural or Bio gas) stored in liquid or compressed form. Development of this successful Euro 5 platform for the latest Euro 6 engines has now reached small batch production level, but requires further development a) to provide the necessary volume production and b) the targeted cost downs to substantiate a business case for operators to specify.
To achieve this the cost of G-volution’s current LNG development platform is targeted to reduce from €42k installed to €22k, enabling HGV fleet technology adopters (mid & long distance) to gain a payback on the capital outlay within twelve months.
This will be carried out by building an EU automotive standard supply chain, increasing component quality to TS16949 standards & creating an efficient volume manufacturing process. The project will accelerate Dual Fuel Technology (DFT) adoption providing significant CO2 & other emission improvements, increasing competitiveness, & providing economic benefits to hauliers & customers across EU.
Specifically the objectives of this feasibility study are to investigate and propose the development of the technology together with a supply chain road map that will enable the delivery of the cost, quality & production targets during the phase 2 programme. In detail the following steps were initially envisaged and are further described in the study:
• Breakdown & cost analysis of the current prototype system components, together with their design, performance specifications & cost to identify areas for innovation & improvement.
• Investigation of the potential supply chain, at first tier level, together with a design cost analysis of high cost items. This to include potential changes to design and material specifications etc. along with current and potential supply chain capability. Revised system and component specifications along with defined costs, to be matched to EU supply chain opportunities to meet TS16949 requirements.
• Identification & assessment of suitable supply chain partners for development and potential supply of core components. In particular gas containment (LNG tank), injection system & control system (ECU).
• Review of the current market position in relation to the adoption of natural gas and dual fuel within Europe, including discussions with established OEM connections to identify country specific requirements & prioritised market entry.
In summary the objective of the development programme is to build on the work carried out in this, Phase 1, in order to:
• Further develop the electronics platform, currently at small production batch level, to be capable of controlling gas injection systems on a number of Euro 6 engine platforms.
• Develop components and strategies for gas injection and exhaust after treatment technology capable of meeting the emissions regulation governing Euro 6 dual fuel trucks, reliably and at high unit volumes.
• Work alongside potential and existing supply chain partners to provide a commercial solution that is capable of being sold at, or below, the target price, at the required high volumes.
• Consult with interested OEMs in order for them to gain acceptance of, and subsequently specify, the G-volution product, and to work with them in future in order to develop next generations of low emissions HGVs.
The role of natural gas as an alternative road fuel for heavy diesel powered vehicles has been identified and earmarked by various EU Governments as a future route for significant CO2, and other emissions reductions. Dual fuel is almost universally recognised to be the best and simplest way of both adapting existing engines and providing design architecture for new ones.
G-volution has developed, through its own resources, a dual fuel solution for Euro 6 which provides the above environmental together with significant operating cost savings for hauliers. This solution is still in prototype/small number sales stage, assessed to be TRL 6/7, currently the capital cost provides a payback for adopters but, practically around 2 years plus. This is not universally attractive, and furthermore the conservative OEMs would rather rely on existing diesel technology until dual fuel can be proved in larger numbers.
In overall terms this report emphasises and makes clear:
• there is an existing technology which is in the process of mass adoption
• if cost effective, the growth of the technology can be fast within the EU
• such growth can be supported by infrastructure (gas re-filling) and will lead to significant carbon reductions within the EU within a short time
In further detail the feasibility study has shown/produced:
• A potential for short term solution cost savings of the order of 50%.
• A large potential market, supported by various government strategies and the need to address environmental issues.
• The willingness of at least one heavy vehicle OEM to provide guidance in next stage development.
• The robust position in regard to the IP held by G-volution and the way forward for its development and exploitation.
• A business plan which considers a logical progression of routes to market and provides significant returns on what is considered a practical development project.
• The potential for profitability and earnings for a European SME innovation in the EU and wider worldwide market place.
As might be expected G-volution as a small SME is unable to find further funding of the order required to finance the required development programme and realise the business potential demonstrated to exist within the feasibility study.
It is therefore proposed to produce a project proposal under the EC Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Second Stage Call with the prime objective of achieving the business plan discussed.
This will then bring the dual fuel Euro VI innovation to full market potential, raise its TRL level to 9/10, and allow it to be supplied at prices and volumes required by the EU and worldwide market place.