Promising cleaner operations and less maintenance, Vancouver, BC-based Cummins Westport Inc. introduced a new mid-range 6.7-liter dedicated natural gas vehicle (NGV) engine for use in traditional (Type C) school buses. It is now in field trials and will be in full production the middle of next year.
Dubbed the ISB6.7 G, Cummins Westport rolled out the new engine at the North American School Bus Show -- STN Expo Conference and Trade Show in Reno, NV (July 25-28). It is based on Cummins' ISB6.7 diesel engine platform, which is touted as the industry leader in the Cummins mid-range family of engines.
"An important feature of the new engine is a three-way catalyst [TWC] after treatment that is packaged as a muffler and is maintenance free," a Cummins Westport spokesperson said. There is no need to have the particulate filter or selective catalytic reduction after treatment required with a diesel engine.
The engine operates on all natural gas transportation fuels -- compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG), or renewable natural gas from landfills and biogas digesters, according to Cummins Westport.
Preliminary specifications include a range of ratings up to 260 horsepower, 660 pound-feet of torque and automatic transmission capability to meet customers and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) requirements, the spokesperson said. The engine will be produced in Cummins' Rocky Mount plant in Whitakers, NC.
Cummins Westport President Rob Neitzke called the new engine "the natural choice for Type C school bus customers desiring clean, quiet and safe operations with diesel-like power and performance."
While Congress fixed a tax inequity for LNG as a transportation fuel in July (see Daily GPI,July 31), the National Conference of Weights and Measures (NCWM) meeting earlier in July in Philadelphia failed to adopt the diesel gallon equivalent (DGE) standard for natural gas, causing disappointment among NGV advocates.
Currently 26 states use DGE for taxation of LNG and ten have passed legislation or approved regulations recognizing the DGE as a standard for dispensing natural gas as a transportation fuel, according to NGVAmerica, which vowed to continue working with allies at the state level to get the DGE standard recognized nationally.
NGVAmerica President Matt Godlewski attributed the WCWM's lack of action to a "dysfunctional voting process" that ignored principles of transparency, uniformity and consistency. But he said state legislators "understand the importance of this issue."
Meanwhile, the push to open more CNG fueling continued in Florida, Iowa and Indiana. Fort Lauderdale-based Patriot CNG broke ground on a new fueling station for the city of Rockledge, FL, on the Atlantic coast east of Orlando. It will be located at the Brevard County service facility.
In Iowa, a new Gain Clean Fuel CNG station in Des Moines will support CNG-fueled trucks operated by Ruan Transportation Management Systems. The facility was designed by CESO Inc. and its on-site construction management unit, DDC. The station has twin four-stage 200-horsepower compressors packaged by Wisconsin's CMD Converting Solutions.
In Indiana, Gain has a new CNG station for trucks operated by Delco Foods, a four-lane station that CMD helped package. It will support 17 Delco trucks, including six Freightliner tractors with Agility Fuel Systems CNG arrays, and a Kenworth truck with a Trilogy CNG array.
Internationally, Xebec Adsorption reported that it has supplied the equipment for a landfill gas upgrading installation in northeast China that is now being used to fuel a taxi fleet in Anshan, China. The upgrading system is based on Xebec's fast-cycle PSA pressure swing adsorption technology with the equipment assembled and integrated in Xebec's Shanghai facility to meet Chinese code and certification requirements.