Two Carolina-based firms are partnering to expand the use of dual fuel conversion systems for trucks and other heavy-duty vehicle applications.

Skygo LLC has designed two engine conversion systems for Detroit Diesel Series 60 and DD 15 engines and is partnering with AMBAC International, a supplier of fuel systems and related components in the heavy-duty diesel engine industry. They expect to receive certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by early April.

Both conversion systems to allow alternate natural gas and diesel fueling on Detroit Diesel engines should be commercially available by mid April from AMBAC, Skygo President Michael Kilbourne told NGI on Monday. The systems can displace more than 60% of the diesel used by the engines.

A Skygo-designed dual fuel system is available now in the aftermarket upgrade of 2007-2009 Cummins ISX engines, and there are an estimated 500-700 dual-fuel heavy-duty trucks in operation nationally, said Kilbourne.

“According to EPA data, the system reduced emissions up to 20% and demonstrated displacements [natural gas substitution] for approximately 60%,” Kilbourne said. “Although the results are not in yet, the [Detroit Diesel] engines are expected to perform just as well.”

Kilbourne estimates that the new systems will offer fleet owners the possibility of a return on their investment in a little more than a year’s time.

While the dual fuel system is initially designed for trucking applications, Kilbourne said that eventually the technology could be applied to many different applications, including transit buses, off-road, marine, utility and stationary power. “When Skygo’s dual fuel technology is in use, the system is saving money and lowering harmful emissions,” he said.

AMBAC, a longtime heavy-duty engine equipment manufacturer, is making the systems in its ISO9001-certified manufacturing facility in Columbia, SC. AMBAC officials said they are offering a special discount for the dual fuel systems during the next 90 days on order for the Cummins ISX or pre-orders of the Detroit Diesel systems.