When Two Becomes One: Higher Fuel Efficiency & TCO

CLEANER ENGINES ARE GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT – AND YOUR TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP (TCO)

The demand for lower vehicle emissions and higher fuel efficiency in the automotive industry has drifted over other motive industries. And, industrial lift trucks are no exception. Besides the market demand, European regulations have influenced the development of the modern industrial engines.

To meet these requirements, many diesel engine manufacturers are using Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) systems, an emission after-treatment technology that converts Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) in the diesel engine exhaust stream into nitrogen and water vapour. These two natural components are certainly more friendly for the environment.

So, how do emission systems work? And, how do they play a role in lowering emissions and improving fuel efficiency?

The Combustion Process for Higher Fuel Efficiency

NOx gases are created during the combustion process by the high cylinder temperatures in the engine. To reduce NOx emissions before they develop, you must decrease the cylinder temperature during the combustion process.

To meet the emissions regulations, you can use several new air systems and technologies such as:

  1. Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system and
  2. Common rail

1. Exhaust Gas Recirculation

The Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system, which is also known as a NOx Reduction System (NRS system), captures a portion of the engine’s exhaust, cools it, and routes it back into the intake manifold. The EGR is effective, because the total percentage of oxygen available in the combustion chamber is reduced due to the recirculated exhaust gas containing very little oxygen in contrast to the boosted air. This reduced amount of oxygen in the combustion chamber allows for fuel injection timing to be more advanced, which aids in reducing cylinder temperatures. Thus leading to reduced NOx output.

And it doesn’t stop there. Whilst the EGR reduces the NOx levels during engine combustion, the after-treatment reduces Particulate Matter (PM), Hydrocarbons (HC) and Carbon Monoxide CO in the exhaust.

2. Common Rail

Common Rail is a fuel injection system that you can find in modern diesel engines. The systems provide a level of flexibility leading to class leading emission control, power and fuel consumption. An increasing number of modern diesel engines employ Common Rail Direct Injection (CRDi) fuel systems for the flexibility they provide, whilst meeting the most stringent emission control standards.

In a Common Rail system, you can use a variable pressure in a cylinder or ‘rail’ to store the fuel. This connects to the engine’s fuel injectors via individual pipes. This makes it a ‘Common Rail’ to all the injectors. You can control the pressure with a fuel pump. But it is actually the fuel injectors, working in conjunction with the fuel pump, that controls the timing and amount of the injected fuel. The fuel is injected under pressure with electronically controlled precision. When comparing them to older fuel systems, the Common Rail system is able to supply fuel at a higher pressure. This ensures a more efficient use of fuel. Fuel consumption drops due to a finer spray of fuel, which in turn burns more efficiently.

The common rail system also provides fuel in more steps, through timing flexibility, instead of only providing it once. This improves noise levels, vibration and harshness, making the engine quieter and run more smoothly.

A further advantage of the CRDi system is that it injects the fuel directly into the combustion chamber. This means there is less fuel waste, due to fewer particulates in the exhaust and deposits in the engine.

The Welfaux Conclusion

Modern techniques bring high torque, great power at low revolutions and trouble free operations. But companies are also seeking to minimise their Carbon Footprint and create a higher fuel efficiency. They can do this by simply reducing their energy consumption.

By utilising vehicles that have cleaner emissions and lower consumption rates, they can also expect lower operating costs.

If you need any more advice or information on how you can lower your carbon emissions, contact Welfaux to speak to one of our friendly advisors.