The company I work for recently ordered a kit to convert one of our existing trucks to dual-fuel. When installed, the truck will burn an aproximate 75% natural gas/ 25% diesel fuel mixture. The engine (Cummins ISX) will be capable of returning to 100% diesel if natural gas is not available. One of the existing tanks will be removed and replaced with a natural gas fuel tank. The natural gas will be injected into the air intake system before the turbocharger. The conversion is expected to cost $30-35,000, and projected fuel savings(20-30%) will result in a 12 to 18 month payback.
All of this is experimental for us and actual results could be very different from expectations. These dual-fuel engines could also serve as a bridge to the 100% natural gas`engines. There are issues with refueling and maintenance of all natural gas vehicles,and duel-fuel could be a good compromise step in getting to 100% natural gas.
slav, here's a thought for you. after you retire all this industry chatter will fade into oblivion. it's too bad you didn't have a pension, i suspect you could retire now..............maybe. "this i assure you" when you get retired and reprogrammed to the retirement mode you will be happier, healthier, and in a lot better mood. i hope you get to retire. if the repugnants get their way you will either work till 70 or fall dead on the job. good luck old friend. it takes a while to get used to the difference in pace. i've been outta the pigott penitentiary 5 yrs now. i have had more fun than the prior 38 combined. just pray for good health and run like hell as soon as you can get away! that's the best i know to tell you. good luck.
I didn't know about the propane assist back in the old days before turbos...interesting. One of the current fears is that the new natural gas engines will have less power than conventional diesels--just the opposite of what the old propane assist did. Of course, nobody really knows how everything wiil work until it is field tested for a year or two.
Irregardless,fuel is the largest single expense in the trucking industry, and cheap natural gas appears to be our best shot at reducing that cost. It is also cleaner and eliminates most anti-polution equipment on current diesel powered trucks. I find the latest developments in natural gas facinating, and I hope I'm not boring everyone. Then again, that's what the ignore button is for.