Natural gas engine and vehicle specialist Westport Innovations Inc. is rolling out HPDI 2.0, the company's enhanced platform of proprietary high-pressure direct-injection technologies.
The central advantage of HPDI 2.0, the company says, is that it is ‘the only natural gas technology capable of delivering performance and fuel economy equivalent to that of current high-performance diesel-fueled engines, but with diesel substitution of over 90%.’ Westport's systems burn natural gas as the primary fuel, along with a small amount of diesel as an ignition source.
The technology uses the Diesel thermodynamic cycle, which is more efficient than the Otto thermodynamic cycle used in spark-ignited gasoline and natural gas engines, Westport explains. HPDI 2.0-based engines also do not use a throttle to control the air-fuel ratio, as the gas directly injected into the combustion chamber at the end of the compression stroke can burn over a wide range of air-fuel ratios, maximizing fuel efficiency.
David Demers, Westport's CEO, says HPDI 2.0 will ‘[offer] benefits that will be irresistible to fleet customers shifting to natural gas,’ as well as ‘allow OEMs to introduce high-performance, fully integrated products that match state-of-the-art diesel performance but can be produced without expensive and challenging investments in facilities, product development and testing.’
Features of Westport HPDI 2.0 systems include a proprietary dual-common-rail fuel injector and on-engine gas-fuel conditioning module, as well as redesigned electronic control systems that enable full integration with existing engine and vehicle controls. The company notes that it is currently working with seven OEM applications, on engine sizes ranging from those found in light-duty trucks to locomotive power plants.
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