Whether an engine is on the move powering mobile equipment in a multitude of challenging environments, or staying put generating electricity in off-the-grid locations or emergency situations, the desired attributes are the same: maximum performance and fuel efficiency with minimum maintenance, while meeting increasingly stringent emissions levels.
Engine makers like FPT Industrial work to satisfy these sometimes-competing demands, with an added emphasis within the power generation (PG) segment on product customization. During a tour of the company’s Pregnana Milanese engine plant in Italy, plant manager Sara Bonacci noted that it’s not a “traditional” assembly line-type plant, which became apparent when walking the floor; rather, it’s set up for customization by employing more “islands,” or workstations, manned by highly skilled workers responsible for multiple assembly operations.
The plant includes 27 workstations for PG and industrial engines, in addition to 13 stations for marine engines. Almost 40,000 different “tailor-made” engines can be manufactured on-site, she said.
Main customers for FPT Industrial in the PG sector include Grupel, Bruno Generators, Himoinsa, and in the U.S., Generac. FPT sells 57% of its engines by volume—across all sectors including on-road truck, off-highway, PG and marine—to non-captive customers (i.e., outside of its CNH Industrial family that includes brands like Case, New Holland and Iveco). PG accounts for 2.7% of its total sales.
A new PG offering, which made its world premiere in March, will soon be available to FPT’s customers.
Flexible packaging of aftertreatment system
A week prior to officially revealing its new N67 200 kVA Stage V solution installed on a genset frame concept at the Middle East Electricity show, FPT Industrial gave a sneak peek of the generator—in virtual form—to select international media at Pregnana Milanese, where about 90% of the company’s engines for power generation are produced.
An iPad allowed journalists to walkaround the virtual Stage V generator and view the different placement positions of FPT’s patented second-generation HI-eSCR2 aftertreatment system (ATS): vertical orientation inline with engine, the standard position; still vertical but positioned lower in relation to the engine; and horizontal orientation on top, outside of the genset canopy. The augmented-reality experience enables customers to assess the feasibility of installing the solution in their canopy.
The genset frame has the same dimensions of a current Unregulated / Stage IIIA frame. Working to find a setup that didn’t impact the genset’s layout, FPT engineers turned to its HI-eSCR2 system which is already successfully used in mobile off-highway applications. The ATS is used for any engine over 56 kW to fulfill Stage V legislation that becomes mandatory next year and requires further NOx and PM (particulate matter) reductions—by 90% and 93%, respectively—and introduces a limit on particulate number.
This is the first time it’s become mandatory to introduce a “proper” ATS (i.e., DOC+SCRoF) in a genset, Alessandro Zilli, product marketing manager for power generation at FPT Industrial, pointed out. “It is a new challenge for our customers. Why? Because the technology moves from a mechanical engine to electronic, and [there are] more space needs for installation of the engine with ATS.”
Other issues OEMs could encounter, Zilli added, include the need for higher level of skills from an installation and design point-of-view and new maintenance procedures. But FPT’s solution can alleviate these concerns, he said.
'Switchable' for Tier 4 Final, too
Because HI-eSCR2 integrates a particulate filter system on an SCR (selective catalytic reduction) module, it occupies as much space as the previous aftertreatment solution used for Stage IIIA (an EGR system and a silencer, which reduces exhaust noise emissions), so no additional genset frame redesign is necessary. The HI-eSCR2 functions as a silencer, reducing both packaging footprint and noise compared to the company’s current Stage IIIA products.
FPT also claims the ATS is “for life,” meaning no maintenance costs over the lifecycle. The system can come preassembled and precabled as a one-piece “aftertreatment pack” for easy installation, and it’s EGR-free, not requiring additional cooling requirements nor maintenance compared to current Unregulated / Stage IIIA FPT Industrial products.
The HI-eSCR2 system results in an up to 3% reduction in fuel consumption compared to competitive products using EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) and active regeneration, according to Zilli. A wastegate turbocharger contributes to better fuel efficiency.
If the OEM prefers, FPT can supply the ATS in a “loose parts approach” with 12 separate components instead of the one-piece pack. Despite the requirement for higher OEM engineering capability, the loose-parts approach might be desirable for layout optimization of the genset for mass production, or for special customer requirements/applications, Zilli noted.
The Stage V solution also is “switchable”: it can be used in compliance with both Tier 4 Final and Stage V emission regulations. This feature offers the capability of switching the engine from 50 Hz (for Stage V) to 60 Hz (for Tier 4 Final). The engine will be compliant with Stage V at 1500 rpm and with Tier 4 Final at 1800 rpm without the need to upgrade the software.
“Switchability is important because you have a flexible application for the end user,” he said.Continue reading »