A Comparison of Heavy-Duty Diesel Truck Engine Smoke Opacities at High Altitude and at Sea Level
A study was conducted by the California Air Resources Board to investigate the effects that altitude has on in-use heavy-duty diesel truck smoke opacities. The understanding of these effects may allow for the establishment of a high altitude opacity standard for diesel trucks operating at or above altitudes of 5800 feet. During a three-week study, 170 heavy-duty diesel trucks were tested at an altitude of 5,820 feet using a test procedure consisting of rolling acceleration and snap idle tests. Eighty-four (84) of these trucks were recaptured and retested at an altitude of 125 feet. Results from a regression analysis indicates that, on average, truck smoke opacities increased by 23 opacity points when tested at altitudes near 6000 feet. Possible high altitude cutpoints and failure rates are also discussed.