Meeting the emission norms and improving fuel economy are important parameters for a diesel engine. Ergo, engine manufacturers are updating and innovating their products to meet the required emission norms and are achieving enhanced efficiency levels.
The diesel engine is the heart of equipment which runs on diesel power. Till recently, diesel engines were considered a major contributor to carbon emission. However, with emission norms becoming stricter and each next-level norms specific about bringing down the various emission-related content in fuel and the subsequent change in engine design and development, diesel engines today have come a long way to become environment-friendly.
Today it is considered that a diesel engine with electronic engine management systems controlling fuel injection and air intake and exhaust after-treatment devices pollutes less than a petrol engine of the same power consuming less fuel.
According to Farrokh N Cooper, Chairman and Managing Director, Cooper Corporation, “The current market for diesel engines in India is around 9 lakh units per annum. Here the range considered is between 7.5 kW to 500 kW for different equipment. These engines find utilisation in industries like agriculture, tractors and agri-equipment, power gensets and industrial engines for stationary applications like compressors, construction equipment, automotive and marine engines.”
India continues to witness rapid development, but to keep up the growth momentum, availability of uninterrupted power supply is a must. The country needs electricity to fuel the growth of every industry, be it large-scale or small-scale, manufacturing, healthcare or education. Over time, the electricity deficit in India is continuing to come down, with some regions now enjoying a surplus of power. Of course, challenges remain in the transmission & distribution of power, quality and reliability and last-mile connectivity.
Therefore, as India’s economic activities continue to gather pace, people will still rely on diesel generating sets to meet their standby power requirements.
Pankaj Jha, India General Sales Manager, Perkins, highlights the market of uninterrupted power in India, “Perkins-powered diesel generator sets offer a reliable and high-quality source of power generation, and are widely used for power backup and standalone power generation systems. We have seen that electricity deficit in India is reducing, with some regions now enjoying a surplus of power. Customers, wherever they are located, require dependable, cost-effective electric power generation. In India, we have started to see customers’ needs shifting from prime power to more standby power duty cycles.”
On the market trend in India, Jonas Nilsson, Vice President, Volvo Penta India responds with a positive outlook, “Volvo Penta has always been an important and premium diesel engine supplier in India, and has the largest market share in this category. We see a great opportunity for highly reliable and fuel-efficient engines to support infrastructure development in India ‘in time at cost’. Considering this, we will begin production of our five and eight-litre industrial engines in India from April 2017, aimed at the Indian market.”
Products and solutions
Off-road diesel engines serve various functions, so they require a wide range of engine types, sizes, designs, and configurations, from 10 to 100,000 hp. Major players in diesel engines offer new and improved range of engines in compliance with the new industry requirements.
Jasmeet Singh, Head - Corporate Communications and External Relations, JCB India, says, “We offer a varied range from 56 kW to 97 kW in BS III emission complied machines such as backhoe loaders, wheeled loaders and compactors while the range extends from 63 kW to 129 kW in excavators. Beyond mobile applications, genset engines are also manufactured at our state-of-the-art facility at Delhi-NCR for both export and domestic requirements, from 60 kVA to 125 kVA.”
Given the success of ecoMAX engine in the market, JCB forayed into OEM engine business in 2015 and presently, the company has partnered with many non-captive OEMs for engine supply.
Jha elaborates on Perkins’ product range, “At Perkins, we have over 85 years of experience in manufacturing quality diesel engines at our world-class facilities globally. Our engines are used in over 800 different applications across a range of sectors, including the electric power market. We have a wide array of products to offer the electric power sector, from our small 400 Series engines to one of the largest engines available for generators, our
61 litre 4000 Series. Our dependable engines are used to power standby as well prime-power application generator sets at construction sites, commercial and industrial sectors, and energy extraction and mining, among many other sectors. We have exceptional capabilities where we work alongside our generator original equipment manufacturers to customise and designa reliable solution for any requirement.”
Volvo Penta offers engines from 5L to 16L within power range of 143 hp to 768 hp, suitable for construction and mining equipment. Nilsson explains, “Our engines are emission certified for Tier 2/3/4f and offer customers with the option to select an appropriate engine model suitable to market requirements.”
He adds, “Volvo Penta diesel engines share a number of high-technology design features like compact design and high power-to-weight ratio, electronically controlled waste-gate turbocharger for increased block load acceptance, excellent performance with peak torque at low engine speed, exceptional reliability, low fuel consumption and low exhaust emissions with long service life and low operational cost.”
DEUTZ manufactures engines in the power range of 25 kW to 520 kW. Vepul Kaisar, Managing Director, DEUTZ Engines (India), elaborates, “DEUTZ engines are fuel efficient, reliable, durable and have low Total Ownership Cost (TOC). DEUTZ offers engines up to emission level Stage V and can therefore serve requirements from various markets globally.”
According to Kaisar, engine design has evolved drastically due to change in emissions levels, fuel efficient demand, heavy load cycles and more compact design requirements of applications from customers. “We incorporate electronic governors, common rail technology, and various emission after-treatment technologies depending on market requirements like DOC, DPF, and SCR in our engines. In addition, we constantly strive to increase the power density of engines, improve the operational cost and make engines more service-friendly,” he says.
Singh states, “JCB engines have gained a reputation of being the most fuel-efficient, reliable and productive. Over the years, our ecoMAX engine has gone through multiple stages of improvement with the latest being the achievement of BS III norms with external and without turbocharger.”
JCB has been manufacturing engines in India for over six years now and has over 1,30,000 JCB engines operating successfully in the Indian market, according to Singh. The company offers engines in both naturally aspirated and turbo charged forms.
Jha explains, “To serve our customers in the Indian market, we have developed world-class products that meet all the regulatory requirements in the region.”
Perkins’ new 2806 ElectropaK, an 18.1 litre, 6-cylinder air-to-air turbocharged diesel engine meets nodes from 600-750 kVA, including the 625 kVA power node for prime power applications. This rating builds on a reliable, tested core and meets CPCB II emissions standards. The 2806D-E18TAG1A features mechanically operated unit fuel injectors with electronic control and carefully matched turbo-charging. This provides excellent fuel atomisation for the engines, improves combustion, and delivers good fuel economy. The electronic control also helps reduce emissions.
Jha elaborates, “We have also made significant long-term investments in our capabilities and manufacturing facilities. More than $150 million has been invested in our world-class facility in Aurangabad. The facility deploys state-of-the-art technology and innovative processes to manufacture and supply the powerful Perkins 4000 Series engines to the growing Asian customer base — providing reliable power solutions to hospitals, airports, universities, real estate, data-centres and large manufacturing industries. We are a global company with global reach, but we pride ourselves on being where our customers are, and understand the different requirements of local markets around the world.”
Nilsson states, “With our vast experience in industrial applications, our engines are designed and customised to suit rigorous and heavy duty operations. We collaborate with OEMs on extensive testing of engines in most abusive field conditions for more than 3,000 hours during the design phase itself. This helps us develop robust heavy duty engines, and significantly reduces requirement for any major design changes in future stages. We may do a few changes with respect to customisation for specific customer requirements and customary improvement activities.”
Every major engine manufacturer wants its engines to be the most fuel efficient, and for this, a lot of design innovation has been brought in over a period. Jha comments, “To serve our customers in the Indian market, we have developed world-class products that meet all the regulatory requirements in the region. Our path to market, our manufacturing strategy and business processes are all designed to keep our customers as the primary focus and to serve them in the most efficient way.”
According to Jha, customers have many demands for their diesel generator sets, but a lifetime of low cost is an important consideration for any customer. He adds, “India is one of the most competitive dollar per kVA markets in the world, but customers in India are well informed and appreciate the value that comes with the Perkins package.”
Volvo Penta is part of the Volvo Group, the leading developer and manufacturer of heavy duty diesel engines. The engine from Volvo Group is used in trucks, buses, construction equipment and all marine and industrial applications. According to Nilsson, the base engine is designed and developed with automotive application as base to meet the needs of the highly demanding fuel efficient truck industry. Further, the engine is customised for versatile applications to meet Volvo Penta customer requirements. “Continuous innovation in automotive industry from the Volvo Group helps us achieve best possible fuel efficiency in all our engines,” Nilsson says.
According to Singh, Indian operating conditions are one of the most challenging in the world due to the extreme variations in temperature, altitude and high operating hours. It becomes imperative to design and provide an engine that can withstand these variations and challenging work conditions. He claims, “JCB ecoMAX engine is regarded as the most fuel-efficient engine in the industry. This level of efficiency is achieved through combination of different optimised subsystems like fuel, exhaust, intake and combustion which gives aids fuel efficiency.”
Kaisar explains, “Common rail technology and internal engine geometry of components make our engines fuel-efficient.”
It is crucial for the engine to comply with prevailing emission norms. According to Jha, Perkins’ engines meet all the applicable emission standards and noise regulations in India and around the world. He says, “We have and continue to make investments in our engines, introducing for example innovative products that deliver more power from smaller packages, thereby requiring less fuel.”
Nilsson claims, “Our engines achieve compliance till Tier-III levels without any exhaust after treatment. This is possible due to optimised fuel injection and complete combustion. We have achieved Tier-IV levels with EGR and only SCR in EATS systems, unlike most other suppliers who need combination of SCR, DOC, DPF, etc.”
He adds, “Our engines are designed with sufficient margins to meet emission compliance. The Volvo Quality System has placed stringent quality guidelines and checks on all the components manufactured in-house or sourced from outside. Further emission compliance can be achieved if installation and maintenance guidelines are fully met. We support OEMs for installations through our application engineering support and educate customers on the benefits of following regular maintenance activities.”
According to Kaisar, the major factors that ensure 100 per cent emission compliance in engines include the common rail in combination with exhaust after-treatment in various combinations, depending on the market requirements like EGR, DOC, DPF and/or SCR.
“As India’s leading manufacturer of earthmoving and construction equipment, JCB is fully committed to providing products that comply with the prevalent emission norms. Emission compliance of the final product is primarily a result of the technology and design of the engine,” says Singh.
He adds, “The JCB engine is manufactured at the state-of-the-art facility at Delhi-NCR under stringent quality and process control with a no fault forward philosophy. Each engine unit is checked and prior to shipment or fitment on JCB machines, thus ensuring a 100 per cent compliance of emission standards.”
Engines face many challenges when it comes to applications, due to atmospheric conditions and fuel-related issues. Fuel quality and its availability at site plays a significant role in the overall management of the site and more importantly, on the lifecycle of the engine. India is a vast geography and the availability of good quality fuel at many of the remote areas can be a challenge due to contamination during re-handling, and transportation of the fuel.
According to Singh, JCB engines have been designed keeping in focus the various challenges that Indian
job sites present in terms of fuel. He adds, “These inbuilt features of the ecoMAX engine like optimised air fuel, advanced filtration system, water separators, and special FIE system etc, not only help in protecting the engine but also plays a vital role in extending the life of the engine.”
Says Cooper, “One of the concerns is that much of fuel in India dispensed through retail outlets is adulterated, which results in choking of fuel lines and injector nozzles.”
Nilsson comments, “Volvo Penta engines are electronic engines with electronic control units and highly precise injectors. Therefore, the requirement is of good quality fuel to avoid any damages. Since Volvo Penta engines are operating in all kinds of atmospheres and geographies, availability of quality fuel is a challenge.”
He adds, “To address this challenge, we are supplying extra pre-filter-cum-water separators in addition to main filters and pre-filters as standard equipment in India. This ensures clean fuel, so that any excessive wear of components in the engine fuel system is avoided. Our injectors with diamond-like coating further increase the wear resistance in a fuel system. Further, we have developed an aftermarket tool for oil and fuel analysis wherein we recommend customers carry these tests proactively and suggest changes if required. With all this arrangements, we have succeeded in avoiding fuel quality-related failures.”
“Availability of low sulphur fuel and clean fuel (without adulteration) are the real challenges. However, we strive constantly to improve our pre-filtration used to ensure our engines can operate in various markets. Some of our Tier-V based engines can operate with fuel up to 2,000 ppm sulphur,” comments Kaisar.
While global engine players are bringing their innovations and designs to India to comply with emerging emission levels, Indian engine manufacturers are partnering with global players to improve technology and emission compliance in their range of engines. Cooper Corporation is partnering with Ricardo in the development of its class-leading family of engines that deliver high quality, clean and fuel efficient power to customers in India and around the world.
“The collaboration between Ricardo and Cooper has been extremely successful in enabling Cooper to fulfil its ambitious plans for product development,” says Cooper.
Volvo Penta has revealed its Stage-V concept at Conexpo/Con-Agg in Las Vegas. As with previous emission steps, the Stage-V line-up includes all five engines — D5, D8, D11, D13, and D16 — offering the same power range from 105 to 565 kW (143-770 hp) as Volvo Penta’s existing offer for industrial, off-road applications.
“Volvo Penta’s new Stage-V platform has been optimised to meet the upcoming emission standards, as well as future customer needs. Volvo Penta has taken advantage of proven and mature concepts already existing today across the Volvo Group,” says Nilsson.
Kaisar states, “We now have more than 10 years’ experience already with DPF and SCR systems. A combination of these systems will be required to meet the most stringent emission level which is Stage-V to be implemented in Europe in 2019.”
“At JCB, we believe in providing the best-in-class product to our customers and will certainly comply with the latest emission norms as and when they are announced. We already manufacture engines for India that are compliant with the prevalent norms,” comments Singh.
Diesel engines have come a long way over the years in design and efficiency. Today’s engines are half the weight, produce nine times the power and 28 times the fuel injection pressure as they did in 1930. Going forward, these features are going to improve further in tandem with industry requirements.
FUEL EFFICIENCY AND EMISSION COMPLIANCE
Here are a few improvements that can be done in engines to make them fuel-efficient and emission-compliant: