Thursday, June 13, 2013

SoCalGas, California agencies funding $9M RFP to develop ultra-low NOx heavy-duty natural gas engines

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas), the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) and the California Energy Commission (CEC) are jointly funding a request for proposals (RFP) (P2013-22) issued by SCAQMD to support the development of ultra-clean natural gas engines for a variety of heavy-duty vehicle applications in the South Coast Air Basin (SCAB) and San Joaquin Valley Air Basin (SJVAB).

The initiative, funded up to $9 million by the participating agencies together with $500,000 in matching funds from SoCalGas, aims to demonstrate natural gas engines capable of achieving aggressive, near-zero emission standards for on-road, heavy-duty vehicle applications suitable for refuse, goods movement, drayage, transit, or school bus applications.

The purpose of the RFP is to provide financial assistance to contractor teams to develop near-zero NOx heavy-duty natural gas engines; integrate the engines into heavy-duty vehicles chassis; and evaluate the performance of the vehicles in a variety of heavy-duty vehicle applications in the South Coast and San Joaquin Valley Air Basins.

The principal RFP emission target is 0.02 grams per brake horsepower-hr (g/bhp-hr) NOx; this represents a 90% reduction from the current EPA 2010 standard of 0.2 g/bhp-hr NOx. Other targets are 0.01 g/bhp-hr particulate matter (PM); 0.14 g/bhp-hr hydrocarbon (HC); and 15.5 g/bhp-hr carbon monoxide (CO) or lower as determined by the heavy-duty engine Federal Test Procedure (FTP)-comparable to the EPA 2010 limits.

Proposals that address methods to achieve 10 ppm or lower NH3 emission will score higher, and similarly those that address methods to achieve minimal or zero fuel economy penalties when compared to similar 2010 certified diesel engines, will score higher.

To reach the low NOx emission target and keep the PM, HC, and CO at current or lower emissions levels, proponents may propose all or combinations of:

  • optimized combustion chamber technology;
  • advanced fuel delivery system;
  • air handling system;
  • advanced electronic controls; and
  • exhaust after-treatment technologies.

Proponents will be required to build prototype heavy-duty natural gas engines and exhaust after-treatment technology, and to perform transient engine dynamometer tests of the prototype engines to assess fuel consumption, gaseous emissions, and particulate matter emissions.

Production-intent or production engines with exhaust after-treatment technology will then be built based on the prototype engines and integrated into an on-road heavy-duty prototype vehicle chassis suitable for refuse, goods movement, drayage truck, transit, or school bus applications and further developed to ensure adequate transient performance and drivability.

At least three production-intent or production vehicles will then be deployed and demonstrated in commercial services to evaluate performance, reliability, and emissions expectations. A heavy-duty chassis dynamometer will be needed for prototype vehicle development and in-use emissions testing.

Proposals are due by 24 July 2013.