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Volvo introduces LNG powered Euro VI trucks

5 October 2017

Volvo Trucks is introducing Euro VI-compliant heavy-duty trucks running on liquefied natural gas (LNG) or biogas. The new Volvo FH LNG and Volvo FM LNG are available with 420 or 460 hp for heavy regional and long-haul operations. The new trucks have the same performance, drivability and fuel consumption as Volvo’s diesel-powered models, according to the company, while reducing CO2 emissions by 20–100% compared with diesel, depending on the choice of fuel.

The Volvo FH LNG and Volvo FM LNG are powered by gas engines utilizing compression ignition technology, with a diesel pilot used to ignite the fuel mixture. This allows the LNG engines to have diesel-like performance, drivability and fuel efficiency. Volvo’s 460 hp gas engine delivers maximum torque of 2300 Nm while the 420 hp version produces 2100 Nm—the same as Volvo’s corresponding diesel engines. The fuel consumption is on a par with Volvo’s diesel engines, and 15-25% lower than for conventional gas engines, said the company.

The fuel used is natural gas in the form of LNG or biogas, known as bio-LNG. Both fuels consist of methane. If biogas is used, the carbon footprint can be reduced by as much as 100% and if natural gas is used, the reduction is on the order of 20%. This relates to emissions from the vehicle during usage, known as tank-to-wheel.

In order to maximize the driving range, the tanks are filled with LNG, which is stored at 4-10 bar pressure at a temperature of -140 to -125°C. The biggest fuel tank variant contains enough LNG for a range of up to 1000 km. Refueling takes about the same time as filling up with diesel. When driving, the fuel is warmed up, evaporated and pressurized before it is injected into the engine. The gas is ignited using a diesel pilot injection.

The Volvo G13C, Euro VI LNG engine is an in-line 6-cylinder 13-liter common rail engine with “injectors nozzles for gas and diesel”. The engine uses diesel-like aftertreatment, including a diesel particulate filter and an SCR catalyst.

The Volvo LNG technology shows similarities to the Westport high pressure direct injection (HPDI) system. A video by Volvo on the new LNG driveline appears to depict a dual fuel diesel-natural gas injector. Westport has been expected to launch their HPDI 2.0 system this year, in cooperation with Volvo. However, the Volvo announcement does not reveal whether the system has been developed together with Westport or independently.

Volvo Trucks said it is now working together with gas suppliers and customers to develop the expansion of LNG infrastructure in Europe.

Sales of Volvo FM LNG and Volvo FH LNG will start during Spring 2018.

Source: Volvo Trucks