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Cummins Achieves Energy Savings through DOE Collaboration

July 15, 2014 By Karen Henry

cummins-engine-energy-manageThrough its involvement in the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Reciprocating Engine Systems (ARES) program, Cummins has developed a highly efficient natural-gas-fueled engine for power generation. Through its Energy Champion Program Cummins has also achieved 50 percent brake thermal efficiency.

The company is a long-time participant in the Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) R&D program and is a Better Plants and Superior Energy Performance (SEP) partner.

Launched in 2001, the ARES program is a collaboration between engine manufacturers, universities and national laboratories, which challenged manufacturers to improve the efficiency of their engines to 50 percent in three project phases. As a partner in the ARES program, Cummins achieved the final phase by demonstrating 50 percent brake thermal efficiency and NOx emissions that meet the most stringent air pollution standards. At the start of the program, Cummins typical reciprocating engine efficiencies hovered around 35percent. Cummins had already met interim ARES goals by achieving 44 percent brake thermal efficiency in 2006 and 47 percent in 2012.

The R&D team used a lean-burn approach that included a high-compression-ratio piston, Miller cycle camshaft, long-life spark plugs, high-efficiency turbo and advanced controls for Phase 1. Cummins incorporated these technologies into two of its engines, the 60-liter V16 QSK60 series (pictured) and the 91-liter V18 QSV91 series. More than 300 of these engines have been sold worldwide, for a total installed capacity of approximately 500MW.

Cummins plans to incorporate the new energy-saving technologies demonstrating 50 percent efficiency into its product lineup.



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