Dual-fuel technology is a system which enables diesel-engines to reduce its operation on diesel and to replace it in part with an alternative fuel. Typical alternative fuels include LPG (Autogas), CNG, LNG, biomethane, ethanol, methanol and hydrogen. The alternative fuel does not completely replace the diesel, but rather both fuels work together in harmony to provide an efficient combustion process.
Fuel cost savings can be achieved through implementation of dual-fuel technology with the added benefit of cleaner emissions through introduction of the alternative fuel. With ever-rising diesel and oil prices and tougher legislation on emissions, there is a great incentive for truck, bus and ship fleet operators to move towards cheaper and cleaner fuel alternatives. Better still, there are often government grants or initiatives in place which can help further reduce the upfront investment into the technology.
The fuel cost saving depends on a number of factors including:
It is possible to achieve fuel cost savings between 10% to 25% per annum, with the ideal payback period to be within two years. In some circumstances, payback can be achieved within the first year.
At the heart of technology is the dual-fuel electronic control unit (ECU). This works in conjunction with the OEM ECU to precisely control the reduction of diesel as well as the timing and injection of the alternative fuel into the engine cylinder. The alternative fuel is kept in its own separate tank and is offered into the engine through a dedicated injection-rail system.