The new FUELSAVER-XT Hydrogen on-Demand (HOD) system from NRG Logistics, LLC, is not the first system to promise significant diesel fuel savings and reduced exhaust emissions for Class 8 trucks by adding hydrogen to the fuel. But it is the first HOD system to solve all of the problems encountered by earlier systems.
Earlier systems used on-board storage of hydrogen in tanks, which was problematic from a safety standpoint. Other HOD systems had difficulty generating enough hydrogen gas to have a meaningful impact on the operation of 15-liter diesel engines, relates NRG.
Other systems could not withstand the stress of electrolysis and real-world conditions of the open road and could not coordinate constant communication with the engine’s electronic control module, which is necessary. Additionally, other HOD systems were not designed to be non-critical to the operation of the engine, so that the engine would revert back to the original OEM settings in case of a problem. Plus, early systems failed to perform consistently and reliably.
That has all changed with the introduction of the FUELSAVER-XT, says NRG. The easily installed, bolt-on aftermarket unit has been shown to resolve those issues, while delivering up to 20% fuel savings on the open road and up to 40% at idle and reducing harmful exhaust emissions and particulates, according to Todd Forbes, NRG VP, Engineering.
“Extensive lab testing has shown that the addition of small quantities of hydrogen gas significantly reduces CO and NOx exhaust emissions while improving engine thermal efficiency for better utilization of the primary fuel,” he explains.
He notes that the FUELSAVER-XT has been thoroughly tested in real-world trucking by fleet operators, who have recorded fuel savings of 18% on average with the unit. Designed and developed by NRG Logistics, the new system is the first commercially viable HOD system for the diesel internal combustion engine aftermarket.
The unit can be mounted on the frame rail or in the middle of the frame. Forbes demonstrated a test unit mounted on the frame rail under one of the cab steps. For purposes of the demonstration, an off/on switch was connected to the system, which was connected to a monitor that showed the fuel rate of an idling Cummins ISX engine.
The stock fuel rate registered at 0.75 gallons per hour at idle, but when the HOD unit was switched on, the fuel rate fell to 0.4 gph – almost a 50% reduction. Over the road in standard operating conditions, the unit will easily deliver 13% to 17% better rate of fuel, says Forbes.
During the demonstration, the unit’s cover was removed to show the inner workings. After the unit was switched on, it went through a series of initialization checks, then immediately started making hydrogen. The flow of hydrogen was visible as it moved through a delivery tube to mix with the diesel fuel.
“On a standard system, we use the oil pressure signal from the engine to tell the system to turn on and off. Once it’s on, a consistent flow of hydrogen is metered into the engine. It will stay running as long as the engine is on, for continuous operation,” explains Forbes, who was integral to the design and development of the NRG FUELSAVER-XT system.
“This is a completely automotive-validated system, built to survive the frame-rail environment. It is not affected by extreme operating vibrations or large temperature and weather swings,” he notes. “There is constant CAN-based communication between the engine and the HOD unit, so in the event that there is some kind of fault, the system will shut down and the engine will revert back to stock operation.”
The NRG FUELSAVER-XT system weighs 150 lbs. and measures 24″H x 15.5″W x 16″D. It is compatible with Cummins ISX and ISM engines (2010 and newer and Detroit Diesel 15 models. Installation is simple and maintenance is minimal, reports NRG Logistics. The equipment is backed by a three-year warranty.
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