Friday, September 12, 2014

Cummins says it’s on top of Tier 4

Written by  William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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With U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tier 4 emissions regulations taking effect Jan. 1, 2015, Cummins Inc. says it’s well-prepared, with more than 100 engine installations on order for passenger locomotives, diesel multiple units (DMUs), and switcher locomotives in North America.

Cummins says its Tier 4 installations “will bring to the track ultra-clean diesel power with quieter operation and a lower carbon footprint. Our Tier 4 rail vehicles on order extend from 1,200 hp (895 kW) up to 5,400 hp (4,027 kW) of installed power, featuring the latest generation of Cummins 15-liter to 95-liter engines with integrated Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) exhaust aftertreatment. The installations include both single- and innovative multi-engine designs with a power-on-demand capability to significantly reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions.”

The Tier 4 installation orders were awarded to Cummins “following an in-depth competitive evaluation by rail vehicle manufacturers and rail operators,” the company says. “Cummins Tier 4 technology scored highly over medium-speed and other high-speed engines in terms of installation ease and lower operating costs, while meeting vehicle targets for high speed, rapid acceleration, and extended life-to-overhaul.”

“With more than 100 Tier 4 locomotive, switcher, and railcar installations already on order, this means that Cummins will power almost every Tier 4 passenger rail project under way in North America, and we have hundreds of additional installation options under consideration,” said Manager, Cummins Rail Business Development Randy Nelson. “This early Tier 4 success clearly demonstrates that our customers recognize that we have the right technology to meet their installation, operational, and economic requirements, adding up to a very attractive package for new vehicles and repowers.”

The first Tier 4 ultra-low emissions demonstration project with Cummins power has been up and running since 2013, with the NREX 2015 genset switcher built by National Railway Equipment. The switcher features twin-QSX15 engines providing 1,200 hp (895 kW) of installed power. A freight linehaul locomotive repower project with the 4,200 hp (3132 kW) QSK95 is currently under way on the Indiana Rail Road, with the CMX 1919 locomotive.

The first all-new Tier 4 vehicle is scheduled to enter revenue service in January 2015 on Union Pearson Express, the air-rail link currently under construction from downtown Toronto to Toronto Pearson International Airport. This line will connect the two busiest transportation hubs in Canada with a fleet of 18 DMUs built by Nippon Sharyo U.S.A. The DMU is a three-car, three-engine configuration with an underfloor QSK19 installation totaling 2,280 hp (1700 kW) output. A similar DMU fleet will also be delivered to Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART), north of San Francisco Bay in California, running on a new line currently under construction. “The SMART project and the Toronto air-rail link will bring the first modern DMU configurations to North America,” said Nelson.

Introduction of the Siemens Mobility Charger™ passenger locomotive in 2016 will mark the arrival of Siemens into the North American diesel-electric locomotive market with an initial 35 locomotives on order for operation in five states. The Charger™ is powered by a Cummins 4,400 hp (3,281 kW)-rated Tier 4 QSK95 and is capable of a top speed of 125 mph.

A fleet of MP40 regional/commuter locomotives will be repowered by MotivePower Inc. for GO Transit in Toronto to meet Tier 4 emissions regulations with a twin-engine Cummins QSK60 installation totaling 5,400 hp (4,027 kW).

“Cummins Tier 4 installations include innovative multi-engine designs able to provide a power-on-demand response to varying load factors, resulting in major fuel savings with a significantly reduced carbon footprint,” said Nelson. “The power flexibility enables switcher locomotives to power down to single-engine operation for lighter load factors or when at idle. Twin-engine passenger locomotives can run on both engines at peak times with more passenger cars, and then switch to single-engine operation for off-peak with fewer cars.”

SCR aftertreatment “removes NOx from the exhaust stream, and is designed by Cummins with a highly adaptable configuration so it can occupy a very similar space to that of the exhaust silencers typically used today,” noted Nelson. “As a result, our SCR brings a drop-in capability for both new and repowered vehicles. Tier 4 installation is also made easier due to an engine envelope and cooling requirement almost identical to those of the engines currently in service. The use of SCR aftertreatment in the exhaust stream to reduce NOx emissions to extremely low levels enables engine combustion to more easily focus on reducing PM and improving fuel efficiency. That approach also brings a significant benefit in terms of reliability and durability, as SCR aftertreatment allows the engine to operate within a lower range of cylinder pressures and temperatures compared with an engine relying on Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR). Our Tier 4 engines also achieve smoother running and quieter operation due to more precise control over fuel injection and the combustion formula. Oil mist is eliminated with an integral breather device on the engine.”

EPA Tier 4 regulations for line-haul locomotives require particulate matter (PM) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions reductions of more than 70% compared with current Tier 3 regulations. For Tier 4-compliant railcars, PM and NOx emissions levels must be reduced by more than 90%, compared with Tier 3.

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