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  • American Power Group Diesel/NG Conversions, Glider Trucks, etc.

    You may enjoy these articles / blog posts. There are two, here:

    http://seekingalpha.com/user/554561/instablog

    Commentary welcome.

    Best,
    Odaat

  • #2
    Re: American Power Group Diesel/NG Conversions, Glider Trucks, etc.

    Intriguing blog Odaat. I have been following dual-fuel engine systems for large Class 8 trucks and keep wondering why all we see on the road and thru EPA approvals are out of useful life (OUL) systems from APG (Cummins ISX & Detroit Diesel) and Eco-Dual (Cummins ISX only)? Chesapeake's "Peak Fuels" dual-fuel is new engine certified but, as you state in your blog, the word on the street is that this system is rife with problems and that Chesapeake is putting it on the block so as to focus on the CNG-in-a-box refueling station product with General Electric. I have heard that Clean Air Power has EPA approved new engine certification for its dual-fuel (which engine?) but I have not confirmed this yet.

    From a 30,000 ft view, the OUL market seems to be an unsustainable business model. Scavenging up old engines & transmissions to rebuild and place onto new chassis can only go so far in the "glider" approach before this equipment eventually dries up. I believe California / CARB is cracking down on this approach as well since it circumvents CARB's initiatives in getting old diesel engines off the road.

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    • #3

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      • #4
        Re: American Power Group Diesel/NG Conversions, Glider Trucks, etc.

        An interesting take on things. I am well familiar with both APG and EcoDual, as well as Peake, D2G,, one or two others whose name escapes me, and I also wonder about the OUL market. From what I'm seeing, companies are going out and buying new. When you figure in the cost of a kit plus another $45K for a 700 mile range storage system, why not? Where we are seeing increased quotes for conversions is in the class4-6 markets.

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        • #5
          Re: American Power Group Diesel/NG Conversions, Glider Trucks, etc.

          Curious if the OP (original poster) . . . . Odaat . . . can post a current link that works for blog mentioned above?? Currently it says that Odaat has no current instablogs.

          Also, I'd like clarification as I always like the term BLENDED FUEL when you're talking about mixing CNG with diesel on these older big rig trucks. When term "dual fuel" is used, it often is equated to Bi-Fuel meaning that vehicle could run entirely on either fuel (ie exclusively just diesel, or exclusively just CNG). For a blend-fuel big rig, those older OUL trucks would be non-spark diesels so best case scenario might be blend of say 25% diesel / 75% CNG.

          Here are couple good articles about APGI and it does clarify that "dual fuel" really means blended fuel.
          http://finance.yahoo.com/news/americ...130000586.html
          http://www.overdriveonline.com/glider-story/

          At the pickup level, I've seen installs in Oklahoma of OUL diesel pickups where blend-fuel setup is terrific with MORE horsepower, coupled with lower fuel cost since CNG price is very low in Oklahoma.
          Last edited by KSneedsCNG; 11-07-2013, 03:27 AM.

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          • #6
            Re: American Power Group Diesel/NG Conversions, Glider Trucks, etc.

            Originally posted by natgasman2014 View Post
            An interesting take on things. I am well familiar with both APG and EcoDual, as well as Peake, D2G,, one or two others whose name escapes me, and I also wonder about the OUL market. From what I'm seeing, companies are going out and buying new. When you figure in the cost of a kit plus another $45K for a 700 mile range storage system, why not? Where we are seeing increased quotes for conversions is in the class4-6 markets.
            If you are "well familiar" with APG and Eco-Dual, Peake, etc. then surely you understand where Peake's dual fuel program is at (somewhere between Chesapeake trying, unsuccessfully, to sell it, and dead), and that while Ira Dorfman spent years spouting off on how Eco-Dual's product was superior to APG's, Eco-Dual has gone completely back to the drawing board for a product, which, of course, Ira will also claim is superior. The problem with that idea is that what's happening in the real world is heavily favoring APG's system. It's great to show that injector-invasive or direct high pressure systems can get a higher fuel displacement, but what good is higher displacement if you have a ton of down time due to mechanical failures? And that is what is happening...in the road tests (millions of miles and tens of thousands of hours of stationary application testing), the one system that is easiest to install, is most reliable by a very long shot, and is most cost-effective is APG's fumigation-type system, even after accounting for its lower displacement at some load levels. For example, here is a response from one of the largest LNG cartage operations in the world:

            http://www.epa.gov/otaq/consumer/fue...s/altfuels.htm (about 3/4 way down the page)

            Best,
            Odaat

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            • #7

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              • #8
                Re: American Power Group Diesel/NG Conversions, Glider Trucks, etc.

                Originally posted by natgasman2014 View Post
                An interesting take on things. I am well familiar with both APG and EcoDual, as well as Peake, D2G,, one or two others whose name escapes me, and I also wonder about the OUL market. From what I'm seeing, companies are going out and buying new. When you figure in the cost of a kit plus another $45K for a 700 mile range storage system, why not? Where we are seeing increased quotes for conversions is in the class4-6 markets.
                Apparently someone who I would argue knows much more about the trucking industry than you and I combined, disagrees with your assessment. I speak of Mr. Jack Roberts, Executive Director of CCJ and Overdrive, who was not exactly a cheerleader for dual fuel by any means....until now...until being wow'ed by American Power Group's dual fuel glider. He did a two-day test ride and visit, hosted by Smith Power, Blu LNG, Ervin, and a Wheeltime Network member. Just like is happening with customers like Evol LNG and various cartages and fleets, he walked away positive indeed, likes what he saw and drove, and has gone from doubter not just to believer, but to advocate, in regard to both APG's superior V5000HD dual-fuel solution, the strength of what Wheeltime adds for installation and support, and the compelling financials of APG's dual fuel glider program. That's not just my overlyoptimistic long opinion. His tweets from the experience are worth reading...overwhelmingly positive, with the best one, I think, in supportl, being:




                His tweets continued positive from there, and are ongoing.

                Then he also made a video, and there are others (the first is him in the glider, the second has to do with LNG and refueling, and the 3rd is from the a Wheeltime Network leader.) See them here:

                http://www.ccjdigital.com/video-log-...gas-glider-kit

                I'd look to see him do write ups in the magazines.

                Anyway, sure, it's a niche market. But it's also the ideal "toes to test the water" entry for customers into the nat gas realm.

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                • #9
                  Re: American Power Group Diesel/NG Conversions, Glider Trucks, etc.

                  My Seeking Alpha Instablog is now revised, and active, here: http://seekingalpha.com/author/odaat/instablog

                  Also, there will be an actual SA article / newswire/Yahoo! Finance article tomorrow around 9 am.

                  Sorry for the delay.

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                  • #10
                    why would APG need over 450 EPA engine group approvals is the majority of their systems are going on older engines that are outside useful life? Maybe I am completely misunderstanding... sorry I'm new at all the DDF stuff...

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