Werther, November 16th, 2015
Poppe + Potthoff steps on the gas
Gaseous fuels such as natural gas, biogas and hydrogen are an environmentally-friendly and cost-effective alternative to conventional diesel or petrol. Although the commensurate technology and infrastructure are still in the development stage, particularly fleet operators and the manufacturers of trucks and buses are showing a significant interest. In essence, this involves the development of new systems and upgrading of existing common rail engines.
The advantages according to the publication vdi-Nachrichten: a MAN study found that with natural gas, which is easy to extract, fuels costs can be reduced by around 20 to 35 percent in comparison to diesel. Mercedes Benz has also estimated that CO2 emissions are around 20 percent lower. Furthermore, according to the German Energy Agency (DENA), natural gas creates almost 90% less nitrous gases, emits next to no particulates and is also advantageous in terms of noise emission.
Reliable under high pressure
In the course of developing components for gas and hydrogen engines, Poppe + Potthoff benefited from its longstanding experience with diesel engines, for which the company has supplied common rail subsystems since the 90s. Tests have proved that the materials and designs used are also ideally suited for gas applications.
“In the case of gases, sealing the system against leakage is significantly more critical than with diesel fuel, for example, due to the smaller molecular structure,” explained Burkhard Harhoff, Head of Engineering at Poppe + Potthoff. “We were able to prove that our interfaces remained absolutely impermeable even with highly volatile hydrogen and remained so safely and reliably even after the twenty-fifth reassembly.”
The series of tests were carried out by the TÜV Saarland testing centre. Poppe + Potthoff component interfaces between the rail and line performed significantly better than other systems with classic o-ring seals, particularly in low temperatures well below freezing. In consideration of the safety aspects, this is a very significant advantage of highly compressed gases,” said Harhoff.
Poppe + Potthoff now supplies common rails and lines with an inner diameter of between 3 and 6 mm that are certified for gas pressures ranging from 300 to 700 bar for customers in the USA, Canada and Europe. All the prototypes underwent comprehensive testing in the Technology Center in Werther, with the data then forwarded to customers for evaluation. Efficient series production is facilitated by our state-of-the-art plant in Aijka, Hungary.