Transitioning a fleet to propane autogas is easy. The real challenge is converting a work truck’s gasoline fuel system to operate on propane autogas — which is handled by the manufacturer of the fuel system. In this piece, ROUSH CleanTech, which designs, engineers, manufactures, and installs propane fuel systems for Ford commercial vehicles and Blue Bird buses, will illustrate how to convert a Ford E-450 truck to run on propane autogas. It takes a qualified, trained technician roughly 12 hours per vehicle to complete these steps.
Monthly Archives: September 2018
It is hard to believe summer is in our rear view mirror and that fall is upon us. It has been an action-packed 2018 with even more opportunity ahead of us in 2019. Last year we introduced a propane autogas engine that was 75-percent cleaner than the EPA’s emissions standard for nitrogen oxide. This low-NOx 0.05 g/bhp-hr propane engine comes standard on all of our 6.8L V10 3V propane vehicles.
PERC President and CEO Tucker Perkins took part in a two-day satellite media and radio tour talking about the benefits of propane school buses for local communities. Nearly 1 million students now ride propane school buses to school every day in 48 states.
The alternative fuels terrain is tough to navigate. With the various fuel and technology options available for commercial vehicles, how do you make the right choice for your organization? Know that you’re not alone, and that many resources can help you research and decide on the best option for your fleet.
A school district here has added 15 propane-fueled school buses to its fleet for the 2018-19 school year. Township High School District 211’s new Blue Bird Vision Propane buses, which run regular daily routes, are equipped with a Ford 6.8L V10 engine and are powered by a ROUSH CleanTech propane fuel system. The buses are expected to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by almost 14,000 pounds and particulate matter by about 475 pounds each year, compared with the diesel buses they replaced, according to ROUSH CleanTech.
09.05.18 — Township High School District 211 added 15 propane autogas-fueled buses to its fleet for the 2018-19 school year. These Blue Bird Vision Propane Type C models reduce operating costs and help the school district lower its carbon footprint.
Maintain Your Propane Fuel Tanks
The fuel tank is at the heart of our propane autogas fuel system. Like any other part, you need to consider preventative maintenance.
The propane fuel tank should be inspected during each regular preventative maintenance interval or, at a minimum, annually. Look for signs of corrosion, peeling paint or rock chips.
With time, you may see this normal wear and tear.
Rust or corrosion on the propane tank does not necessarily mean there’s an issue. Propane autogas fuel tanks are designed with strict guidelines to meet or exceed the corrosion and structure requirements for vehicles. But just like with frame rails, axles and suspension components, the tanks will develop rust or corrosion over time.
If operating the vehicle in higher corrosion areas or severe climates, it’s recommended by tank manufactures to routinely clean and repaint the fuel tank with a rust preventative system. If the rust or corrosion seems excessive or concerning, then it’s recommended that the fuel tank be inspected by an ASME-certified repair facility to ensure the tank can stay in service.
Keep in mind that the fuel tanks we use are built to ASME standards and are rated for the usable life of the vehicle when properly maintained. Most propulsion propane tanks are built to stricter ASME standards. This is different than DOT tanks that have a more limited service life. A propane fuel tank should never need to be removed and replaced at any point during the vehicle’s life cycle.
Complete instructions and frequently asked questions can be found on our website in the Service section. For instructions, see “Tank Refinishing Procedure,” and for a downloadable list of FAQ, see “Tank Refinishing FAQ.”
If you have a concern with the integrity of the fuel tank, contact the National Board for tank refinishing at http://www.nationalboard.org/ManufacturerDirectory.aspx.
For other questions about fuel tank preventative maintenance, please contact Mario Genovese at Mario.Genovese@roush.com.
What’s New with HD-OBD
The regulations for heavy duty-onboard diagnostics (HD-OBD) have been updated to include 2018+ alternatively fueled medium-duty vehicles. ROUSH CleanTech is the first propane autogas fuel system manufacturer to receive the Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board’s HD-OBD certification for all its engines. Until 2018 model year, alternative fuel vehicles were exempt from this certification, but are now held to the same requirements as gasoline vehicles.
Keep in mind that this is an emission regulatory standard that requires new vehicle monitor parameters and reporting. We are ready to meet these regulations with a 50-state certified system for all our vehicle platforms.
What does this mean to you? The check engine light will illuminate for more conditions — most notably evaporative emissions systems. ROUSH CleanTech uses an evaporative emissions system to depressurize fuel rails after shutdown, allowing better vehicle starting and injector life.
Our service manuals have been updated with the new monitored parameters to help you diagnose vehicle issues. They contain helpful descriptions and causes for diagnostics trouble codes related to the fuel system. Be sure to download the latest version at roushcleantech.com/service.
If you have any questions about HD-OBD, please contact Lance Suttle at Lance.Suttle@roush.com.
ROUSH CleanTech said it has developed the first available propane autogas engine certified to California Air Resources Board’s optional low oxides of nitrogen emissions standard for heavy-duty engines with 0.02 grams per brake horsepower-hour. The engine is 90% cleaner than the current Environmental Protection Agency’s most stringent standard.