Adopting low-emission diesel engines in mining

Perkins engines, available in Australia through AllightSykes, are leading the way as the trend towards adopting cleaner diesel engines across the mining industry gains momentum.

Emission standards such as the US EPA Tier 4 Final, EU Stage V, Bharat IV in India, Stage IV in China, MLIT Step IV in Japan, Stage IV in South Korea and a variety of other local and regional mandates are all examples of the global trend toward cleaner diesel engines. Here in Australia, the mining industry is among the first to place this new generation of engines in service widely. Although not yet required by law, many gensets, light towers, crusher/screeners, water pumps, vehicles and other specialised pieces of equipment are already powered by Perkins diesels, meeting the latest emission standards.

AllightSykes product line manager for engines, David Whincup, says the new Perkins engines designed to meet the strictest of these standards are physically smaller and more responsive with increased power density, multiple application-driven approaches to aftertreatment packaging and an overall emphasis on providing integrated systems customers can easily incorporate into both new and existing machines.

“Greater power density is a product of more efficient combustion made possible by innovations like common rail fuel systems and ‘smart’ turbochargers,” Whincup explains.

“More efficient combustion captures more of the energy in the fuel, which not only reduces emissions, but also improves fuel economy to reduce operating costs.”

Whincup offers the Perkins 1706 as an example of what has been achieved in the drive toward lowering diesel emissions. It’s a six-cylinder, 9.3-litre engine that combines a new high-pressure common-rail fuel system with an advanced aftertreatment package to produce up to 340kW and 2088Nm of torque.

Built on a proven core engine that has logged more than 200 million hours of real-world operation, the 1706 produces more power and torque while consuming less fuel.

Much of the improvement can be attributed to a new, patented aftertreatment technology package combining the diesel particulate filter (DPF) and diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) in a single assembly. Regeneration is completely transparent to the operator

A high-efficiency selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system eliminates the need for exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and its associated plumbing, parts and service requirements leading to a potential reduction in the size of the engine’s cooling system. Overall, the new aftertreatment technology package is 39 per cent smaller and 55 per cent lighter than previous generation equipment.

The high-pressure common-rail fuel system used on the 1706 is also new and optimised for per-formance. It eliminates the need for fuel coolers in most applications and permits cold starts at temperatures down to -20° Celcius without aids.

A single engine control module (ECM) with nearly 13 times more processing power than previous systems replaces the multiple control units commonly found on engines in this category.

Complete with a two-wire Ethernet port, the new ECM allows customers to perform advanced data analytics and better interface with Perkins’ digital support and integration strategies.

Many of the same upgrades also have been incorporated into the Perkins 2406, a 430kW, six-cylinder, 12.5-litre diesel and 2806, a six-cylinder, 18.1-litre engine that meet Stage V standards with technology very similar to that used in the 1706.

Monitoring these sophisticated new engines is also easier using the free Perkins My Engine App that gives operators a wealth of information about engine condition, maintenance requirements, service history, parts and much more all on their office computer or mobile device. The app also provides a direct link to AllightSykes sales and technical staff to support customers in the field.

Whincup also notes that Perkins’ commitment to a cleaner environment does not end with delivery of new engines.

“Perkins operates an extensive remanufacturing program for engine components, including everything from major assemblies like blocks and heads to individual accessories like turbos and fuel pumps,” Whincup explains.

“We also supply short blocks, remanufactured heads and complete remanufactured engines that can save customers a significant amount of money compared to replacing an entire machine.”

By reusing as much of the original component as possible and replacing the unusable parts with remanufactured equivalents wherever practical, Perkins keeps a substantial amount of material out of landfills around the world.

“Even something as simple as an oil filter can be redesigned with the environment in mind,” Whincup adds.

“The Perkins Ecoplus filter does away with the traditional metal can and replaces it with a re-placeable element inside a reusable filter housing. That keeps spin-on type oil filters out of land-fills. Perkins Ecoplus oil filters are also designed to drain oil back into the block automatically when they are opened to avoid spills.

“Most folks don’t think of those aspects of environmental stewardship, but Perkins does. It’s part of the culture at Perkins and AllightSykes.”

This feature also appears in the December edition of Australian Mining.

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