Benefits of more sustainable ‘drop-in’ generator fuels confirmed

Aggreko says it has ‘demonstrated its commitment to lowering overall emissions’ by engaging global engineering and environmental consultancy, Ricardo, to test the performance of its generators ‘running on more sustainable alternative fuels’.

Following the Chancellor’s announcement that the Government would scrap the red diesel fuel subsidy for construction and logistics firms from 2023, the temporary power and cooling solutions supplier has strengthened testing processes around ‘more sustainable’ drop-in fuels. Aggreko said: “Because switching to these fuels does not require companies to adapt existing equipment or incur added maintenance and installation costs, they are set to become a key alternative means of powering future generators.”

Specifically, Aggreko has enlisted Shoreham-based consultancy, Ricardo, to conduct independent testing of hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) and gas-to-liquid (GTL) ‘engineered’ fuels using its own generator fleet – which it dubs ‘a rarity in testing conditions’. Ricardo provides technical expertise across a wide range of specialisms, including the energy sector. To measure ‘the green credentials’ of HVO and GTL in Aggreko equipment, it undertook testing on a selection representative of 80 percent of Aggreko’s generator sets with output ratings ranging from 30 to 500 kVA, all using engines certified at EU Stage IIIA emissions. Each unit was sequentially tested over the five modes of the ISO8178 D2 Cycle, the international standard for exhaust emission measurement for this class of non-road, constant speed equipment. Each generator’s emissions were assessed based on operation on a standard pump-grade EN590 diesel product, alongside HVO and GTL. By measuring emissions and providing a chemical analysis of each fuel, testers could determine a ‘carbon-balance’ fuel consumption.

The results demonstrated ‘significant emissions improvements’ when operating on both HVO and GTL fuels. Compared with pump-grade diesel, particulate matter emissions were reduced by up to 42 per cent, carbon monoxide by up to 35 per cent, and hydrocarbons and NOx by up to 25 per cent. In addition, HVO showed a comparable fuel consumption penalty of only 0.1-1.7 percent, with 2.0-3.9 percent for GTL.

“The uptake of drop-in fuels like HVO and GTL will be crucial to reducing emissions in line with the Government’s pledge to achieving Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050,” said Chris Rason, Aggreko’s MD. “We considered it vitally important to not only engage independent experts, but to undertake the testing on our own equipment for the most accurate results possible. Ricardo’s testing demonstrated the emissions-related advantages and negligible fuel consumption penalty for both fuels, and the viability of Aggreko generators for companies looking to cut emissions without compromising performance.”







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