Westport Launches Advanced LNG Tank System

Westport Innovations Inc. announced yesterday a unique on-board storage solution that provides best in class performance for 18-wheelers using liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The new Westport LNG Tank System will be available in 120 and 150 gallon capacities, is optimized for spark ignited (SI) engines, can be of single or combined tank design, and should begin shipping by mid-2013.

According to the company, the Westport LNG Tank System is expected to provide customers with the ability to fuel even the largest SI engines on a single tank and deliver extended range.

Amongst the benefits of the new system is the possibility to run only one tank. Current industry standard systems require two LNG tanks to operate effectively with larger SI engines and require warm (saturated) LNG.

The Westport LNG Tank System is optimized for trucks running even the largest SI engines, reducing the overall fuel system costs and weight dramatically with the single-tank option.

According to Wesport, the 120 gallon or 150 gallon single-tank systems can run for approximately 350 to 450 miles, respectively, on cold (unsaturated) LNG fuel. Those range double for dual-tank configurations.

By carrying fuel as cold LNG, the Westport LNG Tank System can increase fuel storage times and improve vehicle range by up to 10 percent.

In certain configurations, the system will allow the ability to carry both cold and warm LNG.

Wesport says that compared to existing compressed natural gas (CNG) options, a single 150 gallon Westport LNG Tank System takes the place of three standard CNG tanks, lowering fuel storage costs and reducing overall vehicle weight by approximately 600 lbs. Additionally, LNG has shorter refueling times compared to CNG.

“Our early production systems tested with the Cummins Westport ISX12 G in a Peterbilt 384 truck have proven to have excellent performance characteristics and superior operating results on a single tank,” said Steve Anderson, Westport HD vice president of business development. “We believe this is the only on-board fuel system for LNG-fueled engines that can operate on a single tank using range-extending cold LNG.”

The tanks can be located saddle-type, like conventional diesel tanks, or on a rack behind the cab.