Westport and GTI Awarded $900,000 for Natural Gas Combustion Technology
Westport Innovations, together with the Gas Technology Institute (GTI), has been awarded $900,000 towards a program to advance natural gas combustion technology. The work will feature Westport’s enhanced spark ignited (ESI) natural gas engine technology and demonstrate “High Frequency Corona Discharge Ignition” on an OEM partner’s engine. The engine has a displacement of between 1 and 1.5 liters per cylinder and is targeted at medium duty commercial vehicle applications.
“Westport ESI technology allows, for the first time, a spark-ignited natural gas engine to exceed the performance of a comparable state-of-the-art diesel engine,” said Brad Douville, Vice President Business Development for Westport. “Next generation natural gas engines of this class will be smaller, lighter, lower cost and have even higher performance than modern diesel engines because we can exploit the advantages of natural gas as a high performance fuel with naturally lower emissions challenges.”
Of the total program funding, $750,000 is coming from the California Energy Commission (CEC) and $150,000 is being provided by the Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas). Westport will contribute approximately $250,000 in additional funds for a total of $1.15 million. Westport expects that, if this program is successful, Westport ESI systems integrating corona discharge technology could become commercially available in as soon as four years.
“The CEC is committed to supporting the development of advanced transportation technologies that use alternative or renewable fuel sources,” said Energy Commission Chair Robert Weisenmiller. “These solutions are essential components of the state’s strategy to address local air quality issues and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”