New LPG system promises mpg improvement of up to 15%

Field trials of a new system that injects small amounts of LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) into a diesel engine are about to start, potentially offering mpg improvements mooted to be around 15%.

The government’s Technology Strategy Board (TSB) last year awarded a £92,000 ‘proof of concept’ grant to Frome-based vehicle monitoring equipment supplier Btrack. It was to support a project to “evaluate the potential for a highly cost effective control system to manage the amount of a second fuel added to the air intake of a diesel engine.”

Speaking at a meeting of the British Transport Advisory Consortium last week, well-known fuel efficiency consultant Dr Michael Coyle revealed that the second fuel is LPG.  Coyle, initially engaged to analyse the project’s fuel data, said he has since bought into the commercial development of the system, branded Easi-LPG.

Unlike other diesel/LPG systems, the amount of LPG added to the diesel is so small that Coyle says it is “LPG enhancement” rather than dual-fuel. A single tank containing just 45kg of fuel and weighing 65kg all-up is sufficient for a week’s operation of a typical truck, he says.

LPG has a lower energy content than diesel, but Coyle says the Easi-LPG system “enhances the combustion of the diesel and increases energy release.” The LPG is injected into the engine’s air intake upstream of the turbocharger. Injection management is reckoned to be unique, and does not interfere with an engine’s ECU (electronic control unit).

Testing of a diesel-engined van on a chassis dynamometer indicated a 20% uplift in torque. Coyle conservatively suggests this would translate into an mpg improvement of 15.5%.

On that basis, Coyle says the system, which costs £5,000 fitted to a 6x2 tractor unit, pays for itself within 12 months on a typical 44-tonner covering 80,000 miles (129,000km) annually. CO2 savings are expected to be broadly in line with the fuel savings, with even bigger reductions in particulates and NOx claimed.

Emissions testing takes place in February, followed in March by the start of in-service trials of six trucks run by six different operators. “It’s a very simple system, which keeps costs down and reduces the chance of failures,” said Coyle. “It looks very promising at this stage but we’re not saying too much until we finish testing in October.”  

Rich and infamous sink to new low as ‘used car dealer’

If, like me, you are a work-a-day nobody with an employer then Income Tax and National Insurance are removed long before monies earned is received.

While people in general grumble about paying taxes there are several moments in life when you benefit from those aforementioned taxes. Usually its medical and the National Health Service, or Child Tax Credit, or job seekers allowance or, if you live long enough, the state pension.  

In a world increasingly dominated by 15 minute heroes receiving rich reward for reasons beyond me (Katie Hopkins – please stand up and take a curtsy) my lowly status means tax avoiding schemes like ‘Working Wheels’ won’t have been offered up by your financial advisor – who in this case is the irascible Mrs Dealer.

Her blood boiled as she skim-read The Sun and Daily Mail versions of one Christopher David Moyles telling HM Revenue & Customs that he had spent a year engaged as a self-employed used car trader.

He claimed to have run up £1m of losses selling £3,731 worth of used cars, tried to offset the claimed £1m loss in the 2007-08 financial year against tax he owed on his other income, including an estimated £700,000 salary from the BBC, which is funded by licence fee payers.

Mrs Dealer took a dim view of this; as an arch supporter of good causes she sees tax a necessary evil as it pays for things that benefit people in general. In some circles, she might be described as a ‘socialist’.

Me, I just hate the dishonesty and wilful ignorance. Still, it’s good to forgive and forget. Mind you, I didn’t know who he was to begin with…