2010 Engines Challenge Apparatus Manufacturers

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Pierce tests a Detroit Diesel SCR engine designed to meet 
2010 emissions standards in the heat of Death Valley this 
summer. A weighted trailer is added to put additional stress 
on the engine and its cooling system.    (Pierce Mfg. photo)

With 2010 heavy-duty diesel emission standards scheduled to take effect in less than three months, the looming task for fire apparatus makers is shoehorning added components and additional piping into an existing chassis without increasing the wheelbase or reducing the cab size.

And the challenge for fire departments is to come up with additional money to pay for the new engines and the modifications they require. One estimate puts the anticipated apparatus price increase in the $20-30,000 range.

What is uncertain is how many fire departments will try to beat the price increase by ordering trucks with 2009 engines in the last couple of months of this year.

Diesel engine manufacturers are using one of two strategies to meet the 2010 federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards – advanced exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) or selective catalytic reduction (SCR).

“Both solutions will fully meet the 2010 EPA emission standards and apparatus can run successfully on either one,” said Phil Gerace, director of sales and marketing for KME Fire Apparatus in Nesquehoning, Pa.

An advanced EGR solution “basically will allow the trucks to be built as they are today because the work of cleaning the engine is done within the engine itself and there are not extra chambers added that aren’t on the truck today,” Gerace said. 

However, he cautioned that he foresees some changes in cabs because of cooling system modifications that might be necessary with the advanced EGR technology.

“Radiators will get bigger,” he said, “and you’ll probably see some different cabs being introduced from different manufacturers.”

With SCR technology, a tank of urea (about six gallons on average) will be needed, as well as an injection chamber about the size of a current diesel particulate filter (DPF). And because urea is cold sensitive, electronic sensors and heating elements might be built into the system.

“With a truck using SCR, there will be some effect on the real estate that’s available under the truck for the plumbing and the components,” Gerace said. “It may increase wheelbases and may even make certain options not possible on certain trucks. There’s only so much room on a truck.”

Donley Frederickson, national sales manager for Rosenbauer in Lyons, S.D., and Paul Hentges, a Rosenbauer chassis specialist, agree with Gerace’s assessment.

“On custom trucks, the real estate the SCR equipment takes up will cause increases in wheelbases, which will be a big issue on all-wheel drive vehicles because there’s not a lot of space on them as it is,” Hentges said. “Even two-wheel drive models might be affected.”

Frederickson pointed out that manufacturers have already made significant changes in the frontal area of trucks and their radiators.

A Big Enough Radiator

“The amount of real estate the radiator takes up has been increasing steadily and some manufacturers are having a heck of a time getting a big enough radiator into them,” he said. “The big thing with fire trucks isn’t mobile use, it’s stationary use, as in hard pumping operations. Just about anybody can cool these trucks going down the road. It’s in a stationary, high-power-requirement situation like pumping where they just can’t get a big enough radiator in front of the truck to control the air flow.”

Thus far, the bigger radiators haven’t affected cab space, Hentges said.

“There have been some changes in the floor area under the officer, and some wider cabs have been used with splayed frame rails to accommodate a wider radiator,” he said. “Most manufacturers have engineered the design so it doesn’t restrict a lot, and a side benefit is that you actually can gain space in the back of the crew cab.”

Hentges said Rosenbauer is now seeing 100-inch wide cabs, instead of the usual 96 or 98-inch versions. “There are some rumors of a 102-inch cab,” he said, “but we haven’t seen it yet.”
Some apparatus makers have partnered with engine manufacturers, as is the case with Pierce Manufacturing Inc. of Appleton, Wis.

“We have a deal with Detroit Diesel for their new DD13, exclusively for the fire industry,” said Mike Moore, Pierce’s director of strategic product development and support. “When Detroit Diesel decided to get out to the fire market a year and a half ago, we approached them and persuaded them to partner with us in this market.”

Death Valley Testing

Moore said Pierce shouldered the responsibility for making the Detroit Diesel SCR engine fit on a fire truck with an over-the-cab type of application, investing time, money and engineering design for castings and tooling.

“We have one truck built in that configuration and it has gone through our wind tunnel where we can simulate different conditions and temperatures while we put the truck under a load so we can certify the cooling on it,” Moore said. “The truck is now in Death Valley, running up those steep grades in California where its really hot and we can put a heavy strain on the truck. So far, we’re pleased with what we’re seeing.”

Moore said Pierce also has a chassis with a new Cummins SCR engine in it that’s being tested. “We haven’t ruled out anyone’s engine,” he said. “We’re actively talking with all engine manufacturers.”

Plumbing Options

Unlike some other manufacturers, Moore doesn’t envision any major changes to cab design because of the new EPA rules.

“We’re not seeing higher heat rejection rates, so we don’t have to put in larger radiators or fans under the truck,” he said. “That’s what really starts to drive the size of those engine tunnels – radiators and fan sizes.”

Moore said that because SCR technology treats emissions downstream in the engine, manufacturers are able to tune engines so they run more efficiently, realizing as much as five percent increased fuel economy.

Even though SCR requires an additional tank for urea and an injection device sized like a DPF, Moore said the new engines won’t have an impact on compartmentation or plumbing options in the majority of Pierce’s configurations.

“We have patents pending on designs that will allow us not to have an impact on wheelbase in the majority of our applications,” he said. “Customers who bought a typical truck with a certain wheelbase in the past, wouldn’t see much difference with the 2010 engine, except for the extra components. We’re trying to make this as transparent as possible for the customers.”

Richard Ball, marketing director of American LaFrance in Summerville, S.C., also plans to install Cummins SCR engines. “We’re going with SCR because we’ve used Cummins in the past, and it wouldn’t be as big of an engineering strain for us,” he said.

At the same time, American LaFrance is considering whether it makes sense to offer to offer two engine packages.

Advanced EGR

“Navistar is the only company offering advanced EGR, and we have been working with them on non-fire vehicles,” Ball said. “We have a pretty good idea of what it would take to put their engine in a fire cab and chassis. Depending on a joint venture we have with them, we potentially could have both SCR and advanced EGR systems available.”

Bob Neitzel, vocational marketing manager at Navistar, said his firm redesigned its engines to 2010 standards after the 2007 EPA emission standards came out.

“They were far cleaner than the EPA required for 2007, so we earned lots of emission credits,” Neitzel said. “Currently, we’re the only engine manufacturer selling engines without buying emission credits.”

He noted the EPA allows a manufacturer making an engine cleaner than the standard to take the difference between the standard and the level reached by the engine as a carbon credit.

Neitzel said Navistar has upgraded its MaxxForce engines for 2010 by putting in a new piston design, improving the fuel injection system and turbocharger and putting in a faster computer.

Christy Nycz, on-highway marketing communications manager for Cummins, Inc. in Columbus, Ind., said her firm will have five engine platforms using SCR to meet the 2010 requirements – from 6.7 to 15 liters. Two are made specifically for the fire market – the ISL 9 liter and ISX 11.9 liter – although the ISX 15 liter may find use in aerial apparatus, she said.

The chief difference in the 2010 EPA emission standards, compared to the 2007 standards, is a much lower level of oxides of nitrogen (NOx), Nycz noted. “Adding SCR technology allows us to get to those low NOx levels,” she said.

Nycz pointed out that the date the 2010 standard takes effect relates to production of engines, not when apparatus manufacturers install them.
“Anything we sell from midnight, December 31, 2009, must be certified and compliant with 2010 standards,” she said. “We consider that the engine is born when the crankshaft is laid in the block.”

DEF Consumption

From an engine standpoint, she said Cummins won’t change what’s currently being made. “The change is in the elements that are added in the after-treatment system,” she said. “We’ll install a diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) tank that holds a solution of ionized water and 32.5 percent pure grade urea, a diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) and also the DPF, currently used on trucks.”

Nycz estimated the DEF consumption rate at approximately two percent of fuel use. The size of the DEF tank will be six percent the size of the vehicle fuel tank, she noted.

Nycz dismissed the concern that urea can freeze and affect a vehicle’s operation.

“Because of the specific ratio of pure grade urea and deionized water, it will freeze at 12 degrees Fahrenheit,” she said. “If the DEF in the vehicle is frozen, it will not impact the startup or operation of the vehicle because the DEF consumption is only two percent.”

Thawing Quickly

The DEF tank will have heating lines, she said, and after the truck is started, the tank will thaw quickly.

While apparatus and engine manufacturers have differing opinions about what the 2010 engines will do to the size and design of apparatus bodies and chassis, they agree on one major point – the new engines will increase the cost of a fire truck.

Neitzel of Navistar estimates the increased cost for an advanced EGR engine in the 9-liter range at around $6,000. For an engine from 13 to 15 liters, he estimated the cost at $8,000.

Nycz declined to comment on the cost of meeting the 2010 standards with SCR technology.

Gerace of KME said the general message to fire departments is “if you’re planning on buying this year, sooner is better. If they can purchase now, versus next year, they’ll probably save themselves a fair amount of money.”

Hentges of Rosenbauer was more specific.

“A significant dollar amount was added to fire trucks in the past few years for EPA 2007 and the NFPA changes, about $10,000 to $20,000 per truck, depending on the size of the engine,” he said. “For 2010, it will be anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000 more.”

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