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Orbital aims to freshen LPG’s image
Next-gen liquid-injection 'will improve performance, cost of going with LPG'
19 Jun 2009
By IAN PORTER
AUSTRALIA’S Orbital Corporation has set out to transform the image of LPG in the minds of car drivers in a bid to broaden the fuel’s market penetration from the current five per cent.
Orbital recently became a leading player in the field when it acquired the LPG operations of Boral group, because directors could see the potential for gas to replace petrol and diesel as oil becomes scarcer in coming years.
Included in the Boral business is a contract for the supply of the hardware for Ford's big-selling E-Gas Falcon, which comprises about 20 per cent of Falcon volumes and is popular with fleet operators.
Orbital Gas Products managing director Tony Fitzgerald told a Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) seminar on gaseous fuels in Melbourne this week that the next generation of liquid LPG systems would offer a significant advance.
He said Orbital would adopt sequential liquid injection and sequential vapour systems in place of the traditional fumigator system, which releases gas in the inlet port. The aim is to make using gas as easy as using petrol, with no noticeable change in driving characteristics.
“Sequential systems (which release fuel only when the inlet port is open) will appear in many forms, from the car-makers as original equipment in dedicated or bi-fuel form, for after-OE installation in bi-fuel systems and as retro-fit for Euro III and Euro IV compliance.
Left: Orbital Gas Products's Tony Fitzgerald.
“There is a wide range of quality in the LPG market at the moment, and it is important Orbital introduces very high quality products.” Mr Fitzgerald said he believed the emphasis would swing away from retro-fit market to a situation where most LPG vehicles would be built by the car-makers.
The manufacturers would be able to optimise fuel settings and emissions calibrations, although Mr Fitzgerald said Orbital would strive to achieve standardisation of its own after-market kits.
“We will conduct an extensive calibration program so that there will be no need for installers to make final adjustments. That will also assist in achieving our aim of matching the driveability of a car on unleaded petrol.” Mr Fitzgerald said Orbital had chosen established partners - Vialle and Continental - to supply proven components for its Australian systems.
“We will not be trying to invent something new,” he said.
“We will be looking to leverage the knowledge of our partners. If then product is to be reliable, we need to take a conservative approach.”
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