US firm OptiFuels Systems, a system integrator of Cummins and BAE Systems hybrid power products for decarbonizing the rail, marine, and microgrid power market, is in the process of finalizing a $2.6 million U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant to demonstrate a pre-production Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) hybrid 4,300 hp line-haul locomotive. The program will demonstrate that a suite of commercially available, EPA rail-certified engines present a near-term, low risk solution to create an affordable RNG hybrid line-haul locomotive with near zero emissions while simultaneously improving fuel cost by 50%.
This program is integral to OptiFuel’s 5-year plan to disrupt and decarbonize the rail market with a full line of zero and near-zero NOx, PM and CO2 emissions freight and passenger locomotives. In several weeks, OptiFuel will be announcing that it will start taking orders, in 49 of the U.S. states, for a new line of affordable 800 hp to 3,200 hp, 100% natural gas freight and transit locomotives.
The pre-production locomotive will consume 83% natural gas along with 20% improved efficiency versus Tier 4 diesel line-haul freight locomotives. OptiFuel will utilize one of its proprietary, Federal Railway Administration approved onboard CNG/RNG storage system holding 1,500 DGE to complete the locomotive design.
The production locomotive will be market competitive in pricing and will have an industry-leading 5-year warranty on all engines along with comprehensive maintenance coverage. The propulsion system design is compact enough to fit on virtually any legacy EMD or GE line-haul locomotive with no structural modifications to the operator cab or frame. OptiFuel design will allow the railroads to repower existing Tier 3 and Tier 4 line-haul locomotives at half the cost of fully replacing older Pre-Tier 0 to Tier 2 locomotives. In production, OptiFuel will provide its proven locomotive CNG fueling station solution and expect the CNG to cost between 0.70 to $1.35 per DGE, depending on capitalization and implementation strategies of the locomotive operator. This is well below the 10-year average cost of $2.45 that the Class 1 railroads have paid for diesel.
OptiFuel, based in Beaufort, South Carolina, is providing zero emissions products (NOx, PM, CO2) for decarbonizing rail, marine, and microgrid power applications with innovative, cost-efficient, and sustainable solutions utilizing advance gaseous fuels with Cummins and BAE Systems hybrid power products.
(Source and image: Opti-Fuels System)