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Gregg Walker
Propane Education & Research Council


Propane Council Ramps Up Engine Development Projects

Propane Council Ramps Up Engine Development Projects (pdf)

WASHINGTON (July 20, 2012) — The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), meeting last week in Napa, Calif., approved several research and development programs focused on building and testing engines that use domestically produced propane to meet the nation’s energy needs.

One is an investigation of spark-ignition direct-injection engines with the Southwest Research Institute, Livernois Vehicle Engineering, and the Millbrook Proving Ground Limited, a General Motors subsidiary. The project will evaluate both Ford and GM direct injection engines for suitability with propane for potential on-road and off-road use.

Another project, with Certification Services International, is designed to develop a 6-liter heavy-duty engine for on-road use and for off-road applications in agriculture, power generation, natural gas drilling, paving, and railroad use. The propane-fueled engine would offer fuel cost savings and lower emissions compared with engines that use traditional fuels.
“Developing engine technology is at the core of PERC’s efforts to build the market for propane,” PERC President and CEO Roy Willis said. “And because propane is clean-burning and price competitive with traditional fuels, it is an excellent source of power for promising engine projects.”
In other Council business last week, the Council authorized publication of a proposed 2013 budget of $36 million that will commit $20.3 million to programs, with 53 percent devoted to research and development, 29 percent to training, and 18 percent to safety programs. The 2013 assessment rate of four-tenths of a cent per gallon is expected to generate revenues of more than $33 million. The proposed budget will be posted for industry and public comment before August 1, as required by statute.

The Council approved the following funding requests:

Docket 17439 — PSI 2.0- and 2.4-Liter Propane Engine Development and Certification, $154,000
Docket 17535 — Advanced-Efficiency High-Capacity Tower Dryer, $400,000
Docket 17584 — Spark Ignition Direct Injection (SIDI) Engine Technology Investigation, $592,500
Docket 17585 — Diesel-Propane Dual-Fuel Evaluation Project, $450,000
Docket 18024 — Large Spark-Ignited Engine Evaluation, $200,000
Docket 18037 — CARB Certification Road Map 2012, $50,000
Docket 18114 — CETP Update: Railcar and IM Tank (3.6 and 3.7), $244,918
Docket 18131 — Marketer Technology and Sales Training, $356,500
Docket 18135 — 2012-2013 Partnership with States Program, $2,700,000
Docket 18142 — 2012 Industry Outreach (August-December), $160,000
Docket 18173 — Market Outreach and Communications Program for the Second Half of 2012, $3,986,000
Docket 18179 — 6-Liter Heavy Duty Liquid Propane Engine, $700,000

Since the April Council meeting, PERC has approved 69 state rebate requests totaling $1,778,752, with nine programs included in requests for a total of $179,127 from the PERC Partnership with States. 

Willis reported to the Council that he had used his presidential authority to approve Docket 18056  — Yanmar Gas Heat Pump Market Study, $35,000.

The Council adopted the following schedule for its public meetings in 2013:

• February 14 by conference call.
• April 12 in Atlanta.
• July 10 and 11 in New York City.
• October 9 and 10 in Portland, Ore.
• December 10 and 11 in Amelia Island, Fla.

The Council will next meet October 3 and 4, 2012, in Colorado Springs, Colo.