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Energies

Due to strategic, political, environmental, and economical reasons, the world is searching for alternative sources of energy to coal and oil. SMP markets and the Transportation, Industrial, and Power Generation Industries are seeing a shift in the use of alternative energies. While there is not a solution that fits all applications, the main trends are the use of Natural Gas and Autogas to power Ignition Combustion Engines, and the electrification of vehicles. A market leader in the design and manufacture of high-quality parts for engine management and temperature control systems, SMP is not only following this new trend but also becoming one of its leader.

Natural Gas

Natural Gas is a favored alternative energy source in the Transportation and Power Generation Industries because of its reserves, cost, availability and its cleaner burning properties. Already established as an energy source for electric power generation, Natural Gas has for the first time (2015) overtaken coal in US Electric Generation and continues to grow its market share. The use of Natural Gas as a fuel for Internal Combustion Engine is spreading to all segments of the Transportation Industry: cars, vans, material handling equipment, trucks of all sizes, transit buses, locomotives, inland and maritime ships. Natural Gas is a gaseous fuel produced through conventional (drilling) or renewable (organic waste) methods. It can be stored as a gas (CNG) or a liquid (LNG).

The Volumetric Energy Density of Gasoline is about 1.5 times greater than LNG.

The Volumetric Energy Density of LNG is about 2.3 times greater than CNG. 


Autogas

Autogas, also called Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), is a favored alternative energy source in the Transportation Industry and the third most widely used vehicle fuel behind gasoline and diesel. Autogas is selected for its lower fuel costs, its cleaner burning properties, its lower system and infrastructure costs. AutoGas is used as a fuel on converted gasoline Internal Combustion Engine. It is used in mono-fuel or bi-fuel systems. Autogas is used on a wide variety of vehicles: cars, vans, material handling equipment, light duty and medium duty trucks and transit buses. AutoGas is a liquid fuel and a by-product of crude oil refinement. It is stored as a liquid.

The Volumetric Energy Density of Gasoline is 1.25 greather than Autogas.


Electricity

Electricity is an energy that has been used for a long time by connected means of transportation such as electric trains, trolley trucks and buses. Now, Hybrids and Electric vehicles are a fast growing segment of the Transportation industry. New technologies have made the electrification of vehicles feasible, from simple components such as remote start, to Hybrid and full Electric Vehicles. At the vehicle level, Electricity is selected for its environmental benefits, its reduction in noise, its motor efficiency, its lower cost of maintenance.There a few challenges the Industry is actively working on to resolve: range, charging time, heating the interior of the vehicle and the waste management from the used batteries.

Full Electric and Hybrid vehicles cover a wide market: bikes, scooters, cars, vans, material handling equipment, light duty trucks, transit buses, trolley buses and trucks, trains.


Fuel Comparison

The development of each of these energy sources is based on their benefits and downsides. Below are the pros and cons of each technology that help explain the reasons for the current market penetration.

Energy Sources:

CNG (Biomass, Crude Oil & Shale Gas)

Benefits:

  • Domestic supply (94%) and reserves
  • Least polluting fossil fuels (particulate and GHG)
  • Most cost effective fossil fuels
  • Expanding distribution network
  • Expanding Service network

Downsides:

  • Limited range (~400 miles)
  • Higher maintenance cost (engine oil, coolant, spark plugs)
  • System cost
  • Tank size
  • Loss of Horse Power

LNG (Biomass, Crude Oil & Shale Gas)

Benefits:

  • Domestic supply and reserves
  • Least polluting fossil fuels (particulate and GHG)
  • Most cost effective fossil fuels
  • Higher Energy density than CNG
  • Better range (>400 miles)
  • Expanding Service network

Downsides:

  • System cost (cryogenic tank)
  • Higher maintenance cost (engine oil, coolant, injectors)
  • Tank size
  • Limited distribution network
  • Loss of Horse Power

LPG (Crude Oil & Shale Gas)

Benefits:

  • Domestic supply (90%)
  • Less expensive than gasoline or diesel
  • Less polluting fossil fuels (particulate and GHG)
  • Low maintenance cost (better life than gasoline)
  • Same engine performance as gasoline (torque and power)

Downsides:

  • By-product of NG extraction and crude oil refining
  • Limited vehicle availability
  • Limited distribution network
  • Lower mileage

GHG = Green House Gases