From advanced diesel to hydrogen: Four ways Cummins is committed to meeting energy demands

Cummins NACV 2019

If you couldn't attend last year's North American Commercial Vehicle Show (NACV), here's a recap to help you get up to speed on the latest diverse power solutions Cummins is poised to bring to market

NACV is one of the largest gatherings in the global on-highway industry with fleet owners, original equipment manufacturers, maintenance managers and over 15,000 trucking industry professionals typically gathering in Atlanta, Georgia during the last week of October to attend the four-day event. 

Visit Cummins at NACV

Cummins had a strong presence at last year’s NACV show, showcasing a wide range of the company’s latest industry-leading technologies. As a 101 year old company whose products can be found powering applications in markets ranging from construction to marine, meeting the energy and environmental demands of the future is the name of the game, and the company is committed to developing a broad portfolio of diverse power solutions. 

That message was made loud and clear when Dr. Wayne Eckerle, Vice President of Global Research and Technology at Cummins, recently testified before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change in Washington, D.C.

"Cummins is committed to investing in an energy diverse future where our customers have a broad portfolio of power options,” Eckerle said. “A future that includes clean diesel, natural gas, electrified power, fuel cell technology and alternative fuels – so they can choose what works best for them.”  

From telematics to the latest in advanced diesel engine technology, here are four ways Cummins is committed to investing in the power of choice and powering a trucking industry that’s Always On. And if you just so happened to be at NACV last year, you probably stopped by booth No. 7545 and saw all of these latest innovations in person. 

Cummins Advanced-Diesel Platforms

Cummins’ industry-leading diesel engine platforms are expanding for 2020, providing customers with dependable, efficient solutions for line-haul, regional-haul, heavy-haul, vocational and specialty applications. 

Customers will see total cost of ownership improvements to the X15 Efficiency Series platform, with advancements in air handling and base engine hardware improvements resulting in 3.5% better fuel economy when compared to the 2017 X15 Efficiency Series engine model. 

Those cost savings not only benefit the bottom line, but as a company committed to powering a more prosperous world, the improved fuel economy means Cummins and our customers can feel good about helping combat threats to the environment caused by climate change. 

“We are proud of the performance and reliability of the X15 engine platform,” said Brett Merritt, Vice President – On-Highway Engine Business at Cummins. “The new 2020 X15 Efficiency Series engine provides improved fuel economy and further reduces greenhouse gas emissions. That’s why we’re bringing our new X15 Efficiency Series engine and X15 Productivity Series offering to the market a year ahead of regulation requirements.” 

Learn about additional improvements to Cummins’ advanced-diesel platforms here

Cummins Suite of Connected Technologies

In the digital age, most consumers are accustomed to having instant access to data via their smartphone, tablet or laptop. When you want the local weather forecast, you simply open an app. Breaking news alerts are pushed straight to your phone. If you have a smart home, you can even pull up your doorbell camera to see if your package has been delivered.  

Cummins is no stranger to the digital world, as our suite of Connected Solutions™ is built on an open digital platform that is interconnectable with diverse environments, offering a host of fleet management tools and cost saving technologies. Tools include a suite of remote monitoring, reporting, calibrating and servicing solutions designed to enhance the customer experience across product lifecycles. 

In the future, prognostics will help detect and diagnose issues early and be paired with preemptive parts procurement to streamline service experiences.  

Cummins Electrified Power Solutions

In the spirit of powering a more prosperous world and developing a wide-range of energy diverse technologies, in 2017 Cummins announced its commitment to invest in electrification across many applications, markets and regions. 

Today, nearly three years after unveiling AEOS, a fully electric heavy-duty (class 7) concept truck, Cummins is supplying battery electric powertrains for transit buses, school buses, light commercial vehicles such as pick-up and delivery vehicles and medium-duty trucks. 

Cummins’ continued commitment to innovation and bringing the right technologies, to the right markets, at the right time is demonstrated with the unveiling of the new Integrated e-Drive system. The integrated electric drivetrain features a motor, transmission and inverter integrated into a single unit. The new traction system is currently in the development phase and expected to launch in the second half of 2022. 

Cummins Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technologies

Cummins began developing its fuel cell capabilities more than 20 years ago and the acquisition of Hydrogenics accelerates Cummins’ ability to further innovate and scale hydrogen fuel cell technologies across a range of commercial markets. 

In addition to acquiring Hydrogenics, Cummins also recently announced an investment in Loop Energy, a fuel cell electric range extender provider, and signed a memo of understanding with Hyundai Motor Company to collaborate on hydrogen fuel cell technology across commercial markets in North America.  

Cummins - Hydrogen Fuel Cell Truck - NACV 2019

To showcase the latest hydrogen fuel cell technologies, Cummins displayed a class 8, 6x4 day cab tractor at NACV with fuel cell and battery electric power. The zero-emissions technology demonstrator was designed and integrated by Cummins and is suitable for vocational applications, regional haul, urban delivery operations, port drayage and terminal container handling. 

Additional ResourcesVisit Cummins at the 2019 North American Commercial Vehicle tradeshow

Additional Resources: Learn how Cummins technologies are Powering A World That’s Always On
 

Michael Nagel - Cummins Inc

Michael Nagel

Michael Nagel is the Leader - Global Brand at Cummins Inc. As a member of the external communications team at Cummins, he has more than 15 years of digital communications and traditional public relations experience, with a focus on digital communications, corporate brand and content marketing. Michael earned his B.A. from the Indiana University School of Journalism - Indianapolis and currently resides in Indianapolis. 

Watch Now: How fuel cell electric vehicles are paving the road to zero

Cummins provides mobility solutions that allow customers to get from point A to Point B. But as the climate crisis continues and global companies pivot to adopt more sustainable practices, how do we help customers move people and things with minimum to zero air pollutants or greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions?

One solution is fuel cell electric vehicles.

Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) use electricity to power an electric motor, similar to all-electric vehicles (EVs). The difference in FCEVs is that the electricity used to power the motor is produced using fuel cells powered by hydrogen. And unlike conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, FCEVs produce no harmful tailpipe emissions.

The key to FCEV success is hydrogen. When hydrogen is generated using renewable resources, such as solar and wind, it becomes a green energy source that can be used without the direct emissions of air pollutants.

Watch below to learn more about how Cummins fuel cell electric vehicles provide clean, zero-emissions transportation, from well to wheel.

Hydrogen plays an important role in Cummins’ mission to decarbonize the global economy. We continue to invest in the advancement of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies and infrastructure to ensure the production of hydrogen becomes more affordable and globally available.

With Cummins-powered FCEVs already on the road, we are well on our way toward Destination Zero.

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Cummins New Power President emphasizes decarbonizing now at The New York Times Climate Hub

Cummins New Power President emphasizes decarbonizing now at The New York Times Climate Hub

Amy Davis, Vice President and President of New Power, painted a picture of a decarbonized transportation sector with the help of both battery electric and hydrogen-powered solutions at The New York Times Climate Hub in Glasgow, Scotland, earlier this month. And while the debate between various low- and zero-carbon solutions continues around the world, she urged governments and corporations to start doing something now – because the carbon you put out today, tomorrow and next week cannot be taken back.

Cummins is over 100 years old, and we’ve been powering all kinds of commercial applications. One of the things we know is that [transportation] is very diverse, and we believe it’s not going to take just one solution [to decarbonize it].” – Amy Davis, President of New Power

In parallel with the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26, the Climate Hub hosted its program The Forum.  Over nine days, people across the globe tuned in to 45 live discussions, debates and workshops that addressed the mounting threat of climate change and what actions can be taken to stop it. 

Davis’ presence at The Forum was just one of numerous engagements and initiatives occurring in Glasgow that week. Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger also attended COP26, meeting with governments, industry leaders and media to advocate for the shift from fossil fuels to low- and no-carbon solutions and demonstrating how Cummins will be part of the energy transition.

In the days leading to COP26 and The Forum, Cummins was accepted into two influential groups advocating for climate action

The consensus across conversations was that moving toward a carbon-free world is essential – but is it easier said than done? How do we make decarbonization happen? What does decarbonization even look like?

During the Transport and Mobility panel Time and Space: Moving People and Goods in a Carbon-Free World, Davis participated alongside Avinash Rugoobur, President of Arrival; Laura Lane, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer of UPS; and Peter Vanacker, President and CEO of Neste – all transportation and technology companies moving the industry toward a cleaner, greener future.

Watch the full discussion below as The New York Times climate reporter and panel moderator Brad Plumer opens the floor to Davis to discuss why Cummins is approaching decarbonization beyond just electrification, how infrastructure challenges have influenced hydrogen in mobility, and how transitionary periods lead to innovation in aftermarket solutions. 

Watch the full panel:

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

What is a fuel cell?

Fuel cells are a key technology to unlocking our carbon-neutral future

Fuel cells aren’t new. In fact, the first reference to hydrogen fuel cells appears in 1838 in the December issue of The London and Edinburgh Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science. Almost 200 years later, the world is recognizing fuel cells as a key technology to unlocking a carbon-neutral future.

Here is what they are, how they work and two fuel cell types that Cummins is investing in.

What is a fuel cell in simple terms?

Like batteries, fuel cells are energy converters – they use an electrochemical reaction to take the chemical energy stored in a fuel source and convert it to electricity. Unlike batteries, which contain a fixed supply of energy, fuel cells do not require recharging. As long as fuel is continuously supplied to the fuel cell, electricity, water and heat will be produced.

How does a fuel cell work?

A fuel cell is comprised of two electrodes and an electrolyte membrane. The electrodes are called a cathode and an anode, and they sandwich the electrolyte membrane between them. Within that system, a series of chemical reactions occur to separate the electrons from the fuel molecules to create energy.

The fuel, typically hydrogen, is fed into the anode on one side while oxygen is fed into the cathode on the other. At the anode, the hydrogen fuel molecules are separated into protons and electrons that will travel different paths toward the cathode. The electrons go through the electrical circuit, creating the flow of electricity. The protons travel through the electrolyte to the cathode. Once at the cathode, oxygen molecules react with the electrons and with the protons to create water molecules.

A fuel cell is a clean energy source with the only byproducts being electricity (power), heat and water. A single fuel cell alone only produces a few watts of power; therefore, several fuel cells can be stacked together to create a fuel cell stack. When combined in stacks, the fuel cells’ output can vary greatly, from just a few kilowatts of power to multi-megawatt installations.

What fuels can be used in fuel cells?

Fuel cells offer flexibility in the fuel type that can be used. While hydrogen is the most common fuel source for fuel cells (hence the common name, hydrogen fuel cells), hydrogen-rich fuels such as natural gas and ammonia are also viable fuel sources.

Hydrogen: When produced using renewable electricity – like solar, wind and hydropower – hydrogen is completely decarbonized and produces zero emissions. Hydrogen fuel cells (i.e. fuel cells that are fueled by hydrogen) produce power, heat and water and release no carbon dioxide or other pollutants into the air.

Natural gas: As widespread production of green hydrogen is still in progress, natural gas is currently the most-used fuel to power fuel cells. In this case the fuel cells are not completely emission-free, but they do offer significantly lower emissions than other fuels, like oil and coal.

Ammonia: Ammonia is most used in agriculture as fertilizer. However, in recent years, several companies have been working to develop green ammonia. Green ammonia is made with hydrogen that comes from water electrolysis powered by alternative energy, making it another option for a low-carbon fuel.

What types of fuel cells is Cummins investing in?

There are six types of fuel cells that are under development, each primarily classified by the kind of electrolyte they employ. Each type of fuel cell has its own advantages, limitations and potential applications. Out of the six, Cummins has recognized the potential in two types of fuel cells – proton exchange membrane fuel cells and solid oxide fuel cells - and has invested in the advancement of their technologies and their application.

Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells: Also referred to as polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells, this type of fuel cell uses a polymer electrolyte and operates at lower temperatures of around 80 degrees Celsius. PEM fuel cells are more suitable for mobile and back-up power applications due to their high-power density and quick start-stop capabilities.

Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs): SOFCs use a hard, non-porous ceramic compound as their electrolyte and operate at high temperatures, as high as 1,000 degrees Celsius.  This type of fuel cell is most suitable for stationary applications because it is highly efficient and fuel flexible. In addition, waste heat may be harnessed and reused to increase the overall system efficiency.

Why invest in fuel cells?

Already leaders in PEM electrolyzers that produce green hydrogen through electrolysis, we are working on making green hydrogen more readily available for future use in fuel cells. Cummins was awarded a U.S. Department of Energy grant for the advancement of SOFCs and have seen our fuel cells successfully support the operation of battery electric vehicles.

Fuel cells may predate the beginning of Cummins, but we are wasting no time discovering how to advance their technology to create a zero-emission future.

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Video Case Study: Cummins HyLYZER® PEM electrolyzer in Bécancour, Quebec

The Cummins HyLYZER in Bécancour, Quebec, Canada, is the largest proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzer in operation in the world. A new video case study highlights the installation’s ground-breaking green hydrogen production capabilities, making it a beacon for a zero-carbon future.

Watch below: 

Commissioned in January and installed at the Air Liquide hydrogen production facility in Quebec, this 20-MW electrolyzer system features industry-leading technology, including four compact, pressurized HyLYZER electrolyzer skids fitted inside the existing building. The systems are modular and scalable, perfect for large-scale utility applications.

Through a phased ramp up, the Cummins HyLYZER system is now at full operation and can produce up to 8.2 tons of low-carbon hydrogen per day — or nearly 3,000 tons of hydrogen annually. It’s powered by the region’s electric grid, which is largely supplied by renewable hydro-electric power. This means the hydrogen produced at the plant is “green” and almost entirely carbon-free.

Through this green hydrogen production, the facility is preventing approximately 27,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year. This is equivalent to taking 10,000 fossil-fueled cars off the road.

Since its commissioning, the system in Bécancour has increased Air Liquide’s hydrogen production capacity by 50%, allowing them to respond to the growing demand for low-carbon fuel in the North American market for both industrial and mobility purposes.

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

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