Comparing emission reductions across alternative fuels

hand adjusting button to be set to low emissions

Vehicle greenhouse gas emissions can be accounted for on a “tank-to-wheels” basis or on a “well-to-wheels” basis. The former only considers the emissions that come out of a vehicle’s tailpipe. The latter includes the emissions that were released as a result of the production, processing and distribution of the fuel. For some alternative fuels, how they are made is more important than what happens when they are burnt.

Diesel engines versus modern diesel engines

Burning one liter of diesel produces 2.62 kg of CO₂, or over 26 lbs per gallon. In addition, diesel exhaust includes nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, soot, and other air pollutants. All are known to be harmful to human health and have the potential to reduce air quality. Like other fossil fuels, diesel is part of the man-made climate change problem. 

Diesel will never be a truly low carbon fuel, but diesel vehicles have come a long way from where they were thirty years ago. Modern diesel engines are more fuel efficient and contribute less to global warming and to air pollution than older engines. Replacing an old diesel engine with a newer model has a positive impact on the environment. Modern engines also come with sophisticated aftertreatment systems that thoroughly scrub their exhaust from pollutants such as NOx and particulate matter. Diesel particulate filters (DPF), for example, are designed to remove soot from the exhaust of diesel engines. There are opportunities to lower engine emissions through a combination of the use of alternative fuels and advanced engine technologies. Companies are using alternative fuels and advanced engine technologies to decarbonize their buildings and industrial mobility. There are already real-life examples that demonstrate the success of this approach.

Renewable diesel, a carbon-neutral fuel

Hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), or ‘renewable diesel’ is a renewable fuel made from crops such as soy and rapeseed, and from animal fats. HVO is said to be a CO₂-neutral fuel, as the CO₂ that the plant HVO is made from captures, is released back into the atmosphere when HVO is burned. After factoring in the emissions associated with the processing, transportation and distribution of HVO, well-to-wheels emissions are about 70% lower than diesel. Similarly, particulate matter (PM) emissions of HVO are typically lower than traditional diesel too. Meanwhile, emissions of criteria pollutants, such as NOx, are comparable to those of diesel.

Biodiesel usage emits less greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

Biodiesel, like HVO, is manufactured from plants and other organic matter and is therefore a low carbon intensity fuel. Biodiesel is primarily used in diesel blends. For example, B20 blends, which contain 20% of biodiesel, result in roughly 20% less well-to-wheel GHG emissions than pure diesel. Using biodiesel and HVO in different blends provides users a great deal of flexibility in dialing up or down CO₂ emissions based on their objectives and on their budget.

Natural gas emissions compared to diesel emissions

Natural gas is a fossil fuel and its use results in greenhouse gas emissions. The well-to-wheels emissions of a natural gas vehicle, expressed in pounds per mile driven, are equivalent or slightly smaller than the emissions of a comparable diesel vehicle. Crucially, natural gas vehicles tend to have extremely low emissions of criteria pollutant such as NOx and particulate matter. This is one of the reasons why natural gas is a popular choice for heavy-duty vehicles that operate in urban environments such as garbage trucks, buses, and delivery trucks.

Renewable natural gas, another example of a carbon-neutral fuel

Chemically, renewable natural gas (RNG) and natural gas are identical. RNG, however, comes from the fermentation of organic matter. As a result, it is a CO₂-neutral fuel—just like HVO and biodiesel. Sometimes, RNG can qualify as a CO₂-negative fuel. One example is RNG obtained from landfills. Landfills tend to release methane, a potent greenhouse gas, due to naturally occurring fermentation. Recovering that methane and using it as a fuel prevents it from being released into the atmosphere. This means that the use of that fuel results in a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Green hydrogen releases very small amounts of well-to-wheels emissions

Though all hydrogen molecules are identical, hydrogen is said to come in a variety of colors. Green hydrogen is made by electrolysis using renewable electricity. (The hydrogen palette also includes gray hydrogen, blue hydrogen and turquoise hydrogen, among others). Those colors refer to production pathways with intermediate decarbonization outcomes. When green hydrogen is used in a fuel cell vehicle, the only exhaust is water vapor. When it is used in an internal combustion engine vehicle, some NOx emissions also occur (and trace amounts of CO₂, resulting from engine oil burning). In both cases, well-to-wheels emissions are extremely small.

Hydrogen and natural gas blends – the impact of proportions on emissions

Blending green hydrogen into a natural gas pipeline is sometimes seen as a solution to the problem of transporting the hydrogen from its production site to consumers. Blending hydrogen into a natural gas pipeline can reduce carbon emissions. It has a similar effect as blending renewable natural as - the greater the content of the renewable fuel, the greater the reduction. High proportions of hydrogen can, however, affect end users whose equipment is not necessarily tuned for hydrogen blends. This can result in the equipment to underperform and derate, or to get damaged.

Methanol – is it a carbon-neutral fuel?

One way to produce renewable methanol is to combine green hydrogen and CO₂ captured from other sources. Methanol can also be obtained from the fermentation of organic matter—similar to the way that ethanol, or alcohol, results from the fermentation of sugars. When methanol is burned in an engine, the CO₂ originating from its production source is returned to the atmosphere. The result is thus CO₂-neutral. Engines that run on methanol release virtually no soot, no sulfur oxides, and when combined with the right technology, relatively small quantities of NOx. 

Ammonia burns CO₂-free

Ammonia is another energy carrier derived from hydrogen. Unlike methanol, ammonia molecules contain no carbon atoms and thus burn entirely CO₂-free. Ammonia is currently used in industrial processes like fertilizer or explosive manufacturing. There is also potential for ammonia to be used as shipping fuel. Its use in a marine engine would release no soot and CO₂, and the NOx released can be mitigated with aftertreatment.

Emissions are a key criterion to consider when choosing the right alternative fuel, but other advantages and disadvantages of alternative fuels should be taken into account. It is also important to note that the state of adoption among the alternative fuels can vary.

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins, a global power technology leader, is a corporation of complementary business segments that design, manufacture, distribute and service a broad portfolio of power solutions. The company’s products range from internal combustion, electric and hybrid integrated power solutions and components including filtration, aftertreatment, turbochargers, fuel systems, controls systems, air handling systems, automated transmissions, electric power generation systems, microgrid controls, batteries, electrolyzers and fuel cell products.

What is a diesel engine, and what are the types and components of a diesel engine?

Heritage Center image

Advanced diesel engines fuel many of the world’s most vital industries. Boats, barges, and semis move most products that consumers use every day. Agricultural equipment ensures we have the food and natural resources we need. Construction equipment powers our infrastructure. 

But what exactly is a diesel engine? How does it work? And what are the primary parts and features of a diesel engine? Learn more about the basics in this blog.

What is a diesel engine?

Looking at the highest-level diesel engine definition, a diesel engine is a type of internal combustion engine. Internal combustion engines are heat engines that produce power through the combustion of a type of fuel and an oxidizer. In the case of a diesel engine, air and diesel fuel are compressed to produce mechanical energy.

But exactly how does a diesel engine work? It’s a fairly basic process. To begin, air is pumped into the cylinders. Then, pistons compress the air between 14 and 25 times, producing heat. Once the air is compressed, the fuel injectors spray diesel fuel into the cylinders. Introducing the diesel fuel to the hot air causes the mixture to ignite, producing chemical energy. The combustion pushes the piston back out of the cylinder, which transforms the chemical energy into mechanical energy. This process repeats hundreds to thousands of times a minute to produce enough energy to power a vehicle.

What are the  two types of diesel engines?

There are a number of different ways to classify diesel engines. Commonly, they are categorized by how much power they can output (small, medium, and large). However, another way to distinguish between them is by looking at the number of strokes (2-stroke engines and 4-stroke engines) used to complete an engine cycle. As you might guess, 2-stroke engines use two strokes while 4-stroke engines use four.  Let’s take a closer look at each of the two types of diesel engines:

2-Stroke Diesel Engine
2-stroke engines provide a complete engine cycle in just two strokes. Essentially, as the cycle begins, air enters the cylinder, dispelling any old air. Then, the compression process occurs. As the piston nears the top of the cylinder, diesel fuel is added, producing chemical energy. That energy pushes the piston down, sending mechanical energy to the wheels.

2-stroke diesel engines are generally the lighter and smaller of the two types. However, only operating on two strokes means it is more susceptible to wear and tear, which is one of the reasons 2-stroke engines are less common.

4-Stroke Diesel Engine
In a 4-stroke engine, the pistons move up and down twice—for a total of four strokes. In addition to the compression and exhaust strokes (described above), the pistons also have return strokes. Essentially, the process begins with drawing the air into the cylinder as the piston moves down. As the piston moves up, the air is compressed. Once the piston reaches the top of the cylinder, the fuel is injected, causing the ignition. Upon ignition, the piston is pushed down, and the mechanical energy is released to the wheels. Finally, the piston moves back up to dispel the burnt gasses.

4-stroke engines are the most common variety, used in most diesel trucks and automobiles. 

What are the main parts of a diesel engine?

Diesel engines are made up of dozens of parts. However, the engine parts list below provides information about nine of the most vital components.

●    Block - As the foundation of the modern diesel engine, the block is where all the parts for the basic internal combustion process are contained. The block has an open space for each cylinder, where the combustion happens. 
●    Pistons - The pistons create the bottom of the combustion chamber, moving up and down in the cylinder while the engine is working. The movement of the pistons creates the compression of the air that leads to combustion. 
●    Cylinder Head - The cylinder head closes the top of the open space in the block to reach the chamber where combustion happens. This head can be one unit to cover all the cylinders or multiple units that cover a section. 
●    Valves - With the cylinder closed by the piston at the bottom and the cylinder head at the top, there needs to be a way to allow fresh air in and the leftover gasses out. This is where the valves come in. There are usually two valves for taking in air and two for the exhaust for each cylinder. 
●    Fuel Injectors - Now, there needs to be a way to get fuel inside the cylinder, so there is something to combust. These components are a complex part of the process, spraying fuel in very precise patterns with highly controlled timing. 
●    Camshaft - Rather than relying on an electrical system for opening valves and fuel injection, most engines use a mechanical process. The camshaft’s revolutions control the timing of these events by lobes on the shaft that set them into motion. 
●    Connecting Rods - These pieces connect to a piston at the bottom arm and carry the force of the combustion to the crankshaft. 
●    Crankshaft - The crankshaft transfers the linear motion of combustion (the up-and-down part of the combustion process) into a rotational motion. 

You can count on Cummins diesel engines

Trusted throughout the world, Cummins Inc. diesel engines are the most powerful and reliable engines. Whether you’re looking for an engine to use on the road, on the water, at the worksite, or on the farm, Cummins’ diverse line of engines has the right fit for your needs. If interested in the components of a diesel engine, don’t forget to explore key innovations that have shaped the modern diesel engine we know today.

If you’re looking for performance and an engine you can trust, count on Cummins. Explore the full line of diesel engines or reach out today.

Why data centers are thinking differently about energy

Data Center

Data centers are the backbone of our rapidly evolving global digital economy. With the rising demand for computing power, it's increasingly important to have reliable and sustainable energy sources.  Over the past few decades, data center architectures have reflected the benefits of a sufficient and reliable power grid infrastructure. 

Now, they incorporate on-site battery storage and backup power generation assets to ensure uninterrupted electrical supply during grid outages. The need to address energy availability, sustainability, and affordability challenges is intensifying for data center operators. As a result, they recognize a number of market forces they need to adapt to and look to the future.

ESG and decarbonization are no longer an afterthought 

Data centers account for 1% - 1.5% of global electricity use and operators acknowledge their impact on the environment. They set their own company goals to meet and exceed environmental, sustainability and governance (ESG) initiatives set by governing bodies. To meet carbon accounting goals, data centers are under pressure from local governments to report to shareholders and stakeholders. Investors are also offering incentives for conducting carbon accounting. Companies use the following greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting classification in their operations.

•    Scope 1: GHG emissions from power generated by on-site assets. Data centers are looking to reduce energy-related scope 1 emissions. Examples of such technologies include hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) instead of diesel-fueled generators, standby battery energy storage, and natural gas or hydrogen-based technologies.

•    Scope 2: GHG emissions from the power consumed from the grid. These are the bulk of data centers’ emissions. To combat this, data centers are making agreements to source renewable energy from wind and solar sources. This is a rapid method for them to decrease their carbon footprint. It’s much faster than continuing to purchase power from thermal power plants.

•    Scope 3: GHG emissions from all other data center operations - from upstream suppliers to their downstream functions. An example is the GHG emissions associated with the production and delivery of their backup generators.

By accounting for scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions, data centers gain valuable insights into their environmental impact. This helps them identify areas of improvement and drive technology innovations and investments that can reduce their carbon footprint. As they continue to prioritize ESG initiatives, the industry will become increasingly sustainable and better equipped to address the energy and environmental challenges of the future.

Data center on-site energy assets are subject to tight emission regulations

Data centers usually choose diesel generators for backup power. Nonetheless, some local air quality authorities have more strict exhaust emissions regulations than national standards, such as EPA standards. These regulations aim to limit the environmental impact of data centers and their on-site energy assets are subject to these regulations that intend to limit their environmental impact. To achieve this, regulators may limit site emissions by reducing the number of operating hours allowed for on-site power generation.

To comply, data center operators and power asset manufacturers are taking steps to reduce their impact on local communities. Manufacturers are developing new engine control calibrations to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. They are also offering exhaust aftertreatment systems to further improve air quality. On the other hand, data centers are designing compliance strategies to adjust their operational and testing hours to meet these regulations. They might also incorporate new power generation technology and low-carbon fuel solutions to their portfolio. 

On-site solutions to electrical grid constraints

Data centers worldwide run over 18 million servers. These servers put significant strain on the local electricity grids. It’s an issue particularly evident in areas like Northern Virginia and Dublin, Ireland where data centers account for a large portion of the grid demand. To generate some of the electricity they consume with their backup generator sets, data centers may need to exceed their permitted operating hours. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has considered temporarily allowing this to address the issue. Similarly, in Dublin, the state-owned electric power transmission operator has imposed limits on how much electricity data centers can draw from the grid. This has led to the need for alternative on-site, prime power solutions.

On-site power generation can bridge the gap of grid congestion issues caused by increased electricity demand. Data centers can generate some of their own electricity using backup power generation assets. Right now, generator sets are a reliable, mature technology that produce loss of power from a small physical footprint. As hydrogen supply chains mature, other assets like hydrogen fuel cells can provide low-carbon power to facilities in the future. Data center developers understand this well and are evaluating generators and other new technologies for prime power, not just emergency power.

Monetization opportunities through grid support programs

Data center power assets have the potential to benefit the company and others by participating in grid support programs. Data centers can agree to operate their assets during peak electrical demand phases of the day. This could include running air conditioning units at noon in Texas in August, for example. They can then either feed this power back to the grid or use it to essentially take their data center off the grid.

Energy aggregators are also making it easier than ever to monetize from power generation assets. Aggregators sign up large numbers of small distributed power generation resources and commercialize them as if they were a virtual power plant. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Order No. 2222 makes it easier for on-site gensets and other distributed energy resources to access wholesale energy markets in the United States.

By participating in grid support programs, data centers can help make the electrical grid more resilient and reliable while further benefiting their company.

Data centers are changing the way they operate due to market forces like regulations, decarbonization goals, and grid capacity. Fortunately, Cummins Inc. is committed to partnering with data centers. This partnership will help data centers achieve their ESG goals and thrive in a rapidly changing industry. These opportunities not only help data centers meet market demands but also contribute to a greener and more sustainable future.

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How Do Diesel Engines Work?

HOw Dieswel Engines Work

The diesel engine working principle was completed by the inventor, Rudolf Diesel, in 1892, and the first prototype was created in 1897. In the years following, he continued to work on improving his theory, and others soon realized the potential of this invention and started making their own versions. One of the people to recognize the importance of the diesel engine was Clessie Lyle Cummins. In 1919, He founded Cummins Engine Company with a goal of improving diesel technology and producing the world’s finest engines. Thanks to his vision, Cummins Inc. is now a global leader, producing advanced diesel engines for applications ranging from heavy-duty trucks and consumer pickups to industrial mining and oil drilling.  

How does a diesel engine work?

Rudolf Diesel built his internal combustion engine based on the Carnot cycle, an idealized model of how a theoretical engine could maximize efficiency. In reality, this model doesn’t work since factors like friction make maximal efficiency impossible. However, the diesel engine applies this theoretical principle in a very practical way. 

In general, a diesel engine works by using a piston to compress air to increase the temperature in the cylinder and then injecting atomized diesel fuel into this cylinder. When the fuel comes into contact with the high temperature, it ignites, creating energy that drives the piston down transferring energy to the crankshaft and through the powertrain. This process is repeated over and over again at a high speed, making a diesel engine a powerful piece of technology. Different types of diesel engines will have varying compression ratios. The compression ratio of the diesel engine impacts how much power the engine puts out. The higher the ratio, the more power is generated. 

One common question about how diesel engines work is; why don’t diesel engines have spark plugs? The simple answer is that a diesel engine doesn’t need spark plugs because the fuel is ignited by the compression of air. Don’t get confused because there are certain parts of a diesel engine called “glow plugs.” When comparing a glow plug to a spark plug, you’ll find their purpose is different. A spark plug is used to ignite fuel in a gasoline or natural gas engine. The glow plug does not ignite the fuel but is basically a small heater that helps with heating up the compressed air in the cylinder. Glow plugs, among other key advantages to diesel engines, are especially useful when starting a cold engine. 

How does a diesel engine work step-by-step?

In order to understand the step-by-step process, let’s take a look at the diesel engine components and functions. 

●    Block - As the foundation of the modern diesel engine, the block is where all the parts for the basic internal combustion process are contained. The block has an open space for each cylinder, where the combustion happens. 
●    Pistons - The pistons create the bottom of the combustion chamber, moving up and down in the cylinder while the engine is working. The movement of the pistons creates the compression of the air that leads to combustion. 
●    Cylinder Head - The cylinder head closes the top of the open space in the block to reach the chamber where combustion happens. This head can be one unit to cover all the cylinders or multiple units that cover a section. 
●    Valves - With the cylinder closed by the piston at the bottom and the cylinder head at the top, there needs to be a way to allow fresh air in and the leftover gasses out. This is where the valves come in. There are usually two valves for taking in air and two for the exhaust for each cylinder. 
●    Fuel Injectors - Now, there needs to be a way to get fuel inside the cylinder, so there is something to combust. These components are a complex part of the process, spraying fuel in very precise patterns with highly controlled timing. 
●    Camshaft - Rather than relying on an electrical system for opening valves and fuel injection, most engines use a mechanical process. The camshaft’s revolutions control the timing of these events by lobes on the shaft that set them into motion. 
●    Connecting Rods - These pieces connect to a piston head at the bottom arm and carry the force of the combustion to the crankshaft. 
●    Crankshaft - The crankshaft transfers the linear motion of combustion (the up-and-down part of the combustion process) into a rotational motion. 

Each piston moves in sync with one other piston to create balance in the engine. With a 4-stroke diesel engine, these parts all come together to produce the combustion event in four stages. These stages are:

1.    Intake stroke
The piston moves down to the bottom of the cylinder, creating negative pressure that draws air from the open intake valve to fill the cylinder with air. 
2.    Compression stroke
The intake and exhaust valves are closed, and the piston moves from the bottom to the top, compressing air to create heat. At the end of this stroke, fuel is injected into the chamber.
3.    Power stroke
Ignited by the heat of the compressed air, the fuel explodes, driving the piston down and creating the power stroke that transfers energy to other parts of the engine. 
4.    Exhaust stroke
The exhaust valve is opened, and the piston moves from the bottom to the top, pushing out all of the exhaust from the combustion event.

Cummins: Diesel engines for today and tomorrow

At Cummins, you’ll find the most powerful and reliable engines on the market today, that continue to evolve through key innovations. With a wide range of sizes and specifications, you’ll find a diverse engine lineup that will fit your specific needs, whatever they are. Find your perfect Cummins engine today. Cummins’ commitment to creating dependable engines with peak performance shows in their dedication to tomorrow’s engines. Cummins is always innovating and testing new ideas to bring you the best in diesel engine technology, following in the footsteps of Clessie Cummins and Rudolf Diesel. 

Advanced Diesel Engines

Advanced Diesel

Have you ever heard the phrase, “doing more with less?” Advanced diesel engines are specifically engineered to minimize fuel emissions while also achieving optimum performance through high torque and horsepower. There are thousands of applications for advanced diesel engines, from buses and trains to agricultural equipment, mining, boats, and barges—all these and more run on diesel. As global emission regulations tighten, the migration to advanced diesel engines, among other solutions, has begun in earnest.

Electric powertrains, natural gas engines, and hydrogen fuel cell engines are emerging in the market, but diesel is still going to be a fuel source for decades to come. As Tom Linebarger, former Cummins Inc. president and CEO, said in a 2021 interview, “Our view is that the tail end of diesel will be a lot longer than people expected.  And that’s not because we sit around and hope for the preservation of diesel.  It’s because the diesel market is so complicated.”

Consider as an example, the agriculture industry. According to the Diesel Technology Forum, 90% of agricultural products in the U.S. are moved to consumers using diesel engines, and 75% of large agricultural machines and equipment run on diesel as well. Additionally, one-fifth of the irrigation systems in the U.S. are powered by diesel.

Yes, that’s a lot of engines. It will take time to replace them one-by-one. But diesel engines have also advanced, continuing to build on the already long list of advantages. To continue the example, it would take 25 of today’s tractors to produce the same emissions as one tractor manufactured in the year 2000. It will not only take a long time for newer diesel models to wear down enough to need replacement, but as older models wear out, their owners may well choose to upgrade to the more efficient diesel options on the market today.

In this piece we will describe what you need to know about advanced diesel engines, as well as highlight some emerging diesel and emissions technologies to consider.

What are the 3 types of diesel?

The 3 types of diesel engines are classified by size. There are small, medium, and large diesel engines.

●    Small diesel engines are typically either four or six-cylinder, and output 288 horsepower or less. These are found in light trucks, agriculture equipment, and construction machinery, as well as in small stationary generators like the ones aboard a pleasure craft.
●    Medium diesel engines can start as small as a V-8 or V-12, but may generate as much as 1,000 horsepower. These tend to be the best diesel engine for a 4x4 truck in commercial use.
●    Large diesel engines are the ones powering trains, ships, and other vehicles, as well as large stationery equipment like oil drills and generators. These engines often come fitted with components like a turbocharger, which Cummins introduced to the market in the 1950s to help diesel engines perform better no matter the altitude or air conditions.

Cummins’ powerful, reliable engines are the best on the road, on the water and at worksites across the world. Their engine lineup ranges from 2.8 to 95 liters of displacement, allowing customers to leverage Cummins’ diverse catalog of diesel engines for their specific needs. This also extends to the type of fuel customers need and want to burn. 

There are three common types of diesel engine fuel:

●    Diesel No. 1: This is premium fuel which is lower viscosity, meaning it runs better in an engine during cold conditions. Additives and lubricants in the fuel keep the engine cleaner, but the thinner fuel burns faster.
●    Diesel No. 2: This is a thicker form of fuel which is most commonly used among diesel drivers because it is less expensive and more fuel efficient.
●    Biodiesel: Biodiesel is a fuel made out of plant oils and/or animal fats. Cummins certifies many of its engines and filtration products for interchangeable use with biodiesel blends and standard diesel fuels. To successfully use biodiesel blends in a Cummins engine, the fuel must meet quality specifications, or performance will be impacted and damage to the engine will occur.

Engines are usually certified for one of these three types of diesel, though some engines may be able to use all of them.

Advanced diesel engine powertrain basics

A vehicle’s powertrain is the assembly of parts that cause the vehicle to move forward. The powertrain system includes the engine to convert the energy of combustion into motion or action. In addition, there’s the transmission, driveshaft, axles, and differential. The differential is the set of gears that transmits power to the wheels/propellers at different speeds when needed, like on a turn. 

What are the types of powertrain?

There are three types of powertrains that convert the engine’s energy into motion. These are defined by the transmission of the vehicle.

1.    Traditional Automatic Transmission: In a traditional automatic powertrain, the engine and wheels are always connected through a part called the torque converter. Gearsets within the assembly determine how hard and fast to shift gears up or down based on acceleration, current speed, and braking. 
2.    Automated manual transmission (AMT): In a manual automatic transmission, the driver can shift gears up or down at will, typically through buttons on the steering wheel or paddles. These can also still perform as automatic transmissions but give operators more control.
3.    Continuously-Variable Transmission (CVT): A CVT powertrain does not have distinct gear ratios, instead achieving smooth, consistent acceleration through a transmission controller. This is the most fuel-efficient type of assembly and has become common in electric vehicles.

A powertrain is as good as its engine. In fact, without the engine in the mix, the powertrain is just called the drivetrain. So, what happens when the powertrain fails? The connection between the engine and the assembly to drive motion has been lost.

Optimizing powertrain functionality is key to maximizing the potential of diesel engines in transport applications. Here are some of the unique powertrain features Cummins is bringing to the market:

●    Predictive Gear Shifting: Uses data to enhance shifting efficiency on hills.
●    On-Ramp Boost: Identifies when a vehicle is on a ramp and allows more acceleration to assist in merging with other traffic.
●    Predictive Braking: Uses data to better-control vehicle speed on hills.
●    Dynamic Power:  Adaptive power rating technology delivers improved fuel economy during easy drives and adequate performance during difficult ones.
●    Hill Roll-Out: A feature which increases speed at the bottom of a hill to keep the journey going.

These innovations not only keep operators safer but also optimize fuel economy and preserve the life of the powertrain over time. It takes full integration and connected features throughout the powertrain to make the most of advanced diesel engines.

Uses for advanced diesel engines

The newest improvements in diesel engines are driving growth. These machines reduce diesel emissions to near-zero while maintaining consistency for technicians and staff. They are also better-connected to the growing world of data and analytics, even providing advanced notification of impending maintenance issues.

Here are some of the ways Cummins commonly see advanced diesel engines put to work across industries:

●    Agriculture Engines: Advanced diesel engines power combine harvesters, tractors, sprayers, and even autonomous farm equipment. Around 1 million Cummins engines ranging from 2.8 to 19 liters are in agricultural operations all over the world.
●    Construction Engines: Diesel delivers power to job sites around the world, with advanced engines also achieving the emissions and fuel efficiencies needed to stay in compliance and under budget. Equipment manufacturers and equipment users can all do more with less through a Cummins construction engine.
●    Bus Engines: Cummins bus engines are used in public transit applications as well as school buses. It’s known that consistent uptime and low cost of operation are key for the public sector to achieve its goals and serve the community.  
●    Marine Engines: Fishing boats, tugboats, and passenger vessels are among the marine vehicles that function more efficiently, affordably, and reliably with advanced diesel engines.
●    Mining Engines: Mining is an industry where analytics are especially essential to continue production and innovation in the face of a variety of challenges, including meeting tightening emissions compliance.
●    Truck Engines: Cummins serves the commercial trucking industry with advanced diesel engines in four classifications.
○    Vocational: These include refuse trucks, concrete mixers, and dump trucks. Cummins provides a wide range of engines to meet the needs of any duty and operations schedule.
○    Light Commercial: Trucks, vans, pickup trucks, and utility vehicles need advanced diesel engines which are reliable, durable, and cost-effective.
○    Medium Duty: Cummins is North America’s leading provider of the best diesel engines for semi-trucks. Their mid-range diesel engine lineup, service, and support are unparalleled in the market.
○    Heavy Duty: Their 15-liter and 12-liter advanced diesel engines are some of the most popular and reliable ever produced. For the most demanding applications that demand continuous engine use, trust their engine lineup.

These are just some of the current and emerging applications for advanced diesel engines.

Diesel engine problems

Diesel engines need routine maintenance and upkeep to preserve performance, and over the life of the engine, this might include parts replacement. Cummins provides online engine manuals and a service center locator among online support offerings for diesel engine problems. You can check out customer’s frequently asked questions about diesel engines as well.

Overall, diesel engines are high-powered, long lasting, and fuel efficient. The real problem is their emissions. These contribute to the creation of acid rain and ground level ozone.

Today, regulations to reduce emissions for on-road and off-road diesel engines are increasing in scope and enforcement worldwide. Advanced diesel engines achieve reduced emission through engine efficiency and other systems. These improvements allow society to continue to benefit from the fuel efficiency of diesel engines without the harmful emissions that are accelerating climate change, environmental risks, and public health issues.

What is the most reliable diesel engine?

You might be wondering, “which is better, Duramax or Cummins?” Maybe you are considering buying a 2022 Ram Pickup with an optional Cummins engine versus a Chevy.

Where Cummins excels is in their engines’ longevity, torque, and endurance across a spectrum of environmental conditions. Cummins engines perform under pressure, and they last—that’s the benefit of Cummins legacy of experience.

Cummins is also committed to innovating both diesel aftertreatment systems and in-engine technologies that continually optimize performance and minimize emissions. Cummins products are suitable for commercial drivers as well as heavy machinery, recreational vehicles, generators, stationary equipment, and more. Add Cummins Care knowledge base and support network to the list, and reliability takes on even deeper meaning. It’s not just the engines that are reliable—it’s the whole organization.

Cummins has a long history of building diesel engines to meet every need, and they proudly stand by their products as the most reliable, including the diesel engine models below:

Cummins B6.7™

Over the last 40 years Cummins has produced more than 13 million B6.7 diesel engines, which continue to power trucks and buses across the world. The B6.7 is known as the most reliable diesel truck engine that has powered vehicles, people, and products across billions of miles. In 2021 Cummins released new upgrades that allow for extended maintenance intervals between oil and filter changes. It is the company’s mission to keep buses and trucks performing longer and more reliably with less overall investment in maintenance from the owners.

Cummins F3.8™

This inline 4-cylinder engine powers mining, agricultural, and construction machinery. On average, this model delivers 10% more power and 20% more torque. The aftertreatment system to clean emissions takes up 50% less space and weighs 30% less than many existing systems.  Cummins’ Single Module™ aftertreatment system combines DPF, SCR and urea dosing in one “fit-and-forget” unit that operates almost entirely through passive regeneration, extending the service cleaning requirement.

Cummins X15 Efficiency Series™
The X15 Efficiency Series is certified to meet the 2021 EPA and Greenhouse Gas Phase 2 requirements—and Cummins has met those requirements since 2020. This 15-liter diesel engine for trucks and machinery is trusted by a growing number of fleets, owners, and operators to achieve cost savings and new efficiencies in the powertrain.

Cummins QST30™

The QST30 has earned its stripes in the mining industry powering thousands of blast hole drills, wheel loaders, excavators, and haul trucks. This engine is certified as meeting both Tier 4 (U.S.) and Stage 5 (EU) emissions regulations for non-road diesel engines. Cummins’ more controlled in-cylinder combustion process means quieter operation and as much as 8% better fuel economy. A total life to overhaul of 20,000 hours means this mining engine is an investment that will last.

Each of these engines is probably at work somewhere around the world right now, powering life. This is truly a list of some of the most reliable diesel engines in 2022.

Advanced alternatives to the diesel engine

As older vehicles and machinery need refurbishment or replacement, owners may want to consider alternatives to advanced diesel engines. Though efficiencies in emissions management make it possible to burn diesel far more cleanly, some organizations simply want to move away from fossil fuels. Others want to reduce spending on fuel or take advantage of emerging infrastructure in their area. Here are two of the advanced alternative power engines that may be suitable for some applications where diesel isn’t meeting an organization’s needs.

Natural Gas Engines

Natural gas engines are one of the least disruptive ways for diesel to be replaced with alternative power technology. Natural gas is a low-priced domestic fuel that is already supported by a nationwide infrastructure of miles of pipeline and more than 800 public natural gas refueling sites. Many companies set up their own refueling sites. Cummins’ new X15N natural gas engine uses a maintenance free three-way catalyst aftertreatment, further reducing the cost of operation.

This is one of the most viable solutions today for fleets to reduce transportation emissions. In fact, in 2020, fleets of California vehicles powered by renewable natural gas (RNG) removed more carbon dioxide from the air than they produced, resulting in net negative greenhouse gas emissions.

Hydrogen Engines

Hydrogen engines are still internal combustion engines, simply running on hydrogen versus fossil fuels. Vehicles burning hydrogen fuel operate without any CO2 emissions coming from the hydrogen fuel, and depending on the source of the hydrogen, even indirect CO2 emissions may be reduced to zero. For example, if hydrogen used for driving is produced by solar panels or wind turbines, that would truly be CO2 free driving. Converting the medium and heavy-duty trucks on the road in the US to clean hydrogen would eliminate about a quarter of the transportation sector’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Cummins predicts buses and long-haul trucks running on hydrogen are going to become a common sight in the coming decades. These will be in addition to battery-electric buses and trucks that are more viable choices under different conditions and missions. Other applications may be more difficult to electrify, such as construction equipment, agricultural machinery, and off-road engines. Depending on their use cases, these machines may need an off-grid power source like hydrogen (or diesel) to be truly reliable.

As businesses seek the competitive edge through lower fuel costs and maintenance costs, diesel engine technology is still very much part of the conversation. Cummins is proud to provide a full lineup of advanced engines using a variety of fuel sources, including diesel, where the company began over 100 years ago.

Trust Cummins for the best diesel engines in 2022 and beyond

Advanced diesel engines are one of the leading tools available to transporters, farmers, manufacturers, builders, and other commercial users. Like any tool, everyone has their preferences for getting the job done. Some people want the newest item on the market, while others prefer a tried-and-tested old reliable. Cummins helps both types achieve their mission with diesel engines that merge a tradition of excellence with today’s leading technology. Their line of advanced diesel engines delivers the high performance you have come to expect from Cummins along with the connectivity, data, and environmental efficiencies that are required by today’s economy and climate.

What solutions caught your attention today? Reach out with more questions about how Cummins advanced diesel engines can become a dependable part of your success. 

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