Increase in the environmental activism, especially during recent years, has revitalized the pace of inventing more effective, efficient & environmental-friendly measures to protect mother nature. In India hybrid technology is more or less limited to clean fuel alternatives like CNG/LPG. Our buses are now operating on CNG & even car owners are not hesitating to shift to clean fuel. All big names of automobile industry like; Maruti-Suzuki, Hyundai, Tata Motors have already added BI-FUEL vehicles in their product range to cash in the growing demand of the alternative fuel vehicles.
BASICS OF BI-FUEL VEHICLE
BI-FUEL vehicle, as name suggests, is the vehicle capable of being run on the two different fuels. For example you can run it on either traditional fuel like petrol & it can also be powered by the alternative fuel like CNG or LPG, however at a time it can bepowered by only one fuel, either petrol or gas.
BI-FUEL vehicles are most often confused with the FLEXI-FUEL vehicle despite of the fact that both technologies are entirely different. While former uses one fuel at a time, latter uses the mixture of the fuels used in the specification. Unlike BI-FUEL technology, FLEXI-FUEL mixes the fuels & uses their optimum combination to run the vehicles.
CONCEPT OF ALTERNATIVE FUEL & MODIFICATIONS
Modifications and additions are required on the power plant to take care of fuel differences, even though the basic process related to power generation comprising of suction, compression, expansion & exhaust remains the same. Lets understand the propertie of fuesl which necessitates the changes in Bi-Fuel Vehicles.
||Ignition Temperature (F)
||1.4 - 7.6
||0.6 - 5.5
||Peak Flame Temperature (F)
The basic differences between normal engine & BI-FUEL engine consist of:
High compression pistons.
Hardened exhaust valve seats
The Fuel enters in the combustion chamber through the regulator valve because natural gas are stored (ex: CNG is stored under 3000 psi pressure) under high pressure which has to be reduced before the gas enter the combustion chamber.. Then with the help of gaseous multi-point fuel injection technology, it is fed into the combustion chamber. In combustion chamber it is compressed & useful work is done through the expansion of the gases.
With the growing rate of infrastructure facilities related to alternative fuels, NGVs’ are becoming the face of modern mobility. Although hybrids and electrical vehicles are still some time away, at least in India, BI-FUEL vehicles have become part of today’s reality. Range anxiety related to electric cars, is well solved by the BI-FUEL vehicles. Government push and incentive support is one of the key reason for their growing popularity, which in turn has helped reduce vehicle pollution.