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Toyota investigates LPG Aurion


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Thought I would share this article. Got it from the website http://www.goauto.com.au/mellor/mellor.nsf...A2574D4001F1BBA

The chances of an Australian-made LPG-fuelled Aurion gain weight as Toyota eyes Ford

By JOHN MELLOR 30 September 2008

THE ADVENT of liquid-injection LPG technology, as well as research showing an increased interest by car buyers in LPG vehicles, looks certain to lead to LPG versions of Toyota's Camry and Aurion on the Australian market within the next few years.

While Toyota Australia will not confirm that it will produce LPG cars locally, the company’s engineering and design group under Max Gillard has been given the task investigating the engineering of LPG liquid injection (LI) for the local market.

Mr Gillard, who is vice-president and CEO of the Toyota Technical Centre in Melbourne, will also report to management on how long it would take to get the technology ready for sale and what engineering resources will be needed to build the cars at the Altona manufacturing plant.

Apart from some local LCVs using LPG, Toyota Australia has long shown little interest in LPG cars and some Toyota senior executives in the past have openly scoffed at the thought of using the fuel in OE Toyotas in Australia.

But the abundance of the LPG in this country, the LI technology, a community shift towards LPG as a more environmentally-friendly and lower-priced fuel than petrol or diesel, and moves by both Holden and Ford to introduce single-fuel LPG liquid-injection cars in the next few years has led to a change of heart.

The executive director of sales and marketing of Toyota Australia, David Buttner, told a Toyota Environment and Technology Conference yesterday that Toyota Australia was conducting research into LI. But he declined to give details.

“We are not blind to some of the opportunities that things like liquid-injection offer,” he said. “There is recognition in the community of these alternate fuels and the benefits they can have to the environment and also to the hip pockets of the consumer.”

Asked later by GoAuto if Toyota had been ignoring LPG because it sees a big swing to LPG large cars as a threat to the sales for the upcoming Camry Hybrid he said: “No, not at all. We cannot afford not to offer the market what the buyers ultimately demand.

“We believe there is going to be a stronger swing to the new liquid-injection. With the development now taking place at Holden and Ford (on LPG LI), it would be negligent of us in our planning if we were not giving appropriate attention (to LPG).

“If we were not looking at it then we would be potentially giving away significant volume. We cannot be arrogant and put our head in the sand.”

Toyota’s corporate manager of product planning (left), Peter Evans, told GoAuto that LPG was “not as high on the agenda of Toyota globally as it was high on the agenda of Toyota locally”.

“But we are taking care of that. We are working with Max Gillard and his team at the Toyota Technical Centre,” he said.

“We are well aware of the benefits of liquid-injection with dedicated mono-fuel configuration. We are not blind to it and it may well make business sense, economic sense and sense to the consumers.

“All of those things are well understood. So it is under consideration but I really cannot say much more than that.”

Mr Evans said the timeframe for the introduction of LPG LI in a local Toyota would depend on the level of adoption on a wider scale.

“Both Holden and Ford seemed to be back-pedalling on diesel and both are focusing very heavily on LPG LI. We understand the (Ford) Duratec (V6) will come out with LPG liquid-injection in 2010,” he said.

“Ford is certainly being very aggressive with a 2010 introduction and they are predicting as much as 40 per cent of their sales being LPG LI.

“If you apply those numbers it puts up a pretty good economic argument (for Toyota) to move forward (to LPG LI) relatively quickly.

“That kind of program in terms of engine durability testing, valve seats, cams, emissions and so on is not a small program. So we will be driven by the market reality of what people are buying, how long it will take us and whether we have the engineering resources. All of those things have to be considered.”

Mr Evans said the advent of liquid-injection LPG into Australia “changed the game hugely.” He said that he personally viewed the advantages of the current gaseous LPG technology over petrol cars as “marginal” and described LPG LI as “the answer to a matron’s prayer”.

“With liquid-injection you can get back all the power you lose from LPG dual fuel, you can get back almost all the fuel economy that you lose with gaseous LPG conversions. Environmentally it is a very clean fuel.

“We think mono-fuel has a real future. We think that Ford has it right with mono-fuel at the moment because you can maximize the engine (performance and economy) and the boot capacity by using the space for the fuel tank for your LPG.

“But to use it (LPG) properly it has to be a dedicated installation.”

Mr Evans said converting an existing petrol car involved duplicated cost because the LPG equipment replaces systems already installed in the car.

“With a dedicated installation you have the advantage of substituting the petrol fuel-injection system with the LPG-injection system and the ability to use the petrol tank space under the rear floor pan to maintain boot space,” he said.

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Another interesting article on LPG Liquid Injection.

THE Australian car industry and Kevin Rudd’s struggling ‘working families’ could soon benefit from a completely new form of LPG technology that improves the fuel economy of LPG cars and significantly improves emissions.

Known as LPG Liquid Injection, the technology is said to produce fuel economy for LPG cars that is close to the petrol equivalent for the same car.

The exhaust emissions are also said to be significantly better than petrol or diesel vehicles because using liquid injection creates a much more complete fuel burn than using LPG vapour.

The imported liquid injection system, called JTG (Just Think Green), is expected to go on sale at LPG conversion workshops in late July.

Conversions will cost about $300 to $400 more than current conversions. The early focus will be in Falcons and Commodores before being rolled out to other makes and models.

It will be a prelude to the release of Australian-developed liquid injection LPG technology later this year, although that timetable is now in doubt because of the Rudd government’s suspension of the Commercial Ready grants scheme in the May budget.

The attraction of the LPG vehicle is that the price of LPG is around $1 a litre less that petrol. Last year, of the 110,000 LPG conversions performed in Australia, around 85,000 were for private motorists taking advantage of the $2000 federal government grant.

Most conversions use gas vapour and are dual-fuel – petrol and LPG. These are a compromise because the engine compression ratio can be optimised for LPG.

Ford overcomes this issue by optimising the Falcon’s 4.0-litre straight-six engine for gas only and now sells about 30 per cent of Falcon volume as E-Gas-powered.

But this engine still suffers in terms of fuel used compared with its petrol equivalent because LPG does not have quite the same zest as petrol and LPG cars therefore have to use more fuel to cover the same distance.

For example, the dedicated E-Gas XT Falcon consumes 14.9L/100km compared with the 10.5L/100km for the petrol version.

Dual-fuel is even less efficient. A dual-fuel Commodore Omega uses 16.0L/100km compared with the petrol-only engine at 10.8L/100km

The holy grail of the LPG industry therefore has been to develop technology that achieves parity with the fuel economy of the petrol engine. The new liquid injection system has closed the gap to just five per cent more LPG used per litre than for petrol.

That equates to an estimated 11L/100km if it was fitted to the Falcon. This is a massive breakthrough.

Estimates by GoAuto suggest that such a system would save an XT Falcon or Commodore Omega owner about $2000 over 20,000km (see table).

The liquid injection LPG technology fitted to the petrol engine of a Toyota Camry Hybrid (using Canadian fuel economy figures as a guide) would, GoAuto estimates, save a driver nearly $2500 dollars over 20,000km compared with a standard Camry. In fact, a driver of such a Camry could cover 20,000km for around $800.

The difference between liquid injection and vapour injection is that the traditional system turns the liquefied gas to vapour before injecting it into the intake manifold.

The liquid injection system takes the liquid right up to the injectors and these produce a droplet of LPG liquid into the intake manifold just as the engine is sucking in the air-fuel mix.

What is clever about this is that LPG under pressure turns to liquid. In fact, a feature of the storage of LPG is that by compressing the gas, 240 times more gas fits into a tank in liquid form than as a gas.

The technology does the reverse. When the droplet of LPG liquid is squirted from the injector into the manifold (towards the back of the inlet valve) because it is no longer under pressure it expands 240 times into gas and all but freezes the incoming air - which is ideal for improving power, economy and emissions.

All those who remember how well cars with carburettors ran on very cold nights will know that the cold air made the engine run better than ever before with better power and fuel economy.

The imported JTG system is being distributed by Melbourne-based Australian LPG Warehouse, which is paying licence fees to the holder of the Australian patents to the technology, LPG-Liquid-Inject Ltd (LPGLI), an unlisted public company based at the Melbourne Docklands Science Park.

The chairman and CEO of the Docklands Science Park, John Martin, said his company was waiting for deliveries of pre-production injectors prior to starting production for the Australian market.

He said that there could be a delay in getting the local system into the market due to changes by the Rudd government to innovations funding.

He said his company was relying on a Commercial Ready development grant of $400,000 from the government to get his local technology into production. He said that the cancellation of the program applied even to companies that had their application into the government 12 months ago.

He said there is no program at the moment and the company has been told by Canberra it could be the end of 2009 before any funding could be expected from a new program and that the company might have to issue more shares now that the Rudd government withdrew the Howard government’s innovations initiative.

Mr Martin said that he hoped to attract the attention of GM Holden to assist with developing the technology and the engine management system now that Holden has confirmed that it was going to market a dedicated-LPG Commodore in Australia. He said that Holden could use his system since the LPG supply agreement with General Motors and Impco Technologies had expired two years ago.

He believed that his technology would qualify for funding under the $500 million Green Car Innovation Fund if it was used by GM Holden, Ford or Toyota to develop and optimise local dedicated-LPG liquid injection engines.

LPG Liquid Injection: the PG/Fuel Study: Vehicle Fuel type Transmission Average L/100km Fuel cost/L Average km/year Fuel cost/year Fuel savings vs petrol vehicle

Falcon XT petrol Petrol Five-speed auto 10.500 $1.65 20,000 $3465.00 -

Falcon XT LPG LPG Four-speed auto 14.900 $0.65 20,000 $1934.02 $1530.98

Falcon XT LPG liquid injection # LPG Four-speed auto 11.025 $0.65 20,000 $1431.05 $2033.96

Holden Commodore Omega Petrol Four-speed auto 10.800 $1.65 20,000 $3564.00 -

Holden Commodore Omega LPG dual fuel Petrol/LPG Four-speed auto 16.000 $0.65 20,000 $2080.00 $1484.00

Holden Commodore Omega LPG dual-fuel liquid injection # Petrol/LPG Four-speed auto 11.340 $0.65 20,000 $1474.20 $2089.80

Toyota Camry Altise Petrol Five-speed auto 9.900 $1.65 20,000 $3267.00 -

Toyota Camry Hybrid * Petrol/Elec CVT 5.700 $1.65 20,000 $1881.00 $1386.00

Toyota Camry Hybrid liquid injection *# Petrol/LPG/Elec CVT 5.985 $0.65 20,000 $788.05 $2488.95

Note: information based on Australian government tests. greenvehicle.com.au

# Liquid injection LPG, assuming five per cent decrease in fuel economy compared to equivalent petrol engine

* Camry Hybrid estimates based on Government of Canada EnerGuide Fuel Consumption Guide

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Toyota-Aurion Kit

Cut and paste from www.ls1.com.au

Gday Guys,

I am the Australian LPG Warehouse's Managing Engineer. The Liquid Injection system you are discussing above is made by Icom and developed for Australian vehicles and conditions by us. We have been doing extensive durability testing and development on the system (Called JTG) over the past year with great results.

We have been developing emission compliant kits for the most common vehicles first. On that list is BA/BF sedan, Territory 1&2, Holden 5.7lt sedan and Holden 6lt sedan.

We have given our first training session on the JTG liquid injection system to our first group of installers with positive feedback. As the demand for this system is huge, we have made a decision to only supply to the first 2 groups trained for the first 6 months. To be a certified installer of this product the installer must first attend the training and have the appropriate tooling as the technology is quite different to traditional systems.

Just to cover a few topics discussed above. The system has no requirement for any injection timing strategies. Full control of the system is via the factory engine management system. This is quite different to standard vapour injection systems as they need to manipulate the injection pulse with due to pressure, temperature, and flow issues. The JTG controller is only there to switch the pulse from the petrol to lpg injectors and control the LPG pump.

The system is quite similar to a petrol system. The cylinder has a pump integrated that pushes the LPG to the injectors common rail. This is then ran through a pressure regulator similar to a petrol regulator and fed back to the tank via a return line. The pressure is kept 3 bar over tank pressure.

The injectors deliver liquid LPG directly into the manifold via a small tube. This is installed much the same as vapour injection. A hole is drilled in the manifold as close to the petrol injector as possible and a nozzle is taped in. The difference is that the liquid is passed through a small inner hose that is inserted into the nozzle. An outer hose is then placed over the smaller hose and onto the outside of the nozzle.

The injector is made by Siemens specifically for the JTG system. The flow of this injector is matched to the flow of the petrol injector via a calibration tip inserted into the housing. This is all developed by us before the kit is sent out. We measure the flow of the petrol injector for each vehicle type and then select the appropriate calibrator and injector combination. This is then tested for power, drivability, economy and Emissions. Once we have a final match, this system is then sent to the emission lab for certification.

The end result is a complete kit with laser cut brackets, plug and play wiring and ready to bolt on and drive. We have seen huge fuel savings and power gain using this system. The fuel usage using JTG is within 5% of petrol unlike vapour injection which is only within 20%. This makes it a very viable option. As with all technology it is more expensive than its predecessor. However it will only be from $300 to $400 more per kit depending on the vehicle. This is well made up for in the 15% benefit over vapour injection economy.

The system can run as straight gas or duel fuel. The only issue with straight gas is that there is a delay of 3 seconds before start up. JTG requires a purge of the supply and return lines before start up. This is to remove any vapour from the lines. On duel fuel systems this is set for about 30 seconds. The system during this time will run on petrol while it circulates LPG. After this time it will then switch to LPG by itself. Straight gas vehicles have this purge time set at a minimum.

The system cannot be upgraded from traditional systems as mentioned above. The cylinder has an integrated pump and uses a return line (This pump however can be accessed). The fill line in the JTG system also has a filter. This is to stop any contaminants affecting the pump. The filter can be replaced and we set an interval of 50,000km.

Our JTG system was not derived from a truck system and has been througherly tested both in Europe and Australia. In fact over 30,000 vehicles already have this system. Ford, Subaru, and a list of other manufacturers are also using this system from factory.

Our website is www.australianlpgwarehouse.com.au At the moment there is no reference to out JTG liquid injection system as it has only just hit the market. It will soon be populated with all the information you require but in the meantime you can have a look at Icom’s site (The component manufacturer). They are at http://www.icomitalia.it/lang1/index.html I will also soon post some images on this forum.

(The forum would not let me post links. Just copy and paste into internet explorer )

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It is good to see that companies such as Toyota are looking into such things as liquid gas injection, as it is something that they will need to consider when competing with the likes of big fleet-sellers such as ford and holden. Again, I would never run gas in my car regardless of whether the engine was designed for it enough (call it feeling uncomfortable with a tank under me filled with pressurised gas!), but for those who want to get the conversion in the hopes of saving on fuel costs - this will be great news.

Don't expect any major results soon however, and you may find it will take a couple of generations before any significant advances are made and all the issues are resolved. And before you go jumping straight into this sort of thing blindly - also remember that the government has on numerous occasions talked about adding an approx 60c/L tax on gas, but have as of yet not mentioned any timelines. Just some food for thought anyway...

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