Understanding Emission Retrofits

Emission Retrofits

Emission Retrofit Solutions that Keep Your Fleet Moving

Today’s strict air quality regulations mean that emissions retrofits are a fact of life for most fleet operators. While some companies offer diesel emission retrofit services as a sideline, providing emissions solutions is all FleetServ does. As a result, our mechanics are diesel retrofit experts. Whether you need to install emission control devices, idle reduction technology or SmartWay technologies, FleetServ can get the job done quickly and get it done right.

Controlling Diesel Emissions is the Law

There are many different state, federal, and local laws and regulations that mandate the use of diesel emission control devices. Some of the more important regulations include:

  • California Statewide Truck and Bus Rule – Established by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), this rule impacts all fleets that operate diesel heavy trucks and buses on California’s roads. In general, CARB requires that affected vehicles be retrofitted, repowered or replaced to reduce particulate matter (PM) emissions by at least 85%.
  • California In-Use Off-Road Diesel Vehicle Regulation – The California Air Resources Board (ARB) adopted a regulation to reduce diesel particulate matter (PM) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions from in-use (existing) off-road heavy-duty diesel vehicles in California. Such vehicles are used in construction, mining, and industrial operations and are subject to retrofit or repower requirements.
  • California Transport Refrigeration Unit (TRU) Airborne Toxic Control Measure – Transport Refrigeration Units (TRUs) are refrigeration systems powered by diesel internal combustion engines designed to refrigerate or heat perishable products that are transported in various containers, including semi-trailers, truck vans, shipping containers, and rail cars. These units are subject to retrofit or repower requirements.

Understanding the Various Emission Control Devices

A variety of different emission control devices are available. Although they all work towards the overall goal of reducing diesel emissions, each has a different function and works in a different way.

  • Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF)– A DPF is a device that is designed to remove diesel particulate matter (PM) – also called soot – from the exhaust gas of a diesel engine. DPFs work by trapping these particles in a system of chambers that are housed inside the filter. Used on trucks, buses, and equipment, most DPFs are designed to remove at least 85% of the diesel engine’s particulate matter.
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  • Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC)– A DOC is another type of device used to remove particulate matter (PM) from the exhaust gas of a diesel engine. DOCs utilize a chemical process to break down pollutants from the engine’s exhaust stream and turn them into less harmful components. Although DOCs are much less expensive than DPFs, they are also much less effective, typically removing about 25 to 50% of the exhaust’s particulate matter. A lot of times a DOC will be used in combination with a DPF to produce even cleaner exhaust emissions.
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  • Closed Crankcase Ventilation (CCV) – CCVs eliminate the crankcase emissions that would otherwise escape into the environment through the crankcase vent tube. A CCV also prevents oil from escaping from the engine crankcase during idling or driving, and improves the passenger compartment air quality. When used in conjunction with a DOC, a CCV system will create a cleaner engine environment, reduce the use of oil and lower the vehicle operating costs.

Understanding Idle Reduction Technology

A vehicle that has been fitted with a diesel particulate filter (DPF) should not be allowed to idle. Because DPFs are not designed to handle even very short periods of idling, idling a vehicle that has a DPF will cause the vehicle to shut itself off. To address this issue, there are three types of idle reduction technology available:

  • Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) – It used to be that truck drivers would pull into a truck stop and idle the truck all night long for cabin climate control purposes. An APU eliminates this need. An APU provides power to the truck’s sleeper compartment, keeping the engine warm and the battery charged while electricity is being consumed in the truck’s cab. APUs can also provide direct heating or cooling to the cab.
  • Fuel Operated and Direct Fired Heaters (FOH / DFH) – These devices are used in cold climates. Both the DPF and the DOC require heat and high exhaust temperatures to operate. Fuel Operated Heaters (FOHs) provide heat to both the cab and the engine block, using only a fraction of the fuel that would be used by idling the vehicle’s primary engine. Direct Fired Heaters (DFHs) actually blow hot air into the vehicle, maintaining a comfortable temperature in cold climates.
  • Auto Shutdown Systems – Auto shutdown systems will automatically shut down a vehicle after it has been idling for a pre-determined amount of time, typically five minutes. To ensure the vehicle isn’t accidentally shut down while on the road, the systems all use a variety of methods to determine that the vehicle is in a true idle (i.e. parking brake set, accelerator not in use, etc.). These can be stand-alone systems or built into the fuel operated heater system.

Understanding the Greenhouse Gas Reduction/EPA SmartWay Technology

SmartWay is a collaboration between the EPA and the freight transportation industry that helps fleet operators reduce emissions, improve fuel efficiency and save money. California regulations now call for the adoption of some of the SmartWay emission reduction technologies.

  • Aerodynamic Technologies – By minimizing drag and improving air flow over the vehicle, aerodynamic technologies reduce fuel use. This in turn reduces the vehicle’s NOx and greenhouse gas emissions. The EPA’s SmartWay program encourages the installation of aerodynamic skirting, including Trailer Gap Reducers and Trailer Side Skirts.
  • Low Resistance Rolling Tires – These tires utilize a new technology that enables them to roll better, with less resistance. This in turn reduces fuel use, with most vehicles seeing a 2 to 6% fuel economy savings. Just like with the aerodynamic technologies, reduced fuel use means lower NOx and greenhouse gas emissions.


FleetServ Uses High Quality Parts

The experts at FleetServ can help you choose the right emission control devices for each of your vehicles. We sell, install and service the following high-quality, name brand parts:

Hug FiltersystemsDCL International, Inc.HUSSBaumotRypos

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