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Transit-Based LPG Microturbine Rapid-Intervention Project,

Phase II

Project Objective
Continue the efforts of Phase I along with: (1) troubleshoot propane microturbine bus problems encountered at Serendipity Land Yacht in Santa Clara, CA; (2) eliminate safety concerns at all three sites; (3) continue to troubleshoot oil & residue problems; and (4) support efforts to develop a new fuel system from the gas cap to the fuel injectors.


Santa Clara Hybrid Electric Bus
Project Outcome
ADEPT assisted the shuttle integrators to find near-term solutions for buses already in service. ADEPT and Capstone prepared the groundwork to develop and implement a fuel system that appropriately delivers LPG to the microturbine. ADEPT eliminated the outstanding safety concerns at the Los Angeles site and conducted a full evaluation of the Santa Clara site. Identified safety issues on the Santa Clara buses were also eliminated. Solutions for LPG residues and liquids in the fuel system were proposed and investigated.

Various methods were investigated to remove impurities from the fuel. ADEPT prepared a protocol to determine the efficacy of additives to remove residues in the fuel lines. ADEPT worked with Southwest Research Institute to design and build filter-like devices with an adsorbent medium (e.g. activated carbon, aluminum silicate) to strip the LPG of heavy residues and possibly of certain sulfur compounds. 

Fuel lines were instrumented with pressure and temperature sensors to record data with which one could calculate, given the known fuel composition, if the fuel was being transported as a liquid or a gas. It was calculated that there were instances where LPG condensation was very likely to have occurred. ADEPT recommended a number of remedial actions to improve the fuel delivery system.

A follow-on project was recommended to PERC to: (1) consolidate and distribute information gained over Phases I and II to the HEV industry/customers; (2) continue development work on various technologies to alleviate contamination problems; and (3) continue to support pioneering HEV projects.

Duration: November 2001 - March 2002


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