At the World LP Gas Forum in Miami this week, Propane Education and Research Council agricultural director Cinch Munson talked about how they have worked with OEMs to develop and commercialize new engines for ag applications, especially irrigation. “Since 2009, we’ve brought a number of new engines to the market,” said Munson. “A new industrial propane engine will cost about half of a new Tier 4 diesel engine and then cost about 56% less to run that engine.”
On display at the forum were an 8.8 liter PSI engine and a 9.1 liter Origin engine which are new to the market. Pete Stout with Origin Engines says they went to farmers and asked them what they wanted. “The adage they gave us is ‘there’s no replacement for displacement,'” he said. “They want large displacement, low speed engines that are designed to run on propane.”
Jeremy Lessaris with PSI Engines said they also worked with PERC to first develop smaller engines for irrigation. “We kept moving up the horsepower and torque band, up to 5.7 and now into the 8.8,” said Lessaris. “We’ve seen newer markets where the requirement for irrigation is much bigger, in California where they have large diesels pumping a lot of water…so we went from the 8.8 liter all the way up to 22 liters.”
PERC has a Propane Farm Incentive Program under which up to $5,000 can be available for farmers to switch to propane irrigation. In addition, states such as California and Nebraska have additional incentive programs.
Listen to Cinch, Pete and Jeremy talk about propane engines for ag here and see what they are talking about in the video below: PERC and Propane Engines for Ag