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Diesel Giant Tests Green Tech

When your company name is associated with being a major developer of Diesel engines and powertrains, it can be hard to transition people to thinking you are also a developer of greener technologies. The best steps are to set up a test facility to get the changes right and then to test them again. Cummins, a giant name among Diesel manufacturers, is following that path.

Cummins will open a new Powertrain Test Facility at the Darlington, U.K. campus to help accelerate its move towards cleaner, next generation power technologies focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality. Ground preparation work for the new facility is now underway with the first phase of the £14 million ($18.44 million) investment expected to open for operations by May 2023.

The facility is designed to be fuel-agnostic and will enable Cummins to develop and test a wider range of power technologies, including the latest universal engine platforms with variants able to operate on green hydrogen, renewable natural gas, or sustainable diesel. Installation and testing capability will also extend to hydrogen fuel cell and battery electric powertrains.

Highly advanced dynamometers will be able to test not only powertrains, but also chassis-installed powertrains and vehicles, extending in size from a compact SUV to heavy-trucks over 44-tons or a double-deck bus. Off-road equipment, including construction machines and agricultural tractors, will also be able to be dyno-tested.

The new facility will further enhance the ability of Cummins European Technical Operations to introduce low-to-zero carbon power solutions and meet the forthcoming Euro VII very low emission regulations, likely to take effect around 2025.

The Cummins Darlington campus co-locates manufacturing, technical, testing, and business services on a single site with around 1,500 employees. The establishment of the new Powertrain Test Facility will provide opportunities to upskill current employees as well as recruitment and training of new employees.

Covering a738-sq. metre (2.85-sq. miles) footprint, the two-story Powertrain Test Facility will significantly increase testing capacity with state-of-the-art capabilities at the Darlington campus. The new facility will not only help develop clean power solutions, but also generate its own sustainable power.

The heavy-duty dynamometers and test cells will feature energy recovery systems to generate electricity. This will be exported to the ring main of the Cummins site, adding further capability for energy self-generation on-site. In addition, water consumption of the cooling towers will be reduced by harvesting rainwater, using a similar system already in place at the manufacturing plant.

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