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GasShow 2015 - directions for future

GasShow 2015 - directions for future ©

Usually after the GasShow we can tell the general direction in which the LPG/CNG sector is going. Not this year, though, since every company seems to have chosen their own path to tread. Let's have a look and see who's going where.
AC STAG QMAX Plus ECU© gazeo.comThe QMAX Plus is AC's top-of-the-line ECU

AC, a major Polish manufacturer of autogas systems and components, bets on developing a new family of ECU's that go by the common name of Q-generation. The QBOX, QMAX and QNEXT differ in functionality, but they all integrate as many components inside as possible (including emulators, ignition advance angle variators, sensors, etc.), thus making the conversion process simpler and less time-consuming. As far as mechanical components are concerned, AC displayed the new STAG R02 Twin double reducer, whose efficiency is, interestingly enough, higher than that of two single R02 reducers.

Alex has commenced production of a CNG pressure reducer destined for markets where compressed methane is popular. Also, new centrifugal LPG filters for Barracuda injectors have been introduced – now they can be used with remarkably bigger and more powerful engines. As for Barracudas themselves, now they can be fitted separately, as single injectors. Napoleon injectors have been put on hold indefinitely.

Auto-Gaz Centrum's new BlueBox ECU© gazeo.comWill the premiere of the BlueBox mark the end of Auto-Gaz Centrum's Compact ECU?

BlueBox is the name of Auto-Gaz Centrum's new middle-of-the-road ECU, to be marketed between the Compact and the Zenit Pro. It features the Pro's technology, but at a lower price. App Studio, on the other hand, chose to go towards liquid state LPG injection. Two systems are being developed – the Agis Liquid (for MPI engines) and the Agis Direct Liquid (for DI engines). Even the former allows to significantly cut down on petrol use – the switchover from petrol to autogas is said to occur after only 30 s from start-up. Liquid state LPG injection may also be employed for the upcoming Agis Diesel dual-fuel system.

BRC seems to be treading several paths simultaneously, too. The company offers, among others, the SDI – a vapour state LPG injection system for DI engines, the LDI – a liquid state LPG injection system for DI engines and the Alba – an affordable system for small MPI engines. Zavoli, the company closely affiliated to BRC, had a new reducer on display – the Zeta Plus.

Elpigaz, a system developer and manufacturer from Gdansk, Poland, had a wide array of new products, as usual. There was the new Vela Diesel dual-fuel system, the new Bianco piston injectors designed for that system, the Vela Freestyle (also featuring Bianco injectors), the Stella Bella (for DI engines) and the new Grey plate injectors (featured on the Stella Bella system).

EuropeGAS Supremo reducer© gazeo.comProper naming (as well as packaging) is now becoming an important part of marketing strategy for companies from the autogas sector

EuropeGAS had a number of premieres, too, including ECUs: the EG Basico 24 (an entry-level ECU for simple MPI engines with up to 4 cylinders), the EG Avance 32 (also for 4-pot units, but with OBD support), the EG Superior 48 (featuring an integrated ignition advance angle variator and dedicated primarily to CNG systems) and the EG Superior 80 (for 4-, 6- and 8-cylinder engines). The Avance and the Superior enable measuring power and torque during driving (the so-called on-road dynamometer function). There are new reducers on the line-up, too – the Premo (up to 150 PS) and the Supremo (up to 230 PS) and the new EG Spinner centrifugal LPG filter.

KME has developed some new reducers. The Blue, based on the previously known Gold, has been designed to cope with extreme cold ambient conditions (up to -40° C) thanks to new rubber components. The reducer is destined for Russia, North America and Scandinavia. Other new products include the modern-looking LPG/petrol switch and the PW3 LPG level indicator.

Landi Renzo Omegas 3.0 ECU© gazeo.comApparently the Omegas is so good that it doesn't need a successor - an updated version is enough

Landi Renzo presented the updated Omegas 3.0 ECU. It features software supplied and licensed by the manufacturer only. Other softwares won't be supported and this way Landi Renzo makes sure its products won't be used by random, insufficiently qualified installers. The Omegas 3.0 also has some new features, including improved switchover procedure for improved performance. As for Lovato, the Easy Fast no longer supports 8-cylinder engines. The previously offered ECU will now split into two separate products – one for 5- and 6-cylinder units and one for 8-pots. This is supposed to make LPG systems more affordable.

LPGTECH debuted the affordable, simplified TECH ONE ECU and, on the other end of the line-up – the LGI, which is a liquid state LPG injection system, now in the certification process and slated for market premiere in May 2015. A number of DI engines will be supported, particularly those featured on VW Group cars. The system will be further developed and in 2016 a versatile, simple liquid LPG injection system is said to follow.

Ford Transit Connect featuring a Prins Direct LiquiMax 2.0 system© gazeo.comPrins' Direct LiquiMax 2.0 is one of the few readily available liquid state LPG injection systems, but more are underway

When it comes to Prins, the biggest news for the company is its integration into the structure of the Westport corporation. The Dutch manufacturer keeps promoting the Direct LiquiMax 2.0, i. e. its liquid state direct LPG injection system, whose popularity is consistently growing. Stako, a part of Worthington Cylinders, showed new LPG tanks for OEM use (in particular, doughnut-shaped tanks for Hyundai cars and dual cylindrical tanks for the Opel Zafira).

ZWM Czaja, a filter manufacturer, has just received certification for its Blaster filter, originally presented during GasShow 2014. The company is also considering entering the market for high-pressure CNG filters.

So much for companies either coming from Poland or playing a significant role in the Polish market (we are from Poland, so don't be surprised). Now let's get a broader perspective and see who else was there in Warsaw in the 2015 season. After all, the GasShow is a truly international event. In fact, it's one of the last ones of its kind, if not the last one at all.

Tomasetto Achille Sigas ECU and injectors© gazeo.comYet another brand from Fuel Systems Solutions on the already crowded European market? We'll see how that comes out

The 2015 edition marked the debut of Tomasetto Achille of Argentina on European soil. The company is owned by the Fuel Systems Solutions corporation, already represented in Europe by BRC, Zavoli and GFI. Is there enough room for yet another brand? We shall see.

Certain smaller Italian brands, like Emmegas, Stargas and Romano returned to the GasShow this year. Since their home market is dominated by Landi Renzo, BRC and Lovato, those minor manufacturers seek their luck outside Europe, in developing LPG markets (e. g. South America).

Obviously, the Turkish market was also well represented. System and component manufacturers were there (Atiker, NLPLPG, FBR and Mimgas), as were makers of filters (Sukruoglu Filtre) and LPG tanks (Evas, Tugra Makina, Dormaksan and Saka, although Atiker makes tanks, too). One interesting company worth mentioning here was T-1, previously known as G-1 and coming from Slovenia. Its conversion business is still located in Slovenia, but engineering and manufacturing has been shifted to Turkey.

T-1 EVC (Electronic Valve Care)© gazeo.comIt seems that the valve saver kit and fluid market isn't full yet - new products are still coming

Valve saver kits and fluids are always present at the GasShow. T-1 brought its EVC (Electronic Valve Care) system (fluid and application kit), Digitronic showed the GasLube Blue, Flashlube displayed the updated E2KIT (Electronic Kit) and ERC kept promoting the DI-LPG GasLube for DI engines. Both Flashlube and ERC received INPRO awards for their respective products. And there was also the ic12 – a fluid for removing oily contaminants from LPG injectors.

Even though autogas is most popular in countries like Poland, Turkey or Italy, LPG systems and components are also designed and produced in other countries, such as Bulgaria (Fobos, Memtex), Spain (Motor Gas) or China (Easy Tech or Hangzhou Easy Technology).

Digitronic ECU© gazeo.comRussia is becoming a major player on the global autogas market, so no wonder the domestic sector is growing and developing own products

The GasShow isn't all about LPG, though. There was the Methane Zone with a number of CNG-related companies gathered there, there were also companies from the LNG field present, with Chart Ferox, Duon and Gazprom Germania to name a few.

Is it ultimately a bad thing that the market isn't all going in the same direction? No, not at all – it seems that all areas of the market are perfectly covered, even though no one company may be present in all of them. Which is a good thing in its own right, since it's probably the best thing to do to specialise in a particular field rather than try to be equally good in everything. The latter usually leads to compromises, which we'd rather avoid as customers. See you there at the 2016 edition of the GasShow, but remember – if you're not there, it may appear as if you don't exist at all.


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Robert Markowski, Piotr Złoty
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