Cummins QSX15 Generator Set: Putting the Locomotive in Motion

Posted by Depco Power on Thu, Dec 01, 2016

The Cummins QSX15 Generator Set  is the new power source in the railway industry. Putting in motion the locomotives that transfer goods and people across the nation, called genset switching locomotives, the generators coupled to diesel engines are impacting the railway industry in several exciting ways. Not only are gensets proving valuable by reducing costs, but they fit well with the industry's goal to meet lower emission standards.

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In Western nations the emissions standards pose serious issues to businesses across the board. "Green" is the new mission and all companies strive to meet local, state and federal standards. The benefit is obvious; it's the full result that is never mentioned. The indirect benefit not recognized occurs when these "green" gensets end up abroad. Emission standards now indirectly apply to countries that have no such regulations, resulting in exporting EPA standards.

Just recently six gensets went to Africa (Libreville,Gabon) to power up their new leaf switch locomotive. By switching on and off the power according to the generator's demand, the smaller genset diesel engines save on fuel and, consequently, achieve significant emission reductions. 

The impact doesn't just end with emission standards and the indirect exportation of pollution remediation. The gensets have played an important role in the railway industry by breathing new life into the iron horse. 

Several years ago, the railway industry heavily invested in new locomotives. The driving force behind the investment was the attempt to meet and exceed EPA standards. The goal was admirable, but the result proved they had built too many state-of-the-art engines given market demands. The worst happened and these new locomotive engines sat in storage -- or stored serviceable. This term is a bane to the industry.

Yet, with other innovations, only a few years ago the stored serviceable locomotives (engines) finally met the tract and the gensets delivered the long-awaited shove, pushing them down the line. In 2015, the first genset met California's EPA standards for Tier 4 compliance. Testing by the California Air Resources Board established the gensets' emission levels under 1.0 and .01 g/bhp (grams per brake horsepower).

That meant more than just getting a passing grade, or earning the right to use California's rail system. The Carl Moyer Emissions Grant Program is eyed with great expectancy for the financial boost and advantage it provides. Having passed the test, certain rail companies now qualified for the program and could trade-in locomotives for grants up to 85%. Rail companies could now reduce their stored serviceable locomotives and invest in Dual Leaf locomotives and gensets that, as stated above, reduced their costs of operation while significantly reducing harmful emissions.

The impact of gensets on just one industry are astounding. It is proving to act like dominoes. Many rail companies are switching over, planning to build more Dual Leaf locomotives. Front and center for one manufacturer of the newer locomotives is Cummins QSX15 generator set. They attribute the engine to stimulating a change in the industry to the extent it brought it back to life.

Not enamored by their successes, Cummings has its new iteration out to meet the growing demand for their genset, but to secure the benefits that flow with the QSX15. Since the new iteration is largely the same in design dimension, the need to re-design the Dual Leaf locomotives isn't necessary.  Aside from additional fuel consumption decreases, the QSX15 is expected to reduce particulate emissions by 99% and NOx emissions by 92%.

Cummins knows other railway companies are eyeing their product and the newest iteration of their QSX15 was likely the result. It's an indicator to companies switching out their locomotives that they can do more than just meet emission standards and reduce costs, but they can expect further developments by Cummings that will continue to benefit their balance sheets and earn public recognition for the contribution to "green" energy.

Contact us, Depco Power System, to learn more about Cummins' QSX15 genset and its potential positive impact on your industry or business. 


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