Ricardo and Clean Air Power (CAP) have reached agreement to jointly develop a dual-fuel engine business. Ricardo is a multi-industry consultancy for engineering, technology, project innovation and strategy while CAP is a provider of dual-fuel technology.

The agreement serves to strengthen the offering to clients of both companies by bringing together Ricardo’s system integration expertise with CAP’s dual-fuel technology of compression ignited diesel engines that use natural gas with diesel pilot ignition, Ricardo said.

“Natural gas in a dual fuel application offers both fuel economy and cost savings to the large and heavy duty engine industry,” said Tom Apostolos, president of Ricardo. “This agreement will help our global clients to achieve those savings more quickly, with reduced development time and robust system integration. We are pleased to be working with CAP as a system integrator for their patented dual-fuel technology.”

CAP’s dual-fuel system enables heavy duty vehicles to operate primarily on natural gas, with diesel fuel acting as a liquid spark plug. The diesel engine is basically unchanged, and retains its high performance and high efficiency 4-stroke diesel cycle. If the natural gas runs out, the system changes seamlessly to operate on 100% diesel, providing complete diesel operational backup.

As system integrator, Ricardo said it will use its full vehicle knowledge, engine design and controls experience and system modeling capabilities to ensure that CAP’s dual fuel system meets the fit, form and function requirements of the complete vehicle.

“Ricardo is a world renowned engineering company and this co-operation agreement offers further validation of the quality and reliability of our dual fuel technology,” said John Pettitt, CEO of CAP. “Our clear medium term strategy is to develop further OEM relationships and through this agreement we have access to the resources and engineering expertise needed to develop additional new OEM products, based on our dual-fuel technology, to meet the growing interest in natural gas vehicles amongst manufacturers. Ricardo is a truly global company and we hope that this agreement will place our dual-fuel system at the forefront of the worldwide trend towards the adoption of natural gas as a road fuel.”