Kohler expands HVO to power gen products

05 July 2022

Just months after approving it for all of its diesel engines, the Kohler Power Systems business of Kohler has announced that its entire offering of mission-critical KD Series diesel generators is now compatible with hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO).

The KD Series spans a range of 400 kw to 4 MW in 50 and 60 Hz configurations. No adaptations to installed generators are required, allowing for the immediate rollout of renewable fuel to customers seeking to reduce their carbon footprint, the company said.

Kohler KD Series generator set Kohler said its range of KD Series mission-critical KD Series diesel generator sets can be operated on hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) fuel. (Photo: Kohler)

“At Kohler, we have already made great strides in making our generators inherently more efficient, reducing emissions regardless of the fuel used,” said James Zhang, president, Kohler Power Systems. “Now with HVO, we have taken a massive leap forward in our sustainability journey by greatly reducing the carbon footprint of our diesel products’’.

This next-generation renewable fuel has all the advantages of a sustainable fuel source, with none of the disadvantages of first-generation biodiesels. While first-generation solutions had a limited storage life of just six months, HVO is highly stable, with no sensitivity to oxidation, so it can be stored long-term. It is also 90% carbon neutral and sourced entirely from waste products – making it part of a circular economy.

The similarity in HVO and fossil diesel characteristics further smooths the shift to biofuel because the two fuels can be mixed directly in the tank without issue. Therefore, it can be used immediately as the sole fuel supply for all Kohler diesel generators, whether they are new or previously installed and in operation.

“Customers can continue to rely on Kohler for their backup power needs, and now with a greater commitment to sustainability and reducing their carbon footprint, while not compromising on performance. The HVO fuel option supports Kohler’s commitment to our Better Planet strategy within the Believing in Better operating philosophy that focuses on overarching environmental goals,” Zhang adds.

HVO is a liquid fuel that is synthesized from waste vegetable oils or animal fats using a hydrotreatment process. Unlike first-generation biodiesels, HVO is an entirely renewable energy source that does not impact crop resources and it can translate into up to 90% fewer greenhouse gas emissions over its entire lifecycle, Kohler said.

HVO is similar in grade and quality to traditional diesel and can be used as a drop-in without modification. HVO is also compatible with the standard mix of petroleum-derived diesel fuels, and therefore it can be used as a blend with traditional fossil diesel. Kohler said the ability to mix HVO and conventional fuels provides flexibility to the end-user, who could introduce HVO as a renewable fuel and then revert to diesel should the need arise.

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