Clarke County Firm Part of Business Group that Lands International Green Energy Award

ECU Installation on board the Taiko

A collaboration that includes Shenandoah Control Systems, Inc., a technology firm located in Clarke County, Virginia, has received international recognition for an inspired green energy solution that has a broad range of applications to improve fuel efficiency and emissions in diesel engines and boilers.

On Friday, September 21, 2012, Savannah Ocean Exchange announced the winners of the 2012 Orcelle Grants, which provided $100,000 in funds to two recipients and are aimed at identifying inventions that protect the environment. One of the two grants was awarded for NONOX: Emulsion Combustion Systems submitted by Eric Cottell of NONOX, Ltd., Nassau, Bahamas, Wes Pence of Wholesome Energy and Jerry Boyles of Shenandoah Control Systems Inc. The “Emulsion Combustion System” or ECU, is designed to reduce fossil fuel emissions by improving the combustion process on the inlet side of the diesel engines. The ECU produces an on-demand, water-in-oil emulsion fuel that reduces nitrous oxide, black carbon/soot, and other air pollutants. The system can also be switched back and forth between emulsion and straight fuel at the flick of a switch. The NONOX Fuel Emulsions System is easy to install with little or no down time for the customer, the return on the investment is typically less than a year, and on larger installations less than that. This system is most attractive in today’s market due to ever increasing fuel costs and more stringent emissions regulations.

Wes Pence of Wholesome Energy (middle) and Jerry Boyles (right) prepare to board the Taiko in Long Beach

The process of developing the system began about four years ago when NONOX, Ltd. provided a “proof of concept” oil/water emulsion system for a building boiler heating system at Massanutten Military Academy in Woodstock, VA. Jerry Boyles, owner of Shenandoah Control Systems, Inc., offered his services to NONOX to improve the performance of the system by designing electronic controls to regulate the ratio of water to fuel. After the successful initial installation, the process of emulsion fuels was proposed to Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics shipping lines as a means to reduce pollution and fuel consumption for their fleet of ships.

Jerry Boyles said,”Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics agreed to let us design and implement a prototype system on one of their fleet ships, the Taiko, which is a 860 foot long roll on, roll off (RORO) cargo vessel.”

Boyles described the collaboration of the three businesses who worked together to complete the award-winning installation by saying,”To execute the prototype, we formed a collaboration between NONOX, Ltd, the owner of the patented emulsion generation technology, Wholesome Energy, Edinburg, VA, who did the mechanical fabrication and installation of the equipment, and Shenandoah Control Systems. We performed the electrical design and software programming to control the blending of fuel oil and water and fail-safe programming to detect and react to any system faults.”

The prototype was tested on several voyages of the Taiko, including passages from Long Beach, CA to Newport News via the Panama Canal; Melbourne, Australia, around Western Australia to Singapore; and from New York City to Baltimore. The results of the testing showed an average of 4-5% improvement in fuel consumption, a 30% reduction in nitrous oxide emissions and significant reduction in particulate (soot) emissions. Typically, a ship of this size would consume about 65-70 metric tons of oil per day. So, a 5% savings could mean a savings of over  8000 pounds of fuel a day.

Christopher Connor, Deputy CEO and CCO of Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, congratulated the winner saying, “The NONOX Emulsion Combustion System is an innovative solution that can decrease emissions of harmful substances to the air considerably, both at sea and on land. The team has done an impressive job in developing this promising technology. We hope that the Orcelle Grant will make it possible for them to bring this product to market, and look forward to supporting the laureate on this journey.”

The journey could take the product into many markets. The flexible and  convenient approach can translate to almost any industry. Mr. Boyles said,  “I think what decided the award in our favor is that this technology is applicable to any form of combustion of oil products, whether it be ships, trucks, trains, or stationary boilers.”