DP Summit showcases diverse power industry solutions
03 October 2023
200 attendees, two keynotes, two roundtables and nine DP Summit Awards highlight Louisville event
The fifth Diesel Progress Summit hosted more than 200 attendees at the Galt House in downtown Louisville, Ky., from Sept. 24-25, with the event focusing on “Technologies in Transition” and featuring keynotes, presentations and roundtables from across the power industry as speakers discussed hydrogen, renewable diesel, battery technology, electric motors and more solutions.
Opening the conference with his morning keynote on the future of on- and off-highway power, Darren Tasker, vice president of Industrial Sales at Volvo Penta of the Americas, detailed his company’s multi-faceted approach to a zero-emissions value chain by 2050.
In talking about advancements in batteries, fuel cells, electric motors and renewable fuels, Tasker said Volvo Penta’s ambitious zero-emissions goals will need “a blend of technologies.”
The summit’s morning program also brought together three speakers – Melissa Kelly, Livestock Product Segment lead, New Holland Agriculture; Matt Leuck, technical manager for North America, Neste U.S.; and Dr. Graham Conway, staff engineer, Low Carbon Technologies, Southwest Research Institute – to update the conference on progress with low- and zero-carbon fuels.
In addition to information about renewable diesel and biomethane, the panel agreed that a one-track, “last technology standing” mindset will not help the industry achieve lower and/or zero carbon emissions. “Not one solution is going to fix all of this,” Leuck said.
Following a lunch break, the attendees returned to hear Deutz Chairman and CEO Dr. Sebastian Schulte’s afternoon keynote on navigating and balancing the energy transition. Schulte said that the growing needs of the construction, material-handling and agriculture industries mean that complacency on the power side is a non-starter.
He presented data that showed lower-usage or lower-intensity vehicles have the capacity to run well on green electricity while vehicles higher in usage and intensity can run best on sustainable fuels.
The keynote ended with Schulte confirming diesel fuel will remain part of the energy mix “as long as it makes sense” – likely beyond the next 20-30 years – during the transition to newer power sources.
Several additional presentations followed, with the conference ending with an afternoon roundtable on hydrogen internal combustion engines (ICEs). It brought together three industry experts: Jim Nebergall, general manager of Hydrogen Engines at Cummins; Chris Giorgianni, vice president of Product at JCB; and Paul Mercurio, U.S. sales manager at Liebherr Fuel Injection Systems.
The three presented diverse solutions that included Cummins’ 6.7L and 15L hydrogen ICEs that are in production, JCB’s hydrogen ICE program that started in 2020 and Liebherr’s H964 hydrogen ICE. However, the conclusion was similar to the theme of the summit as a whole: the need for diversity in power.
“Change is hard; decarbonization is that change,” Nebergall said. “We’re all aligned on the need for change; no one here is in denial. We also seem to be aligned that there’s not a single solution. We’re also aligned that we need these changes today and in the future.”
A drinks reception and dinner ensued, followed by the Diesel Progress Awards ceremony, in which Diesel Progress International Editor Julian Buckley handed out nine trophies recognizing outstanding achievements in engines and technology.