GE liquid fuel additive saves U.S. Army millions
April 23, 2015 By GE
Trevose, Pa. - GE has a liquid fuel additive that is saving the U.S. Army millions of dollars in helicopter fuel and maintenance costs. The Army is projecting even greater cost savings if it expands deployment of GE’s +100 fuel additive to all Army aircraft.
As part of long-term feasibility studies of the additive on the U.S. Army’s helicopters based at Fort Rucker, Alabama, all models using +100 have shown significant cost savings. For example, the additive has helped the Army achieve savings of nearly $150 per flight hour for the base’s Chinook helicopters, while its Black Hawk helicopters reported savings of about $40 per flight hour. Fort Rucker is home to the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence.
GE’s +100 fuel additive paid for itself in the first year of operation. Since the Army began its long-term evaluation of the fuel additive in 2003, Fort Rucker has saved an estimated $5.4 million per year on maintenance cost alone with a combined net savings of $69 million over 10 years.
“We are excited by the potential of our +100 fuel additive and the significant operational and maintenance cost savings that have been achieved by the U.S. Army for their global fleet of helicopters at Fort Rucker,” said Kevin Cassidy, chemical and monitoring solutions general manager – water and process technologies for GE Power & Water. “It is our belief, and the belief of the Fort Rucker team, that equal or greater benefits can be realized if +100 is utilized across the Army’s entire fleet of helicopters, other aircraft and any turbine-powered equipment to reduce the department’s costs.”
GE’s liquid fuel additive is called +100 for its ability to offer operators an additional 100 degrees Fahrenheit of thermal stability to their fuel. It is this enhanced thermal stability that prevents engine coking in aircraft and results in a cleaner, more efficient burn as well as lower operating costs and dramatic life cycle cost savings. In addition, the use of +100 has been proven to reduce carbon soot on the skin or sides of the helicopter due to cleaner engine exhaust.
The +100 can technically be used in all turbine-powered equipment, including tanks, since they run hot and also have coking issues. In addition, the +100 also can be used in the commercial sector, specifically in helicopters and airlines.
In 2003, the U.S. Army granted a waiver for the Army Aviation Warfighting Center at Fort Rucker to begin conducting long-term feasibility studies on GE’s +100 fuel additive, which had been in use by the U.S. Air Force since the mid-1990s.