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Serving: West
irrigation pivot Photo courtesy of Propane Education & Research Council
MORE EFFICIENT: A new propane industrial engine series offers the potential for more efficient operation. Development was supported by the Propane Education & Research Council. Engines were not available for photos.

A new kind of propane engine

A propane group partners with an engine maker to create two new irrigation power plants.

Propane power offers a range of advantages for irrigators and for standby power. The Propane Education & Research Council, supported by the propane industry, supports a number of programs aimed at boosting demand for the fuel, including support of rebate programs for purchased engines. But the group also invests in new technology, like the two engines Origin Engines is rolling out.

Origin Engines focuses on industrial engines — and while the company may start with a truck engine block, what comes out of the factory is designed for heavy-duty use. Now come two new engines: a 5.7-liter model and a 6.2-liter model optimized for industrial applications, including irrigation and power generation. The new engines feature specialized valves and valve seats designed to endure tough-duty service, camshafts designed to maximize engine output, and pistons designed to minimize oil consumption.

PERC invested in research for the new Origin engines, offering industry expertise and financial support through the research, development and testing process for the new technology.

Pete Stout, product manager, Origin Engines, noted that the company is excited to "introduce these highly efficient, innovative engines to the market." He added that the company is confident about the performance of the new engines.

The design is familiar, given that it is built using the 5.7-liter engine produced by General Motors. That means there's a network of commercially available service and spare parts, and technicians capable of servicing these models. The new engines fill in the smaller-engine-block end of the Origin line, complementing the company's larger 8-, 9.1- and 10.3-liter engines, which offer a portfolio of propane-powered, spark-ignited engines ranging from 50 to 200-plus horsepower.

Cinch Munson, director of agriculture business development, PERC, explained that propane is a sound fuel choice for irrigation because it is more stable, accessible and consistent, compared to electricity or diesel. "These advantages, combined with the optimal efficiency of new propane engine technology, provide several benefits to farmers."

For more information about Origin Engines, visit For more information about propane use on the farm, visit

Source: Propane Education & Research Council

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